A Tibetan college student bleeding from his head after he hit himself with a stone while protesting outside the UN Information Centre in New Delhi on March 6, 2012. (Photo/TYC)
DHARAMSHALA, March 7: Responding to the call for March 6 global campaign by the Tibetan Youth Congress, the largest pro-independence group in exile, Tibetans carried out demonstrations, vigils, and petitioning campaigns in solidarity with Tibetans inside Tibet.
From the site of the indefinite fast in front of the UN headquarters in New York, the three Tibetan hunger strikes took part in a live webcast of their protest. Into their 14th day of fasting, physical deterioration was visible as they took turns to speak.
Interacting with a global audience, one of the hunger strikers, Shingza Rinpoche, a high reincarnate lama, urged the Chinese leaders to address the “real problems” in Tibet.
“Tibetans in Tibet, including 18 year olds are setting themselves on fire calling for freedom in Tibet,” Shingza Rinpoche who has lost 10 kgs since he began his fast said. “Tibetans must be united and take the responsibility.”
The three Tibetan hunger strikers are directly appealing the UN to immediately send a fact-finding delegation to Tibet, put pressure on China – to stop the undeclared martial law in Tibet, to allow international media inside Tibet, to release all political and to stop the “patriotic re-education” campaign in Tibet.
Battling turbulent weather, the three have been forced to sit on wheel chairs outside the UN building after they were denied the right to sit in a makeshift tent by the local police.
In the Indian capital New Delhi, members of TYC staged a protest in front of the UN Information Centre yesterday and submitted a petition calling for UN intervention in Tibet and drawing attention to the demands of the three hunger strikers.
For nearly two hours, the 200 Tibetan demonstrators raised slogans such as, “UN: Tibet is burning, UN: we need your response and UN: we need justice”.
Frustration at UN’s apathy with the demands of three huger strikers and its dubious stand on China’s human rights record in Tibet was evident amongst the crowd as a young Tibetan college student smashed his head with a stone.
“His face was covered with blood flowing from his head but he carried on raising slogans as if he felt no pain,” an eyewitness told Phayul.
In the Tibetan exile headquarters of Dharamshala, Tibetans carried a daylong signature campaign urging the UN to intervene in the critical situation inside Tibet. Hundreds of Tibetans also took part in a candle light vigil later in the evening.
“The United Nations, world leaders, governments and the international community have a responsibility to prevent the humanitarian crisis from spreading and spiraling out of control causing further casualties,” the petition
TYC said the rare footages of self-immolations and violence against Tibetans are compelling “evidence of untold crimes against humanity being committed” by the Chinese regime in Tibet.
Since 2009, 26 Tibetans inside Tibet have set themselves on fire demanding the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and freedom in Tibet.
Exile Tibetans and rights groups have expressed fear of further self-immolation and bloodshed in Tibet as many parts of Tibet continue to remain under an undeclared martial law.