DHARAMSHALA, March 10: Shingza Rinpoche, one of the three hunger strikers on an indefinite fast in front of the United Nations headquarters in New York has called for the restoration of an independent Tibet.
In his message on the occasion of the 53rd anniversary of the March 10, 1959 national uprising, Shingza Rinpoche said that a “free and independent Tibet” was the “one and the only path” left for Tibetans.
“In Tibet the brave Tibetan heroes sacrifice their lives by setting themselves on fire as an ultimate form of peaceful protest,” Rinpoche said. “These are clear indications for those of us living in exile to stand up and be active in our struggle for freedom more than ever before.”
Shingza Rincpohe, 32, along with Dorjee Gyalpo, 59, and Yeshi Tenzing, 39, are now into their 18th day of hunger strike demanding UN intervention in the ongoing crisis inside Tibet.
“Tibet is inside all of us,” Rinpoche said. “It is deep within our hearts, our flesh and bones. From Ngari in the western Tibet to the six ranges in eastern Tibet, all of us share the same culture and language, and we are the descendent of the same ancestors.”
“We are the rightful owner of our nation and each of us has a responsibility towards restoring its freedom.”
Rinpoche, who has lost around 10 kgs since he began his fast, called for greater unity amongst the Tibetan people in the struggle for an independent Tibet.
“Whether we can restore a free Tibet or not depends on the strength of our unity, our courage and a sustained struggle,” Rinpoche said.
“We must fight for our freedom. There is no need for us to be fearful of anyone and no need to bow before any power.”
Rinpoche, who fled into exile in 1997, expressed his solidarity with the 26 Tibetans who have set their bodies on fire demanding the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile and freedom in Tibet.
“Let us stand up for our nation, for our people and to return His Holiness back to Tibet. Let us stand up for the future generation,” Rinpoche said.