The inaugural ceremony of the 43rd annual Working Committee Meeting of the Tibetan Youth Congress held in Bir Tibetan settlement from August 8-12, 2012. (Photo/TYC)
DHARAMSHALA, August 12: Tibetan Youth Congress, the largest pro-independence group in exile, has resolved to launch an indefinite hunger strike campaign in solidarity with the ongoing wave of self-immolations inside Tibet and to amplify the demands of the self-immolators.
Three Central Executive members of TYC; Dhondup Lhadar, Vice-President, Penpa Tsering, Organisational Secretary, and Jigme (Sholpa), Cultural Secretary will be sitting on the indefinite fast.
The campaign is scheduled to take place in the Indian capital city of New Delhi from September 3, a day after Tibetans celebrate their Democracy Day.
TYC in a release today said the purpose of the hunger strike campaign is to “stand in solidarity with Tibetan brethren in Tibet and to amplify the voices of the unprecedented number of self-immolations in Tibet.”
With three self-immolations in last week alone, the deepening crisis of self-immolations since 2009 has witnessed 48 Tibetans set themselves on fire demanding freedom in Tibet and the return of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama from exile.
The decision to undertake the campaign was arrived a few hours ago on the final day of TYC’s annual 43rd Working Committee Meeting held in the Tibetan settlement of Bir in north India.
115 grass root leaders representing 42 regional chapters of the largest Tibetan NGO in exile met from August 8-12 to chart out the organisation’s future course of action.
Although the ongoing critical situation inside Tibet dominated deliberations at the meeting, discussions were held on a wide range of topics, including the preservation of Tibetan culture and identity, developing new strategies and creative tactics in the struggle, security of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and building alliances with other freedom struggles.
Lhasang Tsering, former president of TYC and one of the strongest voices in the Rangzen movement, had presided over the meeting’s inauguration as the chief guest.
A passionate orator, Tsering called on Tibetans to have a single-minded dedication in reclaiming the lost independence of Tibet.
“Rangzen is not an option, but our destiny,” the former president said. “Policies may change in time, but destiny of a nation is but naturally - Independence.”
TYC president Tsewang Rigzin in his inaugural address noted that Tibet is currently undergoing one of the most difficult situations. He called on Tibetans to be even more geared up to sacrifice time, money and, if the need arises, their lives for the cause of Tibet’s independence.
He also stressed on the significance of preparing in advance for TYC’s 15th General Body Meeting, next year, during which the organisation is scheduled to elect new central executive members.
The meeting was preceded by a two-day workshop where members were trained on cyber security, strategic planning, media messaging, public speaking, teamwork, and grassroots activism.