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An Open Letter to Kofi Annan from Three Tibetans on Hunger Strike
International Herald Tribune[Thursday, April 29, 2004 19:23]
Dear Mr. Secretary-General,

Good morning and Tashi Delek. Today marks the 27th day of our indefinite hunger strike at the front doorstep of the United Nations headquarters in New York. We are three young Tibetans, born in exile, who have never seen our homeland. Invaded by China in 1949, Tibet remains under occupation, and the Chinese government continues to deny Tibetans our fundamental rights as enshrined in the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights.

We represent the young generation of Tibetans, born as stateless refugees, yearning to live in freedom in our own country. The U.N. General Assembly passed three resolutions— in 1959, 1961, and 1965— calling for human rights and freedom in Tibet, but has since then failed to take any meaningful action. We have demonstrated at the United Nations more times than we can remember. We have lobbied U.N. representatives at the Commission on Human Rights in Geneva. We have sent countless letters to the U.N. pleading for support. Diplomats and United Nations officials have quietly assured us of their personal sympathies, but the situation in Tibet remains dire. There are no words to describe our frustration.

We have undertaken this hunger strike as the most serious nonviolent means we have to display the depth of both our frustration and our resolve. We look at the world around us caught in an endless cycle of violence, fear and anger. Those who resort to violent means, taking innocent lives and sowing chaos, receive the attention of the media and the world community. The U.N. calls for world peace, and yet it ignores and silences a people who have steadfastly waged their struggle through nonviolent means.

We worry about the signal the United Nations is sending to the younger generations of our people. They grow increasingly frustrated and ask themselves whether a nonviolent movement will bring them the justice they hunger for. Your Excellency, please show them that violence and terror are not the sole means of compelling the United Nations to act. Please show them that you value peaceful perseverance and nonviolent methods.

After 27 days, we are no longer hungry for food, only for freedom and justice. We trust that you understand the urgency of this matter and ask that you come see us, just outside your office. We look forward to meeting you and hearing what action you will take to further the peaceful struggle for human rights and freedom in Tibet.

For freedom and peace,
Rangzen,

Ms. Dolma Choephel
Mr. Sonam Wangdu
Mr. Gyatso
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  Readers' Comments »
In solidarity I will stand (Sonam Topgyal)
Hail to you 3 bravos"Bod Gyal lo" (wangchuk)
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