By Tenzin Sangmo
Hunger strikers (Photo by Tenzin Dasel)
New Delhi, July 28 - TYC is back with its second phase of Tibetan People's Mass Movement to protest against the Beijing Olympics and the unacceptable colonial occupation of Tibet. As part of its series of campaigns in the run up to the Games, TYC launched an 'Indefinte Fast for Tibet- without Food and Water' at Jantar Mantar today. The Mass Movement began last year which saw some 25,000 Tibetans from around the world gather in the Indian Capital on August 8 to demonstrate against China hosting the Summer Olympics and support the demands laid down by the 14 Tibetans who were on an 'Indefinite Hunger Strike Unto Death' for 33 days.
This time six Tibetans have volunteered to go on without food and water until China gives in to their demands. Shitser Nyima, 37 from Sera Je, Tehor Khangtsen, Sonam Dakpa (Sodak), 31 and Tenpa Darge, 25 are from Sera Je, Jhadrel Khangtsen in South India. Tsering, 23 hails from Drepung Loseling in Mungod, Jangchup Sangpo, 28 is from Mcloed Ganj, Dharamsala and Wangdue Phuntsok, 31 is from Norbulingka in Dharamsala.
TYC President Tsewang Rigzin speaking to media. (Photo by Tenzin Dasel/Phayul)
Sonam Dakpa who was also a core marcher with Tibetan People's Uprising Movement's 'March to Tibet' earlier this year said, "We are protesting against the Olympics in Beijing because China has failed to live up to its promise of improving human rights in the region. They accuse His Holiness of being a separatist and the Tibetan Youth Congress of being a terrorist organization. I sincerely ask them to back their accusations with material proof."
The gravity of the situation arises when unlike in the past where hunger strikers were allowed water, the six individuals among whom five are monks will not drink a drop apart from not eating. Many doctors agree that a healthy person can survive without food as long as he has water. But there is a major difference in living without water and living without food. Assuming that a person is in a reasonably healthy condition and not exposed to extreme heat or cold, he can go on for about 3 to 5 days without water. Healthier humans can live another day or perhaps longer. An absence of both food and water can prove to be fatal and it is medically recommended that one should never go without water for more than a day.
Chief Guest Shri Bashist Narain Singh, MP and Convenor of the All Party Parliamentary Forum for Tibet. (Photo by Tenzin Dasel/Phayul)
According to TYC these six individuals represent the plight of the six million Tibetans across the globe.
Chief Guest Shri Bashist Narain Singh, MP and Convenor of the All Party Parliamentary Forum for Tibet lit the inaugural ceremonial lamp which marked the official launch of the day's main event.
Special Guest Vijay Kranti, prominent Journalist and Editor of Tibbat Desh said, "It is our responsibility to stand up and at least communicate to the world that Olympics should not be misused for the colonial interest of a colonial country. We are here at the opening of an event which personally I must admit am not very happy about, although a very non violent way of expressing your opinion it is being very cruel to oneself.
Special Guest Vijay Kranti, prominent Journalist and Editor of Tibbat Desh. (Photo by Tenzin Dasel/Phayul)
But I also think this is far better than those people who to express the political opinion of one particular group plant bombs killing those who have nothing to do with any political issues."
TYC President Tsewang Rigzin said to the media, " The Tibetan Youth Congress launched this hunger strike today because of the serious situation inside Tibet where Tibetans are suffering tremendously under the brutal oppression of the illegal Chinese communist regime and since March 10, because of the historic uprising by Tibetans inside Tibet, Tibet is virtually under siege right now without any freedom whatsoever. We feel that it is the responsibility of the Tibetans in exile to further our sustained movement and keep the Tibetan issue on the international stage and also put as much pressure as we can on the Chinese government."
TYC also aims to launch People's Mass demonstration on August 7, 2008 which is based on the principles of Gandhi's non violence and 'Satyagraha' (insistence on truth).