Senior UN official visits hunger strikers, Pledges to take matter up with Secretary General
Phayul[Tuesday, March 13, 2012 16:40]
DHARAMSHALA, March 13: A senior United Nations officer pledged to contact UN Secretary General and Human Rights Commissioner, after meeting the three Tibetan hunger strikers on their 20th day of indefinite fast outside the UN Headquarters.

Ivan Simonovic, UN Assistant Secretary General expressed his “deep concerns” at the health of the hunger strikers and said that he will “directly contact” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Human Rights Commissioner Navannethem Pillay regarding their demands.

The three hunger strikers – Shingza Rincpohe, 32, Dorjee Gyalpo, 59, and Yeshi Tenzing, 39, began their “Indefinite Fast for Tibet” on February 22 demanding UN intervention in the ongoing crisis inside Tibet.

Simonovic also invited Tsewang Rigzin, president of Tibetan Youth Congress, the largest pro-independence group in exile and organisers of the indefinite fast for a formal meeting in his office to discuss the situation inside Tibet and the ongoing hunger strike.

During the meeting, Rigzin “strongly reiterated” the worsening situation inside Tibet under the prevalent “undeclared martial law” and called for an immediate UN intervention to stop further loss of lives.

“The three hunger strikers are willing to wait until their last breath to hear from the UN Secretary General on their five appeals to the UN,” Rigzin told the Assistant Secretary General.

“When the Tibetans in Tibet make the ultimate sacrifice, their hope is the United Nations and the international community to be their voice,” he added.

TYC, in its 53rd Tibetan National Uprising Day Statement had called for a change in the Central Tibetan Administration’s official Middle-Way policy, which seeks autonomy for the Tibetan people.

“Time has come for the Tibetan Government-in-Exile and the exile Tibetans to bring about clear strategies to restore Tibet’s independence,” TYC said while asserting that such a change was in tune with the “ultimate demand of those who sacrificed their lives for Tibet.”

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