By Tendar Tsering
Exiled Tibetans protesting during the 53rd Tibetan National Uprising Day commemorations in Dharamshala on March 10, 2012. (Phayul file photo)
DHARAMSHALA, June 19: Around three-hundred Tibetans and supporters based in Switzerland and Liechtenstein on Monday carried a march from the UN Human Rights Council Office to the UN Office in Geneva, calling for intervention in the prevalent critical situation inside Tibet.
“We are protesting in front of the UN offices appealing the global organisation to intervene into the critical human rights situation inside Tibet and to send a fact finding delegation to report on the ground realities in Tibet,” Gobi Yonten, one of the protest organisers said.
Besides shouting free Tibet slogans, the marchers distributed pamphlets urging people to stand up for Tibet to help end the ongoing crisis.
Since last year, the group has been protesting in front of the UN offices once every month. The organisers expressed hope that the global body will response to their appeals sooner rather than later.
“We have been told by the UN officials themselves that we must continue our struggle and vigils as our determination will definitely pay off one day,” a regular participant at the demonstration said.
The organisers added they realise their unique opportunity to carry the voice of the Tibetan people right to the doorsteps of the UN offices, a privilege not enjoyed by those in Nepal and India.
39 Tibetans in Tibet have set themselves on fire since 2009 calling for freedom in Tibet and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile.
Amidst the wave of self-immolations, Tibetan Youth Congress, the largest pro-independence group in exile had organised an indefinite hunger strike in front of the UN headquarters in the US earlier this year.
The three hunger strikers indefinitely suspended their fast a month later after the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay promised to take up their demands about assigning special rapporteurs to look into the ongoing crisis inside Tibet.
The UN rights chief had also added that she would be visiting China after finalising the dates.
However, four months later, the UN is yet to deliver on any of the assurances given to the Tibetan activists.