News and Views on Tibet

Tibetan women gather in Delhi for mass campaign

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By Phuntsok Yangchen

DHARAMSHALA, March 11: Tibetan Women’s Association, the largest women’s group in the exile Tibetan community, will carry out a three day-long mass campaign in the Indian capital beginning tomorrow.

The ‘Tibetans Stand together in Joy and Sorrow’ campaign coincides with the 54th Tibetan Women’s Uprising Day.

Member of the central and regional chapters of the Tibetan Women’s Association across India and Nepal will be taking part in the campaign in Delhi, which includes public meeting, women’s peace rally, prayer meeting, silent protest, and all-women lobby campaign.

On March 12, 1959, thousands of Tibetan women gathered in front of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, peacefully protesting China’s occupation of Tibet. Chinese authorities responded by restoring to brute force, resulting in the deaths, torture, and arrests of a large number of women.

In a press statement today, TWA called on China to recognise its more than 60 years of failed policies in Tibet.”

“The oppressive policies of the Chinese government in Tibet is continuously pushing Tibetans from all walks of life to self-immolate,” TWA said.

“We firmly deny China’s invalid accusations that His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration are encouraging self-immolation among the Tibetan people.”

The group blamed China’s “oppressive rule” for inciting “greater resistance” and acting as an “unwavering catalyst to the increasing number of self-immolation as well as peaceful demonstrations.”

Since 2009, as many as 107 Tibetans living under China’s rule have set themselves on fire protesting China’s occupation and demanding freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama from exile.

The group further urged the Chinese government to open its doors for dialogue with representatives of the exile Tibetan administration.

With this campaign, TWA is calling on the United Nations to send its “peacemaking operation” in Tibet and urging China to review its Tibet policies and open the region to international media.

The Tibetan Women’s Association was officially reinstated on September 10, 1984 in exile. Today, TWA has over 16,000 members in 52 branches spread all over the world.

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