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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

'Tibet One' rides into city with a message of freedom

October 25, 2010

Tanumoy Bose
The Hindustan Times
October 22, 2010

Mumbai, Oct. 22 -- Crossing 22 countries in seven
months, Lhakpa Tsering, a New York-based
Tibetan-in-exile, vroomed into Mumbai on his grey
BMW motorcycle on Wednesday.  Named ‘Tibet One’,
the pulsating 1200cc bike, is a symbolic chariot
for the 40-year-old Tibetan activist who began
his ‘Free Tibet World Tour’ from the United
Nations’ headquarters in New York on March 10,
which is observed as the Tibetan Uprising Day.

The tour will end on October 29 at seat of the
Tibetan Government in Exile in Dharamshala in
Himachal Pradesh, where Tsering grew up in a village for Tibetan orphans.

"The world needs to hear the voice of Tibetans. I
want to be the voice for our nation," said
Tsering, who used his savings to buy the $18,000 bike, and fund the world tour.

Tsering faced his first hurdle in Texas. "I was
stranded for two days due to a snowstorm,"
recalled the ponytail sporting six-foot rider.
Driving through Salt Lake City, a windstorm
knocked his bike off the road and he had wait
till a truck driver stopped and helped him put
the 203 kg bike back on the road.

In each city, Tsering would share the story of
Rangzen -- Tibet’s fight for freedom, with
students and people in cafés. "In Canada someone
asked me if Tibet was part of China. I explained
the ground situation and felt happy that at least
I was setting the record straight for some."

In Europe, the Tibetan flag on his bike attracted
a lot of attention. "But it was tough to convey
my message to people as I didn’t know the local
language." He flew into Japan, skipping Russia
and China. From there he headed to Australia and
then to Chennai, where his bike got caught in
bureaucratic red tape. The customs department
insisted on a document, which required a $18,000
deposit. Finally, a Tibetan family in Canada paid the deposit.

"The world bike tour is relevant when Tibetans
across the world are electing the next Tibetan
Government in Exile. The world needs to know that
every ‘chinki’ face is not always a Chinese.
There is a country called Tibet," said Tibetian writer-activist Tensing Tsundu.

Now, as Tsering nears his goal, he is looking
forward to reuniting with his wife and
four-year-old daughter. "I hope I can set an
example for the Tibetan youth to keep the cause of Free Tibet alive."
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