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Foreign nationals on March to Tibet ordered to Leave India

May 29, 2008

May 26, 2008

New Delhi, May 26 - The March to Tibet took an unfortunate turn today
with Indian authorities ordering five foreign supporters to leave the
country within a week. Maryla Cross from Poland, Jim Peterson from
the United States, Paul Christians Buntz from Norway, Edward Lex
Pelger and David Huang from the United States have been with the
marchers since March 10 from Dharamsala.

Even as March Co-ordinator Lobsang Yeshi and 18 others remain in
judicial custody in the Pithoragarh District of Uttarakhand, the
District authorities have served immediate notice to the foreigners.

"They are all Tibet supporters and supporters of this non-violent
movement. It's really disturbing for us and the marchers to see them
leave us after months of walking together," said Ngawang Woebar,
President of Gu-Chu-Sum, the Ex-Political Prisoners' Movement of Tibet.

Having traversed over 900 kilometers through North India in the
blazing summer sun, the marchers are now camped at Banspatan in
Uttarakhand adjoining the Tibet border. Citing concerns B. Tsering,
President of the Tibetan Woman's Association stated, "We appeal for
the immediate release of all those detained and expect that the
matter will be resolved quickly, and that the March will resume soon."

The restricted military zone that stretches to the Tibet border which
the marchers were trying to cross is off limits. Though the Indian
Government has allowed peaceful demonstrations and marches within the
Indian territory authorities claim that they will not allow Tibetan
refugees to cross the border without necessary documents.

Tenzin Tsundue, a key figure said, "I know returning to a homeland
that is still under foreign occupation is not easy. Chinese military
will, of course, guard the border with machine-guns. Even Indian
police will find an excuse to stop us. Confrontation is inevitable,
but we are not stopping. We may even have to camp at the border for a
long time, might have to call for international support and
participation. We march into uncertainty."
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