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Indian supporters Express Concerns over Police Pressure on March to Tibet

June 4, 2008

TPUM (India)
June 2, 2008

Marchers remain resolute despite limited food supply and imprisoned leaders

Almora -- Today preeminent Gandhian, Rajiv Vora, and long time Tibet
supporter, Asha Reddy, held a press conference in Almora to lend
their support to the marchers and to explain the current situation on
the March to Tibet.

For the last 10 days, the Marchers have been under massive police
pressure to withdraw from their campsite at Banspatan, Uttarakhand
State. Police have confiscated all four of the March's trucks, and
have told marchers trying to leave the area that they would not be
allowed to re-enter the site. Upon hearing that the marchers' food
supply had been blocked, founding member of Swarajpeeth, Rajiv Vora,
his wife, and Asha Reddy, decided to travel to the March to see what
they could do to help.

"Blocking the food supply of Gandhiji-inspired marchers is simply
inhumane. We thank the local authorities for listening to our request
and for their gesture of letting a truck of food and supplies into
the campsite," said Mr. Vora. "The marchers are showing incredible
strength in light of such hardship. This shows how dedicated they are
to the movement and to the principles of non-violence."

"This movement will go on and the March will continue even if we get
food only once a day. The Marchers are firmly committed to seeing
this March through to the end," said Lhakpa Tsering, Central
Executive Member of Tibetan Youth Congress.

Police have also been trying to convince local village leaders to
file a case against the marchers who are camped on their land. To
counter the police's false accusations, organizers met with village
leaders to explain the goals of the March. They assured the panchayat
that the marchers have no intention to disturb their community and
offered their help with what ever is needed while the March is camped
at Banspatan. Yesterday, nine members of Mahila samaghan, the local
women's association, came to visit the marchers to show their support.

On the morning of May 27, the Presidents of five NGOs and one of the
March coordinators were arrested when they went to meet with the
District Magistrate of Pithoragarh. They are still being held in
Roshanpur jail in Hardwar.

"Police have been requesting that we withdraw from our current
campsite. However, without our leaders we cannot take any major
decisions regarding the March," said Tsering Yangzom, General
Secretary of Tibetan Women's Association. "We demand their immediate
and unconditional release."

The March to Tibet started on March 10th from Dharamshala, Himachal
Pradesh, and reached Banspatan after traversing many states over the
course of 74 days. On the same day the March was launched, monks in
Lhasa as well as in eastern Tibet led peaceful protests, shouting
slogans calling for Tibetan independence and the return of the Dalai
Lama to Tibet. These protests rippled across Tibet and the Chinese
authorities launched a brutal crackdown that has resulted in the
killing and detention of thousands of Tibetans by the Chinese Police.

The Tibetan People's Uprising Movement is a global movement of
Tibetans inside and outside of Tibet taking control of our political
destiny. The March to Tibet and the Tibetan People's Uprising
Movement aim to revive the spirit of the historic national uprising
of 1959, and by engaging in direct action, bring about an end to
China's illegal and brutal occupation of Tibet.
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