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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

March to Tibet restarts as six leaders released from jail

June 12, 2008

Leaders declare March will continue despite temporary setback
June 9, 2008

Nainital, June 9 -- At approximately 2:30 PM today, the March to
Tibet restarted from Berinag after overcoming a temporary setback
suffered last week when 265 of the marchers were arrested. The
marchers broke into song and joy as they saw the snow-capped
Himalayan ranges in the horizon. The leaders of the March, who had
been jailed for 11 days in Hardwar jail and released on Sunday June
8th, led a group of 50 Tibetans on what is expected to be the most
difficult leg of the march. The five presidents and the March
Coordinator had been jailed by Indian police since May 27th, charged
under Indian Penal Code Section 151 and CRPC sections 116 and 107.

"China's long arm is oppressing us even in a free country like
India," said Chime Youngdung, President of the National Democratic
Party of Tibet, soon after his release from jail. "The Olympics was
supposed to bring more freedom to China and Tibet, but instead China
is exporting its oppression to the free world in this Olympic year."

"India has shown us the highest degree of hospitality for the past 50
years and we are grateful for it," said Tsewang Rigzin, President of
the Tibetan Youth Congress. "But now we want to return to Tibet and
work in solidarity with our brothers and sisters back home to end
China's illegal occupation of Tibet."

The march from Berinag to Tibet is expected to take more than a week
during which the 50 marchers will traverse approximately 180
kilometers along the historical Himalayan trade route. They will
reach Tibet around the time when China's controversial Olympic torch
is expected to pass through Lhasa. In April, a chain of global
protests in London, Paris, San Francisco and New Delhi turned China's
Olympic torch relay into a colossal failure.

"It will be a long and arduous journey to Tibet," said Shingza
Rinpoche, looking at the Panch Chuli mountains in the distance. "But
we will get there eventually. Even the Himalayas can't stand between
us and our brothers and sisters inside Tibet."

The 265 marchers detained at Berinag were dropped off at Paonta
Sahib, at the border of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, where they
received a warm welcome from the local Tibetan communities.

The March to Tibet started on March 10th from Dharamshala, Himachal
Pradesh, and reached Banspatan after traversing through many states.
Tibetans living in exile in India launched the March to Tibet as part
of the Tibetan People's Uprising Movement. On the same day that the
march was launched, monks from monasteries in Lhasa, as well as in
eastern Tibet, led nonviolent demonstrations, shouting slogans
supporting the Dalai Lama and independence for Tibet. Chinese
authorities brutally suppressed peaceful protests that continued for
days, leading to rioting in the capital and a wave of large public
demonstrations that have rippled across the country.

The March to Tibet and the Tibetan People's Uprising Movement aim to
revive the spirit of the Tibetan National Uprising of 1959, and
engage in nonviolent direct action to bring about an end to China's
illegal occupation of Tibet.

Contact: Mr. Tsewang Rigzin (Tibetan, English, Hindi): +91 9805247259
Dr. B. Tsering (Tibetan, English, Hindi): +91 9418792810
Tenzin Choedon (English, Tibetan): +91 975 696 9133
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