Join our Mailing List

"For a happier, more stable and civilized future, each of us must develop a sincere, warm-hearted feeling of brotherhood and sisterhood."

Exile Tibetans protest at Indo-Tibet border on eve of torch relay

June 22, 2008

Three detained at Shipkila border post after staging protest; 38
others detained in Pooh, Reckong Peo and Rampur
June 19, 2008

Shimla, June 19 -- Two exile Tibetans were detained by Indian border
forces at approximately 10:30am today as they attempted to cross the
Indian border into Tibet near Shipkila Pass in Himachal Pradesh. With
Tibet in view, the two Tibetans staged an iconic protest, raising a
Tibetan national flag, calling for an end to China's occupation, and
denouncing China's plans to take the Olympic torch into Tibet. Chime
Youngdung, President of the National Democratic Party of Tibet, aged
33, along with Konchok Yangphel, Public Relations Officer of Tibetan
Youth Congress, aged 29, held up Tibetan flags and a banner reading,
"Free Tibet Now," and started marching the last ten kilometers toward
Tibet when they were arrested by Indian border forces. Legdup
Tsering, 20, who helped document the incident, was also arrested a
few hours later.

"We came to demonstrate to China, and to the world, that Tibet
belongs to Tibetans and we will never give up in our fight for
freedom," said Chime Youngdung. "We have taken this action today to
show our solidarity with our six million Tibetan brothers and sisters
who are living under siege and being brutally oppressed by the
Chinese authorities."

The protest at the Indo-Tibet border comes just days before the
Chinese authorities plan to take the Olympic torch to Lhasa, the
Tibetan capital rocked by protests in March, as well as Gormo and
Kokonor, areas of Eastern Tibet's Amdo province (Chinese: Qinghai
province) where a majority of the recent protests occurred. After
postponing the Tibet leg and refusing to provide details of the new
dates and route, Chinese officials announced on Tuesday that the
torch will go to Lhasa on Saturday.

"The Chinese government is using the Olympic torch as a political
tool in an attempt to legitimize its rule in Tibet and the
International Olympic Committee has now endorsed this cynical
propaganda scheme," said Konchok Yangphel, who was born in Tibet but
fled to India to escape China's oppression. "Tibetans will keep up
our struggle long after the Beijing Olympics have ended, and we will
never give up until we stand as free people on Tibetan soil."

The two men detained for protesting at the Indo-Tibet border today
are part of the March to Tibet coordinated by five leading Tibetan
NGOs that set out from Dharamshala on March 10th – the same day when
the most recent uprising throughout Tibet began in the Tibetan
capital Lhasa. On June 4th, following a 13-day standoff with hundreds
of Indian police at their camp at Baanspatan, 265 Tibetans on the
march were arrested at Berinag, approximately 150 kilometers from the
Indo-Tibet border area in Uttarakhand state. On June 17th, the final
50 Tibetan marchers were arrested at Dharchula, the last Indian
township before the Tibetan border.

At 6:30 am today 21 Tibetans were arrested in Reckong Peo in Kinnaur
district of Himachal Pradesh, located approximately 100 km from the
Indo-Tibet border post. The detainees have started a hunger strike in
jail, refusing to eat and drink until they are released and allowed
to continue the march. Another 10 were arrested in Rampur later in
the morning. Yesterday seven others were arrested in Pooh (also spelt
Puh) which is the last Indian township before entering Tibet. Pooh is
located 35 km from the Indo-Tibet border post at Shipkila.

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.

Tsewang Rigzin: +91 9805247259
Dr. B Tsering: +91 9418792810
Tsering Choedup: +91 9816486253 / 9418221605
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
Developed by plank