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March to Tibet concludes as jailed marchers released

June 30, 2008

June 29, 2008

Tibetans prepare for actions during the Beijing Olympics in August

Dharamsala -- After 110 days, the March to Tibet was officially brought to an end on Friday morning with a closing ceremony held at the Tibetan refugee camp in Paonta Sahib. The presidents of the five participating NGOs told the marchers to return to their settlements to enlist and energize their friends and family members to prepare for larger initiatives in August, during the Beijing Olympic Games.

"Although the March to Tibet has come to an end, the Tibetan People's Uprising Movement is not over. We will reunite in even larger numbers to protest against China hosting the 2008 Summer Olympics," said Ngawang Woebar, President of GuChuSum, Ex-Political Prisoner's Movement of Tibet.

The 41 marchers who were arrested last week in separate incidents along the Indo-Tibet border district of Kinnaur, including Chime Youngdung, President of the National Democratic Party of Tibet, and Konchok Yangphel, Public Relations Officer of Tibetan Youth Congress, were released in the days before the closing ceremony. Twenty of them were released on personal bond on June 24 and 25, on the condition that they would not engage in any activities that endanger the Indian government. The final 21 were unconditionally released from Reckong Peo on Friday. They were reunited with all the other marchers at Paonta Sahib for the closing ceremonies.

"We have seen many successes on this March, including reaching within 10 kilometers of our homeland," said Chime Youngdung, who was arrested on June 19. "Now we have to mobilize Tibetans around the world to protest during the Olympics. We will never give up on our brothers and sisters inside Tibet."

The marchers started leaving Paonta Sahib on Friday afternoon. It was painful for many marchers to part ways at this juncture, having walked together for the past 4 months.

"We separate now only to plan, strategize and meet again more forcefully in August. When we meet at that time, we'll meet in thousands," said Dr. B Tsering, President of Tibetan Women's Association.

Tsewang Rigzin: +91 9805247259
Dr. B Tsering: +91 9418792810
Ngawang Woebar: +91 9418102483
Chime Youngdung: +91 9418069179
Tenzin Choeying: +91 9816368335
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