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Kashag's Guideline Side-effects NYC Protest

May 21, 2008

Kalsang Rinchen
May 21, 2008

New York,  May 20 -- As the protests at the Chinese consulate here in
the city enters its 65th day, there seems to be an apparent division
among the Tibetan organizations over the continuation of the protests
in view of yesterday's guideline from the Kashag to withhold
agitation until the end of May.

The regional Tibetan Women's Association took leave from the protests
for three days to express solidarity with the quake victims in China
coinciding with China's declaration of three days' state mourning
yesterday, according to sources.
Sonam Wangdu, the Public Relations Officer of the New York and New
Jersey Tibetan Youth Congress, told phayul that though the RTYC
mourns the death of quake victims in China there is no question of
the protests coming to a halt due to Kashag's guidelines sent to the
Offices of Tibet.

Talking to phayul at the protest site, Sonam said that the guidelines
from Kashag caused some confusion among the various organizations
jointly involved in carrying out the daily protests at the Chinese
Consulate in the city. "The Tibetan organizations here have jointly
been carrying out the activities in the city irrespective of their
political standpoint. The organizations, whether they support
independence or genuine autonomy, were expressing their condemnation
of the Chinese crackdown in Tibet, and our support and sympathy for
the Tibetans in Tibet but now after the guidelines from the Kashag we
no longer have a common approach as far as the protest here at the
consulate is concerned."

Sonam said that China's call for the envoys of His Holiness was a
long anticipated move. "You don't have to be a political analyst or a
Tibet expert to know this. We should not be deceived by China."

Meanwhile, the Tibetan Women's Association of New York and New
Jersey, plans to hold a Sangsol (ceremonial offering to gods) in
upstate New York to pray for the Dalai Lama's long life and the
victims of the earthquake in China.

Every day around 50 people on average turn up for the protests
despite the downpour and cold weather on weekdays, and on weekends
the number ranges from 300 to 500, according to Sonam. Some people
cut short their work hours to be present at the protest; others just
quit, says Sonam.
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