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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Tenzin Tsundue to be handed over to Kangra police from Mandi Jail

August 13, 2008

By Phurbu Thinley
August 11, 2008

Dharamsala, Aug. 11 -- Tibetan independence activist, poet and writer
Tenzin Tsundue was released Monday from Mandi Jail, after spending
nine days in police custody for his alleged attempt to cross over
India border into Tibet to protest against Chinese rule.

Although he is now released without any formal charges for the time
being, he is now being taken to Dharamsala, the seat of the Tibetan
Government-in-exile, to be handed over to Kangra district police.

According to him, he would be presented to Kangra district's
Superintendent of Police office tomorrow morning after arriving in Dharamsala.

"As of now no formal charges have been filed against me," Tsundue
told Phayul over the phone. "But let's see what happens after being
handed over to Kangra police tomorrow," he added.

At the time of filing this report, he was on his way to Dharamsala,
accompanied by four policemen in a police vehicle.

Police first arrested Tsundue from Buntar Airport in Himachal state
on August 3, after suspecting his alleged attempt to cross over into
Tibet. He was taken to Kullu police station, but released the following day.

He was again picked up by police on August 4 from Mandi, and was
taken to Mandi Jail, where he refused to eat or drink in judicial
custody. According to him, he was then taken to Mandi Zonal Hospital
on the fourth evening and approved "forced feeding" on him. After
that he was again sent back to the jail.

He was formally released from Mandi Jail today around 5:00pm to be
taken to Dharamsala and handed over to Kangra SP office tomorrow.

Tsundue said he was thankful to local Tibetans from Mandi, Pandoh,
and Riwalsar, who helped him secure his release today and even met
him at Mandi Jail with fruits.

This was not the first time Tsundue was arrested for trying to cross
over into his homeland. He was among the many "core" Tibetan marchers
taking part in Tibetan People's Uprising Movement's "March to Tibet"
that began from Dharamsala on March this year. He, along with other
marchers, was, however, prevented by Indian authorities at Dharchula,
the last Indian township before the border, after walking more than 110 days.

"Forced-feeding and arbitrary detention treated on me reminded me
that we (Tibetans) don't have our country and freedom" Tsundue, who
is also the General Secretary of Friends of Tibet, India, told
Phayul. "But situation in Tibet is still worse" he adds.

He said he feared situation for Tibetans in Tibet would worsen once
the Beijing Olympics would be over. "That makes me feel to act more,
and I am determined to do that," he said.

Tenzin Tsundue gained notoriety in January 2002 after scaling the
14th floor of the Oberoi Towers Hotel to unfurl a Tibetan National
Flag and a banner reading 'Free Tibet' while the then Premier of
China Zhu Rongji was addressing a business conference inside.

In 1999 Tenzin published his first collection of poems, Crossing the
Border. His essay 'My Kind of Exile' won the Outlook/Picador Best
Non-fiction Award.
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