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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?"

Fire Turns Tibetan Market into Ashes

November 12, 2008

Phayul
November 11, 2008

Dharamshala Nov. 11 -- A massive fire that broke out in the wee hours
of Monday in Rajasthan's Banswara Tibetan sweater market left 16
shops completely destroyed. Penpa, the leader of the Tibetan market,
told phayul that damage to property is estimated between 48 lakh (4.8
million) rupees to 50 lakh (5 million) rupees.

"Our people who slept in the market on night duty came running to
inform us of the incident but by the time we arrived everything had
been destroyed by fire. We could not save even a single piece of
sweater," said Penpa whose family entirely depends on him.

The cause of the fire has not been ascertained yet. Electricity short
circuit might have been the cause, local authorities say.

The department of home of the Tibetan exile government will send a
representative from Delhi tonight to look into the matter.

The Tibetans approached the local Indian administration for help. The
district Collector of Banswara said that he will take up the matter
with higher authorities but did not promise anything.

Last year, a fire broke at a Tibetan market in Mathura causing
substantial damage to property.

The Tibetans in Banswara had started this year's business of winter
garments only ten days ago.

The seasonal business of winter garments has been a major source of
livelihood for Tibetan refugees for many years.

The closest city to Banswara is Udaipur.
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