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Tibetan exiles resume “Return march to Tibet” following China’s brutal crackdowns in Tibet

March 16, 2008

By Phurbu Thinley
Phayul, Saturday, March 15, 2008

Dharamsala, March 15: A second batch of Tibetan exiles resumed the
planned peaceful “Return March to Tibet” from Dehra, some 54 Kms from
Dharamsala, around 10:00am today.

The coordinating members said the march, defying Indian government’s
order banning peaceful protests against China, was re-launched in wake
of China’s brutal crackdown on Tibetan demonstrators going on inside Tibet.

“The brave protests by Tibetans inside Tibet have made us more
determined to see this March through to the end,” said Chime Youngdrung,
President of the National Democratic Party of Tibet and one of the core
marchers.

“As we witness a violent escalation on the part of the Chinese
government in Lhasa, we know that it is even more important now for us
to complete this march and return to our home to be reunited with our
brothers and sisters who are battling to survive under Chinese
occupation,” he said.

44 Tibetan core marchers are walking this time, after the first group of
100 core marchers had been forcibly stopped and arrested by Indian
Government early Thursday morning before reaching Dehra town.

These 100 core marchers and two coordinators, who undertook the march
from Dharamsala on Monday, March 10, 2008, are currently held in
judicial remand in a state-run Yatri Nivas near Dehra, some 53kms from
Dharamsala. They have been sentenced to 14 days in judicial custody by
the Senior Division Magistrate in Dehra after the protesters refused to
sign a bond that they would not participate in any further protest
activities for the next 6 months.

Meanwhile, Indian police in the northern Indian town of Dharamsala,
where Tibetan Government-in-Exile is based, have set up checkpoints on
the roads leaving town and are reportedly checking all buses keeping
close watch on any Tibetan protesters that may be trying to leave the
area. Tibetans have complained of some buses even being turned back.

In Tibet, violent protests have broke out in Lhasa and other parts of
Tibet on Friday after Chinese authorities use brutal force to crackdown
on peaceful protests by Tibetans across Tibet in the few days.

The angry demonstrators have called for Tibetan independence carrying
the banned Tibetan national flags and shouting slogans resulting in
clashes with Chinese police.

“The Chinese government has been trying to use the Olympics to promote
itself in a new light but its crackdown in Lhasa shows the true face of
China’s brutal rule in Tibet,” said B. Tsering, President of the Tibetan
Women’s Association. “United as never before, Tibetans and our
supporters around the world are standing together to demand freedom and
human rights in Tibet,” she added.

The organising committees said “Like the first 100 marchers, the second
group of marchers received training in non-violent resistance and
discipline. They attended three-day nonviolence training from March 6 to
8, 2008, at Dolmaling Nunnery, near Dharamshala.”

“The Tibetan People’s Uprising Movement is a global movement of Tibetans
inside and outside of Tibet taking control of our political destiny. The
current primary effort of the Tibetan People’s Uprising Movement, the
March to Tibet aims to revive the spirit of the historic national
uprising of 1959, and by engaging in direct action, bring about an end
to China’s 60 years of illegal and brutal occupation of Tibet,” the
organisers say.

The Tibet issue is again on the international spotlight as China
prepares to host the Olympics in less than 6 months.

Tibetan exiles, scattered around the world in small numbers, have been
organising series of worldwide campaigns against China’s illegal
occupation of Tibet this week. In many areas Tibetans have stormed
Chinese embassies and consulates.

World leaders and rights groups have urged China to show restraint in
dealing peaceful Tibetan demonstrators in Tibet. The Tibetan leader the
Dalai Lama and Tibetan Government-in-Exile have called on Chinese
leadership to refrain from taking repressive measures and asked
international community to persuade China to address Tibet issue through
dialogue with Tibetan people.

In Dharamsala, Tibetan Youth Congress members are set to launch a hunger
strike later today to protest against China’s brutal crackdown on
peaceful Tibetan demonstrators, reportedly killing 100s of them. Tibetan
business undertakings and shops have remained closed since morning in a
show of solidarity with fellow Tibetans inside Tibet.

For more information, visit: www.tibetanuprising.org
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
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