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Tibetan hunger strikers enter second week of fast

September 21, 2015

By Tenzin Dharpo

Phayul, September 17, 2015
- As the indefinite hunger strike by three executive members of the largest pro-independence group of the Tibetan diaspora entered its eighth day today weakness and exhaustion have already gripped the three activists.

Speaking to Phayul at Jantar Mantar in Delhi, where there TYC activists are sitting without food since September 10, TYC Joint Secretary Ngawang Lobsang voiced concerns over the health of his colleagues as the campaign crossed its first week mark. “They (hunger strikers) have difficulty even in drinking water now. Although we have nurses coming to examine the vitals, the overall health of the three is slowly getting worse. They experience nausea and vomiting after water intake and are beginning to have pains in various part of the body”.

Joint Secretary Ngawang Lobsang said the American Consulate in Delhi invited the TYC President and other executive members last week. “We went there last Monday and had frank discussions about situation inside Tibet and other issues. We were warmly received and our grievances and demands were heard to the highest office there,” said Ngawang.

TYC has also begun an online petition at awaaz.org addressed to the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon urging for his immediate attention to their demands that include the UN intervention in the deteriorating plight of Tibetans inside Tibet, the spate of self immolators who have called for ‘Dalai Lama’s return’ and the whereabouts and well being of the Panchen Lama.

The petition reads, “United Nations cannot remain silent on the issue of Tibet anymore. Tibet continues to burn. We urge the United Nations for an Immediate Intervention in Tibet. We hope that you will do the right thing” has been signed by 453 petitioners till now.

The largest non-governmental organization has organized several indefinite hunger strikes in the past in various cities including New Delhi where the first ever self immolation by an exile Tibetan exile took place in 1998 during one such hunger strike campaign.

Thupten Ngodup, a retired member of the Special Frontier Force and a volunteer for the TYC’s indefinite hunger strike in New Delhi, set himself on fire on April 27, 1998, after the police forcibly took TYC hunger strikers away from Jantar Mantar as a top Chinese military personnel was on visit to the Indian Capital. He died two days later at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital on April 29, 1998.
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