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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."

TYC Independence March Closer Home

May 30, 2008

Phayul
May 28, 2008

New Delhi, May 28 - The 136 odd marchers led by the Tibetan Youth
Congress are now some 40 kilometers from their destination- Bodh
Gaya. Currently at Anarabag the peace walkers including support
marchers plan to hold a four day long prayer session for the departed
souls of the brave martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the greater
good of fellow Tibetans at the holy place.

The departure from Varanasi was followed by heavy rainfall on the
way. Braving harsh weather, the marchers surged ahead with strong
determination and dedication to a commitment that goes higher than
any physical boundary or human limitation. Drenched and cold, with
the rain water beating down on them, the marchers set an example of
pain in context with the suffering of those Tibetan brothers and
sisters wronged by the authoritarian regime. This only gave them an
impetus to march forward towards their goal in order to pay their
respects to the victims of Beijing's atrocity.

Covering an average of 25 kilometers every day, the Independence
March sees strong support from local Indians, fellow Tibetans as well
as members of the police. On May 23, TYC Joint Secretary Tenzing
Norsang addressed the group unveiling the truth behind the 17 Point
Agreement between China and Tibet and how the Tibetan delegates were
forced into signing the treaty. The Agreement signed at Beijing on
May 23, 1951 marking its 57th year is considered null and void under
International Law, where it was signed under coercion when Tibet was
already occupied in large parts by the PLA. Hence a treaty procured
through the forcible occupation of one party's territory by the
military forces of another is negated. This was followed by a healthy
debate between marchers.

Two senior marchers Kunsang, 80 from Puruwala and Tashi Dhondup, 70
from Shimla who had earlier participated in the un-do death hunger
strike organized by TYC in the year 1998 and 2007 shared their life
long experiences with earnest youngsters. The former was the same
event where late Thupten Ngodup self-immolated causing a rage
worldwide. Tashi Dhondup's words reflected passion and hope to
breathe the air in a free Tibet, " Let us forget the barriers within
our society and unite for the common cause of Rangzen," he said.

Even though the group gingerly entered the State of Bihar, their
fears were soon put to rest when local Indians showed overwhelming
support during their course of the journey offering water and
refreshments to the tired marchers. Co-operation from the Bihari
Police Force was in also strong order.

'India Save Tibet' reverberated through the area raising the spirits
of the marchers and local supporters. Tashi Wangdu, a marcher from
Drepung Monastery in South India stated that they wanted the Indian
Government to take a firmer stand and not give in to the whims of the
Chinese authorities or be pressurized by them.

After a long day's walk when the marchers stop for the night they are
served 'Thentuk' a traditional dish by the kitchen crew which they
relish and at times make them feel right at home even though they are
miles away from their comfortable lives; something they gave up for a
cause-the cause of freedom.

Report by TYC, filed and edited by Tenzin Sangmo/Phayul.com
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