Join our Mailing List

"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."

March to Tibet: Presidents of Five Tibetan NGOs Transferred to Jail in Hardwar

June 1, 2008

Phayul/TPUM
May 30, 2008

Nainital, May 30 - At approximately 3:30 PM yesterday, the five
Presidents of the leading Tibetan non-governmental organizations in
India, Tsewang Rigzin, B Tsering, Ngawang Woebar, Chime Youngdrung,
and Tenzin Choeying, and one coordinator of the March to Tibet,
Lobsang Yeshi, were transferred from Haldwani Police Station to
Roshanabad Jail in Hardwar. They are being held under Indian Penal
Code Section 151 and CRPC sections 106 and 107, according to which
the Presidents, as organizers of the March to Tibet, are being
accused of jeopardizing the lives of the 300 marchers.

"We are outraged that the peaceful leaders of a nonviolent march
would be arrested and jailed," said Choekyi, a Tibetan resident of
Hardwar who broke into tears as she witnessed the six leaders being
escorted through the jail gates. "They are not criminals; they are
simply fighting China's occupation of Tibet by using nonviolent means."

The police have been meeting with the local village heads of
Banspatan, encouraging them to create a list of complaints against
the marchers. "They will use it as an excuse to remove us from here,"
said Karma Sichoe, a member of the Organizing Committee. "The local
Indians have been extremely welcoming and friendly, but the police
are forcing them to help build a case against the Tibetan marchers."

"Our fight is with the Chinese government, not the Indian
government," said Sherab Woeser, a main coordinator of the march. "We
neither want to turn back nor do we want to stay here. We just want
to walk peacefully to our ancestral homeland. Why would Tibetans need
permission to return to our own home?"

Tibetans around the world have been alarmed by reports of continued
repression in Tibet. Peaceful demonstrations for human rights and
freedom have been consistently suppressed and monks and nuns have
borne the brunt of the Chinese government's crackdown in recent days.

According to the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy, in
Kardze, Tibet (Ch: Sichuan Province), three nuns of Dragkar Nunnery
and a female student were arrested by Kardze County Public Security
Bureau (PSB) officials for staging a protest on May 28. After the
first demonstration of the three nuns was broken up and the nuns
taken away, 21-year-old female student Rigden Lhamo unfurled the
Tibetan national flag and shouted slogans calling for freedom for
Tibet, the release of political prisoners, and the return of the
Dalai Lama to Tibet.

According to an eyewitness, security forces fired gunshots during the
brief protest by the student Lhamo. It was unclear whether Rigden
Lhamo was shot or injured but another eyewitness reported bloodstains
on the body of Rigden Lhamo as she was taken away. Rigden Lhamo is
from Lhakey Village, Thingkha Township, in Kardze County. Her current
whereabouts are unknown.

The March to Tibet started on March 10th from Dharamshala, Himachal
Pradesh, and reached Banspatan after traversing through many states
over the course of 74 days. On the fourth day of the March, the first
group of 100 marchers were arrested and put under judicial custody
for 14 days. However, a second group of 48 Tibetan exiles resumed the
March two days after the arrest and were joined by the first group
soon after their release.

Tibetans living in exile in India launched the March to Tibet as part
of the Tibetan People's Uprising Movement. On the same day that the
march was launched, monks from monasteries in Lhasa, as well as in
eastern Tibet, led nonviolent demonstrations, shouting slogans
supporting the Dalai Lama and independence for Tibet. Chinese
authorities brutally suppressed peaceful protests that continued for
days, leading to rioting in the capital and a wave of large public
demonstrations that have rippled across the country.

The March to Tibet and the Tibetan People's Uprising Movement aim to
revive the spirit of the Tibetan National Uprising of 1959, and
engage in nonviolent direct action to bring about an end to China's
illegal occupation of Tibet.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
Developed by plank