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Tibetan Youth Congress calls for mass participation in freedom movement

July 31, 2008

By Phurbu Thinley
July 29, 2008

Dharamsala, July 29 -- Tibetans in Dharamsala today held a candle
light vigil to call on Tibetan exiles to gear up for major protest
demonstrations against Beijing's hosting of the 2008 Olympic Games next month.

The candle light vigil, organized by the Regional Tibetan Youth
Congress (RTYC) of Dharamsala, the seat of the Tibetan
Government-in-exile, here this evening is aimed at urging Tibetans in
India, Nepal and elsewhere around the world to come together once
again in large numbers in the Indian capital of New Delhi to hold
massive mass demonstrations.

Mass demonstrations, beginning August 7, are planned to be carried
out all through the Games.

The youth body will begin registering names of people for its mass
demonstrations from tomorrow.

The Tibetan Youth Congress yesterday launched an 'Indefinite Fast for
Tibet- without Food and Water' at Jantar Mantar as part of what it
calls "second phase" of the "Tibetan People's Mass Movement" to
protest against the Beijing Olympics saying "No Olympics in China
until Tibet is Independent."

Six Tibetans, namely Shitser Nyima, 37, Sonam Dakpa (Sodak), 31 and
Tenpa Darge, 25 from Sera Je Tehor Monastery in South India, Tsering,
23, from Drepung Loseling in Mungod, and Jangchup Sangpo, 28, and
Wangdue Phuntsok, 31, from Dharamsala have volunteered to go on
without food and water until China gives in to their demands.

The indefinite fast for Tibet is part of a series of campaigns TYC
plans to carry out before and during the Games in China to bring
spotlight to Tibetan freedom struggle and expose Beijing's
wrongdoings in Tibet and China.

First such protests were held in August last year in New Delhi, where
some 25,000 or more converged in Delhi to highlight the issue of
Tibet and to protest against China's hosting of the Olympics.

Tibetans allege China is using the games to showcase its power on one
hand and suppress Tibetans and other dissidents on the other.

TYC Vice President Mr Topla, who was present at the candle light
rally to address the crowd, said "It is time for us to stand up for
our freedom struggle," adding "We have resolutely opposed and stood
against the Beijing Olympics since 2001 when China was granted the
right to host it."

"We expect as many Tibetans as possible to take part in the mass
demonstrations in New Delhi," Topla told Phayul. The demonstrations
will go on from August 7 till August 24, when the games would be
over," he said.

The Dharamsala RTYC president Mr Samten Lhundup said his chapter
would also carry out series of campaigns during and after the Games' period.

"I want to urge on behalf of Dharamsala Regional Tibetan Youth
Congress to Tibetan exiles to show their solidarity to Tibetan
People's Mass Movement by taking part in it," Samten told Phayul. "We
are clear that so long Chinese Communist regime is in power, there is
no way to prove that China deserves to hold the Games," he said.
"Recent anti-China demonstrations by Tibetans in Tibet are clear
indication of the ongoing repression there by Chinese Communist
Government," Samten points out.

Tibetan Youth Congress, which claims over 30,000 registered members
worldwide, is the largest Tibetan organisation in exile. It struggles
to restore Tibet's independence, a stand opposed to the "middle-way
approach" seeking "real and meaningful autonomy" for Tibet as
advocated by the exiled Tibetan Leader the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan
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