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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

TYC Hunger Strike: Day 5 without food and water

August 3, 2008

By Tenzin Sangmo
August 1, 2008

New Delhi, August 1 - The six hunger strikers in the Indian Capital
are low on health but high on grit and determination. As they enter
Day 5 of the TYC organized fast without food and water, physical
limitations are a looming threat.

A weak Tenpa Darge, 25 from Sera Je Tehor told Phayul, "My pain and
sacrifices are microscopic in the face of those suffering inside
Tibet. The larger problem faced by Tibetans make an individual such
as myself unimportant. We stand for a greater cause and I consider my
effort minute."

Wangdue Phuntsok, 31 unlike his fellow compatriots has a wife and an
eight month old child waiting for him. His failing health poses a
challenge to him and a great cause of worry to his family.

The six Tibetans are now walking a thin line with severe weight loss,
drop in blood pressure (BP), diminishing pulse rate and higher risks
of heart ailments. They have on an average lost nine kilograms since
the beginning of the indefinite fast. Daily medical records are
maintained by the TYC with the help of visiting Tibetan nurses and a
doctor. A twenty four hour watch is also kept by executive members of
the organization with the President and Vice President spending
nights at Jantar Mantar.

There is a strong possibility of intervention from the Indian
authorities to put an end to the campaign, which though peaceful is
self destructive.

Vice President Dhondup Dorjee said the Indian Government had
yesterday deployed some hundred police officials from the Rapid Task
Force for strict vigilance. He fears that as the hunger strike enters
its critical stage, authorities will be quick to put an end to it.

Talking about their direct action campaign scheduled to begin from
August 7 against the Beijing Olympics he said, "Our regional
executives and members are going to stream in the next couple of days
and though not definite of an exact figure yet, we expect huge
participation from all over. The mass mobilization will be generated
and launched on the eve of the Beijing Games with powerful and
effective non-violent actions."

TYC has already led protests and submitted memorandums to major
Indian and international offices in the past few days. The 130
support hunger strikers from Bylakuppe and Mundgod in South India
have been distributing flyers and pasting posters around well known
areas of the City as well as protesting at the United Nations
Information Centre, participating in candle light vigils and chanting
sutras at the venue of the hunger strike.
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