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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?"

Lhamo Posts: Tibetan Women at the Forefront ... again

August 22, 2008

Tibet Space
www.artibet.com
August 20, 2008

Paldenlhamo Another posting arrived from Lhamo, our tireless
correspondent in Dharamsala.  Again, we are indebted to her for
taking time out of her busy day to keep us informed of what's
happening within the Tibetan community in India.  This piece is
particularly enlightening regarding the ways in which Tibetan women
have responded to the task of survival in their host country (see my
recent posting on this subject).  It also announces a world wide,
12-hour fast on August 30 in support of the Tibetans.  More here later.

With the Olympics in full swing, and with the rising status of China,
and with the odds overwhelmingly against them, Tibetan women in
Dharamsala seeking every opportunity to garner support for their
cause and for their imperiled culture today, August 16, celebrated
the Rakhi Purnima festival.

Raksha Bandhan (the bond of protection) is a Hindu festival, which
celebrates the relationship between brothers and sisters. The sister
ties a rakhi (a holy thread) on her brother's wrist expressing her
love and seeking his protection, while the brother accepts the
responsibility with a vow to protect his sister for the rest of her life.

In a somewhat unusual scene, Tibetan women, clad in green chupas
(Tibetan national dress) could be seen in the streets of Dharamsala
today, buying sweets and eyeing the Indian shops that displayed their
colorful rakhis.

"We are tying rakhis on the wrists of our Indian brothers today" said
Kelsang Youdon, the president of the regional Tibetan Women's
Association here. "India has been a big brother to us since the time
of the Buddha and the Mahatma. Today, the situation in Tibet is
grave, and we need our big brother's support."

In a modest symbolic ceremony held at the courtyard of Tsuklagkhang
(the main Tibetan temple) here, the members of RTWA tied the sacred
thread of rakhi around the wrist of Indian brothers and in turn
appealed them to help their sisters, who are living a life of utter
hopelessness under the Chinese rule.  Members of the local taxi and
auto unions also participated in the celebration.

Describing India as "peace-loving, non-violent and the biggest
democratic country in the world, Kelsang urged India to support the
Tibetan cause more openly. Rakhi

Meanwhile in Delhi, after the second batch of six men were forced to
the hospital on August 14, the Tibetan Youth Congress has today
launched the third batch of hunger strikers without food and
water.  The third group of fasting Tibetans include Dhondup Tsering,
63,  Tsering Tashi, 21,  Thupten Tsewang, 20, Jampa Kelsang,
33,  Nawang Samten, 26, and Tashi Gyamtso, 31.

The Tibetan Solidarity Committee -- comprised of the Kashag and the
Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile--on the other hand has decided to hold a
worldwide mass prayer and fast on 30th August.

Kalon Tripa, the chairman of the Tibetan Cabinet has also issued a
personal request to all Tibetans and Tibet supporters to observe this
12-hour symbolic fast and prayer on 30th August 2008 for world peace
and, particularly, for the departed souls of the Tibetan people in
recent months in Tibet.

"We consider this as an extremely important non-violent action taken
by Tibetans under the leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in a
very critical period for Tibet, particularly the post-Olympic
period," says Kalon Tripa.

"I personally request you and your organization to kindly participate
in this fast and prayer and encourage many other people to join us in
this effort to reduce our own defilements and to create wisdom and
compassion in the minds of the oppressor."

The Tibetan Cultural Institute of Arkansas will certainly support and
participate in this action.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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