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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Tibetan Exiles in India Plan March Home

January 8, 2008

By Steve Herman
New Delhi
04 January 2008

VOA

Tibetan exile organizations have announced plans for a mass march 
back to their homeland from India. They are appealing for Tibetans 
worldwide to stage a "global uprising" before and during this year's 
Olympic games in the Chinese capital, Beijing. VOA correspondent 
Steve Herman reports from New Delhi.

Five leading organizations representing Tibetans in exile announced 
Friday a coordinated campaign to bring renewed international 
attention to their cause of resistance against Chinese rule.

At a joint news conference in the Indian capital, New Delhi, the 
groups announced plans to attempt a mass march from their home in 
exile, Dharamsala, through New Delhi and into Tibet.

Tibetan Youth Congress President Tsewang Rigzin says the walk will 
begin on March 10, the anniversary of the 1959 uprising in their 
homeland. He says their goal is to reach the Tibetan capital, Lhasa.

"This is a return march to Tibet. Our issue is with the Chinese 
government," he said. "We trust the Indian government will ensure 
safe passage for these Tibetans who will be returning to Tibet."

Organizers say they have not yet asked the Indian government for 
permission to march, and they will not seek approval for the event 
from the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

China considers Tibet an integral part of its territory and has 
accused the Dalai Lama of leading a separatist movement. He has been 
in exile in India for the past 49 years.

China is not expected to accept any demonstration of this sort, 
especially one that would try to enter Tibet and distract from 
Beijing's hosting of this year's summer Olympic Games.

The president of the Tibetan Women's Association, B. Tsering, 
expressed optimism, however, that Chinese guards will welcome those 
attempting to cross the border.

"China should allow the Tibetans to enter. In the past they have made 
several announcements that Tibetans, if they want to, they could 
return," she said. "So we want to see how committed they are to their 
word."

The Tibetan groups also are calling for a protest against the global 
Olympic torch relay, which begins in March.

Organizers of the march, however, would not say whether they are 
asking Tibetans or others to disrupt the torch procession. They say 
they hope Tibetans worldwide will begin engaging in "non-violent 
direct actions and mass protests" during the relay and the Olympic 
Games.
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