Tibetan freedom torch back in Dharamsala ahead of the Beijing Olympics

August 3rd, 2008 - 8:36 pm ICT by ANI  

Dharamsala/ New Delhi , August 3 (ANI): The Tibetan freedom torch arrives in Dharamsala on Sunday, the seat of the Tibetan government in-exile in India , after traversing through many countries.

The so-called ”Tibetan freedom torch” that had a stop over at 50 cities of the world will end at the border of Tibet on the day of the start of the Beijing Olympics, on August 8.

Thousands of exiles gathered to welcome back the torch that started its journey from the northern hilly town on March 10, the day of Tibetan uprising.

Tibetans said that they are determined to fight against the alleged Chinese suppression and will continue to press for their claims for independence and protest against the Beijing Olympics.

Basically, the torch symbolizes hopes and aspirations of Tibetan people. This is being organized by all the Tibet support groups around the world and then this we want to shift the spotlight at the moment when the whole media attention is at China and we want to take this as a platform to highlight the issue of Tibet and to show the reality that is happening behind all these closed doors, said Tsering, one of the organizers.

Tibetans took the torch through the streets of the Himalayan town shouting slogans against the Chinese authorities.

As the Olympics approach, Tibetans are trying to reinvigorate their freedom movement and protest against what they see as China ‘’s illegal occupation of their homeland.

Meanwhile, Tibetan exiles in New Delhi launched an ”Indefinite fast for Tibet -without Food and Water” movement as a part of the Tibetan People’’s Mass Movement.

The movement is scheduled to include many other campaigns to attract the attention of the international community towards the Tibetan cause.

Tibetan exiles said that they will continue to protest till their demands are not met.

Today is the seventh day. Six hundred hunger strikers who are participating in this campaign to represent the six million Tibetan people and they are here with five demands and several appeals to the international community. We are demanding immediate end to the brutal suppression of Tibetans by the Chinese Government, we also demand immediate end of dumping of liquor and other toxic wastes in Tibet , said Tsewang Rigzin, President, Tibetan Youth Congress.

Over 25, 000 Tibetans are expected to gather in New Delhi on August 8 to participate in the mass demonstration campaign and appeal to the world community to boycott the Beijing Olympics.

China has controlled Tibet since People’’s Liberation Army troops marched in 1950 and considers it an integral part of its territory.

Critics accuse China of repressing Tibetans” religious aspirations, especially their veneration for the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.

China says it has spent billions of dollars developing the impoverished Himalayan region, and raised its living standards. (ANI)

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