Tibetans observe day’s fast in West Bengal

April 17th, 2008 - 9:37 pm ICT by admin  

Kolkata, April 17 (IANS) Tibetans living in West Bengal and Sikkim marked the arrival of the Beijing Olympic torch in New Delhi with a 24-hour fast since Wednesday to highlight the human rights violations in Tibet. The Olympic torch arrived in the country Thursday morning amid protests by the Tibetans in New Delhi.

“The 24-hour long fast concluded Thursday afternoon. Sixty-odd people participated in the fast, showing solidarity with their community in Tibet,” West Bengal Tibetan Solidarity sub-committee spokesperson D. Dorjee told IANS.

The Tibetan Solidarity Committee is a forum of the Tibetans living in India, comprising mostly students and traders.

Dorjee said: “We have nothing against the Olympic torch relay. But, since the torch is travelling worldwide, a lot of media attention is on the event. We just wanted to stage a protest, holding this 24-hour long fast, condemning the repression by the Chinese army.”

He said people from different age groups, including a 90-year-old woman, took part in the fast.

The fast was held at a ground belonging to the Indian Railways. People from Darjeeling and Kalimpong sub-divisions of Darjeeling district, and the neighbouring Sikkim participated in the protest.

“We are also planning to sit with my colleagues in the forum and will chalk out our next move in West Bengal. We might stage some peaceful agitations here in Kolkata with due permission,” Dorjee said.

Earlier, the West Bengal government had refused permission for an anti-China public rally in Kolkata April 11.

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