On 50th uprising anniversary, Tibetans fast for 50 hours

March 10th, 2009 - 4:12 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 10 (IANS) Hundreds of Tibetans marched in the capital Tuesday shouting “Free Tibet” slogans and a majority among them began a fast for 50 hours, 50 minutes and 50 seconds to mark the completion of five decades of the Tibetan uprising against China.
With slogans such as “Human Rights don’t exist in Tibet” and “Indian government, support us” ringing loud in the air, the Tibetans marched from Rajghat to Parliament Street about six kilometres away.

“On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising, we want to stress again that there should be immediate dismantling of the colonial occupation of Tibet. The Chinese Communist regime’s occupation since 1959 has led to the death of over a million Tibetans and the torture continues,” Lepchang of the Tibetan Youth Congress told IANS.

The marchers demanded the immediate release of Tibetan political prisoners arrested after the March 2008 uprising against the Chinese regime.

“Brutal force can never overpower truth. As the world comes to know about the Tibetan cause, our resilience has become stronger. Whether it is someone who was born in Tibet and later escaped, or somebody else like me who has been born and brought up here in exile, the passion for a free Tibet is equally strong,” said Shelly Norbu, a school student taking part in the march.

Wearing T-shirts, caps and bandanas with “Free Tibet” and “See you in Tibet” written on them and holding their red-yellow-blue flags high, a number of marchers also held banners saying “Middle way approach will ensure peaceful coexistence between Tibet and China”.

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has been championing the “middle way approach”, which seeks autonomy for Tibet within China.

The marchers had a message for the Indian community - Thank You.

“We want to thank India for its hospitality. There are many Indians who support our cause and have walked with us during our protests,” Norbu said.

India is home to the Dalai Lama and his government-in-exile, which is based in the northern town of Dharamsala. About 100,000 Tibetans also live in India.

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