Tibetan Youth Congress launches “Indefinite Fast for Tibet” in front of the United Nations
February 22nd 2012
Contact: Tsewang Rigzin 347-453-7515 or
We watch in grief as the selfless and courageous non-violent actions of Tibetans inside Tibet continue. Twenty three Tibetans have self-immolated since February 27, 2009. Fifteen of them have died; the whereabouts and the conditions of others remain unknown. Thousands of Tibetans peacefully rallying on the streets of Tibet were mercilessly shot with automatic weapons, ruthlessly beaten with spiked batons or were later arbitrarily sent to prison to be tortured.
These ultimate sacrifices by Tibetans inside Tibet are conscious decisions made with unwavering determinations solely dedicated towards a nation’s independence and for its people’s freedom. The Tibetan Youth Congress will out rightly reject any interpretation that reduces these heroic sacrifices as merely acts of desperations or helplessness. That message was openly exemplified by Sopa Rinpoche, a renowned religious figure who self-immolated on January 8, 2012, “I am not self-immolating for my personal interests or problems, but for the six million Tibetans who have no freedom and for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet.”
The Tibetan Youth Congress also condemns all rueful assumptions that callously interpret these brave sacrifices as being pointless and unrealistic to the Tibetan cause. These fearless acts are clearly aimed at alerting the world of the atrocities committed by the People’s Republic of China and to continually remind both the Chinese government and the world that Tibetans are demanding independence.
The Chinese government must understand the gravity of the situation in Tibet and fear the potential magnitude that it represents, rather than foolishly viewing it as enthusiastic trends that can easily be subdued by enforcing more violent and draconian policies. The world cannot continue the blunders of remaining blindly dependent on the Chinese government’s misrepresentation of the Tibetan independence movement shamelessly framed as ethnic conflict or simply reduced as a struggle for religious freedom. So long as China continues to illegally occupy Tibet, the indefinable oppression of the Tibetan people will only continue; and so will continue Tibetan’s demand for independence with the will and the resistance only growing stronger.
We hear the remarkable consistency in the self-immolators and the protestors calling for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and demanding freedom for Tibet. It is no coincidence that these slogans are used verbatim. The return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama can only mean that they are demanding the future goal of Tibet – the will and desire for freedom of Tibet. Even the Chinese government undoubtedly understands that the Dalai Lama is more than a religious leader or sacred figure to the world; he is the symbol of the Tibetan nation. Remember, years ago when people sang and demanded Free Nelson Mandela, they weren’t simply seeking freedom for an individual person but for a nation.
The sacrifices of these patriots inevitably prove that China is failing in its efforts to win the hearts and minds of the Tibetan people either through propaganda or by force. China must wake up to the reality that it can never dream of conquering the undying will of the Tibetan people who stand united and resolute to ultimately bring down the brutal communist Chinese regime.
The Tibetan Youth Congress strongly calls on governments of this world and the United Nations to heed to the demands of the Tibetans suffering in Tibet. If you do not take the responsibilities to sincerely uphold the universal fundamental rights of human beings, you become willing accomplices to China’s inhumane crimes towards Tibetans. If you do not take immediate actions to help douse the burning flames inside Tibet, you become accountable to every growing casualty within the Tibetan population.
Thus to show solidarity to our Tibetan brothers and sisters inside Tibet and to amplify their call for freedom, Tibetan Youth Congress is launching this “Indefinite Fast for Tibet” with the following appeals to the United Nations:
1: send a fact finding delegation to assess the critical situation in Tibet.
2: pressure China to stop the undeclared martial law in Tibet.
3: pressure China to allow international media to investigate and report on the ongoing atrocities in Tibet .
4: pressure China to release all political prisoners including Gedun Choekyi Nyima and Tulku Tenzin Delek.
5: pressure China to stop so called “patriotic re-education” campaign in Tibet.
We also appeal world leaders and governments to intervene and engage directly with the Chinese leadership to stop the ongoing genocide in Tibet.
Bio of participants of “Indefinite Fast for Tibet”
His Eminence 11th Shingza Rinpoche
H.E. 11th Shingza Rinpoche Tenzin Choekyi Gyaltsen was born on January 15th 1980 in Bongtag area of Tsongon region, Tibet. His Holiness the Dalai Lama recognized Him as reincarnation of 10th Shingza Rinpoche when he was 13 years old and joined Ragya monastery in Golok, Tibet.
Rinpoche fled into exile in 1997 and joined Sera monastery in South India. His Holiness the Dalai Lama granted him a special Geshe Degree (M.Phil) in 2011 after completing all his studies in Buddhist philosophy.
In 2008, He took part in “March to Tibet” organized by five Tibetan NGOs. Thereafter he voluntarily led “Return to Tibet “a secret mission to Tibet participated by 60 monk activists.
To preserve and promote the unique Tibetan language, He has started organizing annual Tibetan National Poetry Recitation contest to create interest and pride in Tibetan language among young Tibetans.
He is a staunch advocate of Tibet’s Independence and a freelance writer who has authored two books in Tibetan titled (Lewang Marpo and Gerchod).
Rinpoche is also the founder and editor of www.wokar.net that is widely popular inside Tibet among Tibetan writers and scholars.
He was born on March 5th 1953 in Kyidong Pang-Shing region of Tibet. He escaped to Nepal In 1960. In 1965 he moved to India and went to school in Lower Dharamsala (Sur Sod Lopta). After that he went to Central School for Tibetans in Kalimpong.
He served as an Executive member of RTYC Mainpat in 1978. He came to United States in 1992 to Massachusetts under the US Tibetan Resettlement Project and moved to Minnesota in 1993.
His inspiration to participate in this campaign comes from a speech by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to him and other members migrating to the United States in 1992 when He said they are the representatives of six million Tibetans.
He has always been an active member of Tibetan Youth Congress and participated in many events. He is a current member of RTYC Minnesota where he currently resides.
Mr. Yeshi Tenzing was born on March 15th 1973 in exile and studied in CST Dalhousie.
He served as President of Regional Tibetan Youth Congress Herbertpur for two consecutive terms from 2004-2007 and 2007-2010. He has been an active member of Tibetan Youth Congress and has participated in many of its campaigns in India.
New York police orders removal of hunger strike tent, Three Tibetans continue indefinite fast
DHARAMSHALA, February 25: The New York Police Department has ordered the removal of the tent hosting the three Tibetan hunger strikers in front of the United Nations headquarters.
Tsewang Rigzin, president of the Tibetan Youth Congress, the largest pro-independence group in exile and organisers of the ongoing indefinite hunger strike has reported the latest development.
“NYPD orders removal of tent hosting the three hunger strikers,” Rigzin announced on his social networking page. ‘Citing ‘Occupy Wall Street’, NYPD ordered the removal of the tent from the hunger strike site.”
The three Tibetans began their indefinite fast in front of the United Nations Headquarters in New York on February 22, coinciding with the first day of Losar – Tibetan New Year.
The three Tibetans, including an exiled reincarnate lama Shingza Rinpoche are sitting in the ‘Indefinite Fast for Tibet’ in solidarity with Tibetans inside Tibet and to “amplify their call for freedom.”
They are directly appealing the United Nations to immediately send a fact-finding delegation to Tibet, put pressure on China – to stop the undeclared martial law in Tibet, to allow international media inside Tibet, to release all political prisoners including Gedun Choekyi Nyima and Tulku Tenzin Delek, and to stop the “patriotic re-education” campaign in Tibet.
“We also appeal world leaders and governments to intervene and engage directly with the Chinese leadership to stop the ongoing genocide in Tibet,” the Tibetans had said in an earlier release.
The president of TYC said that the hunger strikes were moved to a temporary location near the initial site of protest and were determined to continue with their demands.
“Come rain, wind or NYPD, the hunger strikers are not deterred and ready to go on until UN hears them,” Rigzin said.
Despite of the police orders, the indefinite fast is being observed amidst the continuing wave of self-immolations in Tibet and the growing military clampdown in many parts of Tibet.
Since 2009, 23 Tibetans in Tibet have torched their bodies demanding the return of Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama and freedom in Tibet.
Tibet has been cut off from the outside world following a Chinese government decree. Internet and phone lines in the restive regions of eastern Tibet have remained shut for nearly a month.
The sudden move by the authorities has drawn criticism from Tibetans and rights activists.
A Tibetan asks on a social networking site: “Why Tibetans are being treated differently? Are we less human or is the path to free Tibet too non-violent?”