Three activists of the Tibetan Youth Congress observe an indefinite hunger strike in New Delhi. It was the 21st day of their hunger strike and many other organisations and individuals joined them in support. India, 15th May 2011.
Three Tibetan activists from the Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) started an indefinite hunger strike in April 2011 in New Delhi to protest against the death of a young monk who committed self-immolation at the Kirti Monastery in Ngaba in Tibet. According to the activists gathered near the Parliament Street in the heart of Delhi, the monk Phuntsok Jarutsang, was protesting against Chinese repression in Tibet.
The activists allege that immediately after Phuntsok's death, the Chinese authorities in the Sichuan Province launched a crackdown against the Tibetans, which included beating up the monks at the Kirti Monastery.
The three hunger strikers in New Delhi include, TYC vice president Dhondup Lhadar, joint secretary Tenzin Norsang and Finance Secretary Konchok Yangphel. Today, on the the 21st day of their hunger strike, they were visited by a number of individuals and organisations which support the Tibetan struggle for freedom.
According to TYC general secretary Tenzin Chokey, there are currently over 135,000 Tibetans living in exile across the world, with most of them settled in India. "Despite not having seen our homeland, most of us still have a distinct identity with Tibet."
Addressing the crowd of supporters which included Tibetans as well as Indians, pesident of the TYC Tsewang Rigzin said: "We want the patriotic re-education campaign by the China to be taken back as it violates our basic right to religious freedom. We also want all the detained Tibetans to be released." He added that the Tibetan activists have been in touch with the various ambassadors in Delhi.
The activists were also visited by a special representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama as well as the recently elected Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government in Exile Lobsang Sangay.