Indian Supporters to March to Tibet

March to Tibet : Indian Supporters Hold Press Conference
Marchers remain resolute despite limited food supply and imprisoned leaders
Almora – Today preeminent Gandhian, Rajiv Vora, and long time Tibet supporter, Asha Reddy, held a press conference in Almora to lend their support to the marchers and to explain the current situation on the March to Tibet.
For the last 10 days, the Marchers have been under massive police pressure to withdraw from their campsite at Banspatan, Uttarakhand State. Police have confiscated all four of the March’s trucks, and have told marchers trying to leave the area that they would not be allowed to re-enter the site. Upon hearing that the marchers’ food supply had been blocked, founding member of Swarajpeeth, Rajiv Vora, his wife, and Asha Reddy, decided to travel to the March to see what they could do to help.
“Blocking the food supply of Gandhiji-inspired marchers is simply inhumane. We thank the local authorities for listening to our request and for their gesture of letting a truck of food and supplies into the campsite,” said Mr. Vora. “The marchers are showing incredible strength in light of such hardship. This shows how dedicated they are to the movement and to the principles of non-violence.”
“This movement will go on and the March will continue even if we get food only once a day. The Marchers are firmly committed to seeing this March through to the end,” said Lhakpa Tsering, Central Executive Member of Tibetan Youth Congress.
Police have also been trying to convince local village leaders to file a case against the marchers who are camped on their land. To counter the police’s false accusations, organizers met with village leaders to explain the goals of the March. They assured the panchayat that the marchers have no intention to disturb their community and offered their help with what ever is needed while the March is camped at Banspatan. Yesterday, nine members of Mahila samaghan, the local women’s association, came to visit the marchers to show their support.
On the morning of May 27, the Presidents of five NGOs and one of the March coordinators were arrested when they went to meet with the District Magistrate of Pithoragarh. They are still being held in Roshanpur jail in Hardwar.
“Police have been requesting that we withdraw from our current campsite. However, without our leaders we cannot take any major decisions regarding the March,” said Tsering Yangzom, General Secretary of Tibetan Women’s Association. “We demand their immediate and unconditional release.”
The March to Tibet started on March 10th from Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, and reached Banspatan after traversing many states over the course of 74 days. On the same day the March was launched, monks in Lhasa as well as in eastern Tibet led peaceful protests, shouting slogans calling for Tibetan independence and the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet. These protests rippled across Tibet and the Chinese authorities launched a brutal crackdown that has resulted in the killing and detention of thousands of Tibetans by the Chinese Police.
The Tibetan People’s Uprising Movement is a global movement of Tibetans inside and outside of Tibet taking control of our political destiny. The March to Tibet and the Tibetan People’s Uprising Movement aim to revive the spirit of the historic national uprising of 1959, and by engaging in direct action, bring about an end to China’s illegal and brutal occupation of Tibet.

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