20,000 People March in New Delhi for Freedom in Tibet

By Guo Chuanshen, Central News Agency
August 12, 2007 Updated: August 12, 2007

New Delhi—About 20,000 people from all around the world including exiled Tibetans from India gathered at the ancient observatory in New Delhi city center to stage a large-scale demonstration on the morning of August 8. They called for the immediate release of the Panchen Lama, for a peaceful dialogue to commence between Chinese leader Hu Jintao and Tibet's exiled spiritual leader Dalai Lama, and Tibet's real autonomy. The demonstration was peaceful and non violent.

The Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) general secretary, Khenchen Gurawa Tsultrim Dorje, told CNA that under communist China's long-term ethnic cleansing, Tibetan traditional Buddhism and culture is disappearing. The name “Tibet” is nearly gone. Thus, the TYC and other Tibetans held the parade to save the Tibetan culture and future of Tibetans, he said.

Dorje said they held the parade to firstly call for the Chinese communist regime to immediately release the Panchen Lama and Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche, who were arrested by the CCP

The second call was for a peaceful dialogue to commence between Chinese leader Hu Jintao and Tibet's exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

The third call was for Tibet autonomy to be realized. Dorje said a resolution was passed unanimously at the Tibetan religious gathering held in May 2007 to expose the Tibetan problems to the world before the 2008 Olympics.

This parade was organised by TYC and commenced at the location of the 14 exiled Tibetans who are holding a hunger strike. As of August 8, they have been on this hunger strike for 32 days.

Dorje said the Dalai Lama has directed that life is important and the hunger strike should be stopped, but none of participants have been willing to stop. They have decided that only when the Chinese communist regime responds will they end the hunger strike, and not before, even if it costs their lives.

In an earlier statement the TYC said that since the Chinese communist regime has kept ignoring the requests of the Tibetans in the past, the TYC decided to continually hold activities for the change of Tibet. This demonstration on August 8 is the first in a series of planned activities.

The TYC was founded in 1970. It has about 30,000 members, who are mostly Tibetan youth. It has 78 branches located in 11 countries around the globe. It is the largest, the most active, and the most important political force among the Tibetan exiled organizations.

Participants in the parade also included 10,000 members from exiled organizations such as the Tibetan women's team, the Friends of Tibet, and more than 1,000 Tibetan lamas from Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala, north India. Many westerners also participated in the parade.