Statement From Tibetan Youth Congress, Dharamshala, September 21.
The three activists of the Tibetan Youth Congress who are sitting for the hunger-strike protest against Beijing has completed 19 days and despite warning from Indian authorities and doctors examining their health to cut short the fast, the trio says they are firmly resolved to carry on until “their demands and appeals are acted upon.”
The hunger-strike, which the organizer says is indefinite, started September 3 in light of the current crisis in Tibet where 51 Tibetans have resorted to setting their bodies on fire since 2009 to protest against what exile groups say is Beijing’s repression and to demand the return of Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader.
The strike is seeking immediate international intervention into the Tibet crisis and independent access to understand the ground reality inside Tibet which is restricted to international media and fact-finding missions.
Tenzin Norsang, joint Secretary of the Tibetan Youth Congress, said the health of the three activists is fast deteriorating and pressure from Indian authorities are mounting to call off the strike.
“We have received a notice letter from the Indian police on Tuesday asking us to terminate the strike in view of medical reports stating deteriorating health condition of the three activists,” Norsang said.
The three strikers Dhondup Lhadar, Penpa Tsering and Jigme have reportedly lost 11.30Kgs, 10.30Kgs and 9.30Kgs respectively.
Apart from the strike, Norsang said online and signature campaigns are being carried out simultaneously at the protest site Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. He also said peaceful vigils are held every evening since the start of the strike.Meanwhile, the three strikers are being visited by Tibetans and non Tibetan supporters from various corners to express their solidarity many of whom gets emotional and break down, Norsang said.