Tibet Sun Newsroom
MCLEOD GANJ, India, 12 October 2015
Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) has called off its indefinite hunger strike in Delhi on the 32nd day, after receiving assurance from the United Nations that their demands would be addressed.
In a letter to TYC Hunger Strikers, UN Assistant Secretary General of the Office of the Human Rights Commissioner Ivan Simonovic requested an end to the hunger strike, and assured TYC that the voices of the Tibetan people will be heard.
Simonovic also stated that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had expressed concern about the health of the hunger strikers. The letter was delivered to TYC by Yuri Afanasiev, the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) Resident Representative in India.
Concluding the hunger strike campaign, TYC President Tenzing Jigme said that the UN’s assurance is a “huge victory for the Tibetan people.”
“The power of non-violent methods of resistance, and the fact that when we come together and fight for our country as one, we win, are evident from this victory.”
The hunger strike was launched on 10 September as three TYC executive members — Vice President Tamdin Hrichoe; two Secretaries, Tenzin Wangchuk and Tsewang Dolma — began the fast.
On 30 September, police took Tsewang Dolma to hospital, citing her deteriorating health.
According to a TYC press release, the campaign has received worldwide support and solidarity. Various Indian political leaders, activists, and students visited the hunger strikers. Tibetan Political Leader Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, and his colleagues, Home Minister Gyari Dolma and Information Minister Dickyi Choyang, also visited the hunger strikers to show their support and solidarity. Many members of the Tibetan exile Parliament visited the hunger strikers as well.
The biggest Indian Rock Band — Parikrama — performed an unplugged solidarity concert at the site of the hunger strike to show their support. Various poets recited their verses in a “Poetry for Peace” event at the hunger strike site.
The hunger strike campaign was started with three aims: Raise awareness about the critical situation inside Tibet, pay respect to the self-immolations for Tibet, and show solidarity with Tibetans inside Tibet. There were five demands to the United Nations: 1) Urge the United Nations to raise the issue of Tibet at its General Assembly and Human Rights Council Session; 2) Urge China to address the demands of the Self Immolations in Tibet; 3) Urge China to give evidence that the 11th Panchen Lama Gendun Choekyi Nyima is alive; 4) Send a fact-finding UN delegation to assess the current critical situation in Tibet; 5) Urge China to release all political prisoners.
The remaining two hunger strikers have been hospitalised for evaluation and proper nutritional support for their recovery.