DHARAMSHALA, February 25: The New York Police Department has ordered the removal of the tent hosting the three Tibetan hunger strikers in front of the United Nations headquarters.
Tsewang Rigzin, president of the Tibetan Youth Congress, the largest pro-independence group in exile and organisers of the ongoing indefinite hunger strike has reported the latest development.
“NYPD orders removal of tent hosting the three hunger strikers,” Rigzin announced on his social networking page. ‘Citing ‘Occupy Wall Street’, NYPD ordered the removal of the tent from the hunger strike site.”
The three Tibetans began their indefinite fast in front of the United Nations Headquarters in New York on February 22, coinciding with the first day of Losar – Tibetan New Year.
The three Tibetans, including an exiled reincarnate lama Shingza Rinpoche are sitting in the ‘Indefinite Fast for Tibet’ in solidarity with Tibetans inside Tibet and to “amplify their call for freedom.”
They are directly appealing the United Nations to immediately send a fact-finding delegation to Tibet, put pressure on China – to stop the undeclared martial law in Tibet, to allow international media inside Tibet, to release all political prisoners including Gedun Choekyi Nyima and Tulku Tenzin Delek, and to stop the “patriotic re-education” campaign in Tibet.
“We also appeal world leaders and governments to intervene and engage directly with the Chinese leadership to stop the ongoing genocide in Tibet,” the Tibetans had said in an earlier release.
The president of TYC said that the hunger strikes were moved to a temporary location near the initial site of protest and were determined to continue with their demands.
“Come rain, wind or NYPD, the hunger strikers are not deterred and ready to go on until UN hears them,” Rigzin said.
Despite of the police orders, the indefinite fast is being observed amidst the continuing wave of self-immolations in Tibet and the growing military clampdown in many parts of Tibet.
Since 2009, 23 Tibetans in Tibet have torched their bodies demanding the return of Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama and freedom in Tibet.
Tibet has been cut off from the outside world following a Chinese government decree. Internet and phone lines in the restive regions of eastern Tibet have remained shut for nearly a month.
The sudden move by the authorities has drawn criticism from Tibetans and rights activists.
A Tibetan asks on a social networking site: “Why Tibetans are being treated differently? Are we less human or is the path to free Tibet too non-violent?”