(TibetanReview.net, Feb11, 2014) Ahead of the 55th Tibetan National Uprising Day, to be marked on Mar 10, 2014, a group of 55 activists, joined by an Indian supporter, kicked off from Dharamsala in northern India on Feb 9, a month-long ‘Tibetan Uprising March’ to New Delhi. The March is being carried out by the Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC), and has participants from its regional chapters across India as well as Nepal and other places.
Unlike the exile Tibetan administration, which seeks autonomy for Tibet under Chinese rule, this largest association of exile Tibetans campaigns for Tibet’s complete independence. The marchers have adopted a white-coloured, boat-shaped cap inscribed with the message ‘Free Tibet’. The cap is a familiar symbol of Indian freedom struggle and also represents commitment to Gandhian principles.
The TYC said the 600-km march will highlight the tragic situation in Tibet today while supporting the demands of the Tibetan self-immolators protesting against Chinese rule and showing solidarity with the Tibetans in Tibet. The marchers’ five demands include the release of all political prisoners in Tibet, access for international media to the territory and addressing the aspirations of Tibetan self-immolators.
Since Feb 2009, a total of 126 Tibetans are known to have immolated themselves in protest against Chinese rule, with most of them shouting slogans and leaving behind messages demanding the return from exile of Tibet’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and freedom for Tibetans.
Mr Sandesh Mishra, the lone Indian in the march, is the General Secretary of Indo-Tibetan Friendship, Nagpur. He was active in the Tibetan campaign movement since 1996 and has taken part in four marches for Tibet in the past.
In New Delhi, the marchers will try to present a memorandum outlining their five-point demands to the Chinese Embassy and will also submit appeals to the United Nations office as well as to foreign embassies in the city.