THIRD BATCH OF THE INDEFINITE FAST STARTS TODAY
On a crisp day, with the light rays of the sun filtering through the trees and a soft breeze making its presence felt, 6 brave warriors of peace rose, like the glorious sun taking up the mantle, the responsibility of Tibet from the former 12 individuals who constituted the first two batches and were forcibly removed from the site by the police, as their lives were at stake. Both the former batches stayed for a record of 9 days each, which is remarkable as they pushed their bodies beyond the limit and proved to everyone that the indomitable human spirit can rise above everything else. It is this human spirit that works wonders, creates magic, conjures miracles and wins freedom for nations and its people alike. We saw the manifestation of this “warrior spirit” for truth and justice in the great Gandhi, Mandela, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa and also in the late martyr Thupten Ngodup as well as the countless patriots inside Tibet who have laid their lives for Tibet. In this cruel, materialistic and selfish world, it is these people who keep the faith alive, the truth burning and show that there is still goodness present in this world. This goes the same for the present 6, (and the former 12) who are sacrificing their lives in the belief that it will make an impact, change the way people perceive things and enable justice to win. They are doing this for Tibet, which is not only a nation but an idea of freedom, of universal values like truth, justice and equality. The sacrifice they are on the verge of making is a clear reminder to everyone that these values are in danger. The atrocities which the Chinese have committed in Tibet are an omen that humanity is on the verge of a breakdown.
In the morning ceremony to introduce the participants of the third batch of the Indefinite Fast, Tsewang Rigzin, President of Tibetan Youth Congress stated that “while the rest of the world basks in the glory of the Olympics, there is perpetual darkness for Tibetans inside Tibet as well as in exile, the Tibetan nation is still under siege and facing brutalities from the illegal Communist Chinese regime, we in exile must stand up and continue to oppose the atrocities committed on our people inside Tibet”.
The six give a unanimous reason for them participating in the fast; it’s mostly for the piece of justice which is lacking in the world especially for Tibetans. Venerable Tashi Gyatso, 31 from Drepung Gomang monastery, Mundgod states that as a Tibetan, he is participating in the indefinite fast, as he can neither contribute materially nor educationally and as a Tibetan it is everyone’s duty to contribute in what ever possible way one can. Through the indefinite fast, he wants to let the world know that there is no freedom in Tibet and especially the rapid sinocisation of Tibet should stop, as well as there should be religious freedom in Tibet. Mr. Dhondup who is from Dickyi Larsoe, Bylakuppe and is at a ripe age of 63, the oldest member on hunger strike till now states that he is on the indefinite fast in solidarity to the brave patriots who laid their lives down especially from the 10th of March this year, he further stresses on the numerous arbitrary arrests and the mysterious disappearances of hundreds which took place from the 10th of March onwards. He further demands that there should be an inquiry of all the Tibetans missing in Tibet since this March. Venerable Ngawang Samten 26, from Drepung Gomang monastery says he is here to fulfill his responsibility of being a Tibetan. Tibetans inside Tibet are dying for our cause; to express solidarity to them he is on this indefinite fast. Venerable. Thupten Tsewang, from Sera Jey monastery is one who personifies the Tibetan Youth Congress; he is just in his teens, 19 to be precise and ever ready to give his life up for the cause of Tibet. He simply states that it was the ideals and the goals which the Tibetan Youth Congress stands for that motivated him to join the indefinite fast (no food, no water). At an age when the rollercoaster ride in one’s life has started, he wants to achieve martyrdom. Venerable Jampa Kesang, 33 from Sera Jey monastery is a batch-mate of Pawo Thupten Ngodup during the TYC led Hunger Strike in 1998. And Tsering Tashi, 21 is from Choklamsar Ladhak.
The reasons that they give for undergoing this indefinite fast are simple and heart wrenching, for 6 million Tibetans, these 6 are on the path of sacrifice. They want to relinquish their external self for the greater good which will immortalize their souls. The act they perform is not fake unlike the façade put up by Beijing during the Olympics, the faking of the minority nationality parade which was actually composed of an all exclusive Han Children group and the miming of a song by a pretty face reveals to what extent the Chinese will go to show its dominance and superiority, the Olympics are just a show of Han Chauvinism which is the storm ravaging Tibet, through their policy of mass immigration of Han Chinese the Communists are following the same policy which the Nazis followed in Germany and its occupied lands. For Communists China, Tibet is their lebensraum (living space) and just like the 1936 Berlin Olympics brought the Holocaust for the Jews as well as other minorities; there may be a similar fate in line for the Tibetans and other nationalities in China. This is the fear that looms in the heart of every Tibetan and it is this fear that the 6 brave participants in the fast (no food, no water) want to eradicate.