Exile students fast in support of students' fast in Tibet

Dharamsala, April 4 - Students from various schools here sat on a ‘Fast for Freedom’ Sunday in solidarity with the Tibetan students of the Ngaba Prefecture Upper Middle School who have been reportedly sitting on fast since March 17 in protest against the Chinese government following a Tibetan monk’s self immolation and its handling by the Chinese police. 

 Organized by the Students for a Free Tibet, fasts by students were also organized in various other places in India, US, Canada and England. 

 In Dharamsala, students carrying placards and pictures of Phuntsok, the monk who died after immolating self on last month sat silently near the main entrance of the Tsuglakhang temple and some distributed leaflets and explained to visitors the objectives behind the fast. 

 “Today, I am fasting in solidarity with Tibetan students in Ngaba whose brave actions have inspired students and Tibetans worldwide, said Tsering Dorjee, a Tibetan student on fast. “I call on the international community and world governments to denounce the deteriorating human rights situation in Ngaba and to press Beijing to commit to a just and lasting solution for Tibet.”

 Tenzin Choedon, National Director of Students for a Free Tibet – India, said Tibetans in Ngaba are risking everything to defy Chinese rule and to alert the world to the true suffering of the Tibetan people. “For a Buddhist monk to take his own life for the cause of his country illustrates the gravity and immediacy of the situation in Chinese-occupied Tibet,” she added. 

 The ‘Fast for Freedom’ is participated by students at different places in Dharamsala, Pune, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Mangalore, Baroda in India on Monday and globally in London, New York & Toronto. 

 Students of Ngaba Prefecture Upper Middle School sat on hunger strike on March 17, 2011; a day after Phuntsok set himself ablaze to mark 3 years since bloody crackdown in Ngaba in 2008. Chinese government officials confiscated mobile phones of teachers and students, and imposed restrictions preventing all sorts of communications between the students and their families. It is not known if any arrests have taken place or the fast is still going on. 

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