Indefinite Hunger Strike Hits Day 17
On February 22, the Tibetans around the world celebrated the arrival of year 2139. But unlike in the past, the Tibetans both inside and outside Tibet have unanimously yet implicitly agreed not to celebrate the new year, in a grand fashion. Since many Tibetans in the recent years have lost their lives, fighting for the freedom of the Tibetan people, the rest have opted out of celebrating the new year. They have chosen instead to observe it as the “Day of National Mourning”, for the lives lost in the struggle. Thousands of Tibetans from various exiled communities around the world observed the day by taking to the street, their peaceful protests against the Chinese occupation of Tibet. They are seen wearing their national costumes and heard chanting prayers for World Peace, and particularly for the Tibetans who died in the recent chain of self-immolations.
A group of Tibetans carrying Tibetan National flags, protests against the Chinese occupation of Tibet
Amid the worldwide peaceful protests against the Chinese government’s inhuman treatment of the Tibetans inside Tibet, three Tibetan refugees in New York City, NY: one monk and two laymen made a self-sacrificial decision that would forever change their lives. Right in front of the world’s most powerful international organization, the United Nations, these three Tibetans announced their decisions to go on an Indefinite Hunger Strike.
They had written down the reasons behind their decisions in a letter addressed to the UN. The letter appeals to the UN and the world leaders to take concrete actions against the Chinese occupation of Tibet. They have decided not to eat until the UN passes a resolution to intervene in China’s illegal occupation of Tibet. They have pleaded that the UN sends its mission to uncover truth on the dire and deteriorating situation inside Tibet. They have expressed their disappointment in the lack of fair and comprehensive media coverages on the recent self-immolations, and other forms of protests occurring inside Tibet. They expressed their concerns over the Chinese government’s treatment of the protestors, who either have ended up in the Chinese prisons or disappeared… And today marks the 17th day since they started the hunger strike.
China has systematically cut off Tibet from the rest of the world. They fear that the world would witness their harsh crackdown on the Tibetan protestors – otherwise, why not allow journalists to Tibet? Both BBC and CNN have tried entering Tibet to report on the recent self-immolations, which numbers to more than 25 as of today. But the Chinese government stopped them from covering the stories and were forced to return even before getting near to the main sites of the protests.
Alas, who knows what the UN will do? Will they gather enough courage to take a concrete action against the Chinese government? Will they pay heed to the plight of the six million Tibetans on the Roof of the World? Will they stop the three Tibetans from dying of hunger? Yes, who knows? Maybe only China knows.
For the time being, lets pray and hope that the world will change for better.