Tibetans launch movement ahead of Beijing Olympics

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New Delhi, Jan 4 (UNI) Five leading Tibetan organisations today announced the launch of the ''Tibetan People's Uprising Movement'', a new coordinated resistance ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The organisations are Tibetan Youth Congress, Tibetan Women's Association, Gu Chu Sum Movement of Tibet, National Democratic Party of Tibet, and Students for a Free Tibet, India.

In a statement here, the Tibetan People's Uprising Movement said the Games will take place only months before the 50th anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan National Uprising against ''China's invasion of Tibet''.

The organisers called upon the Tibetans worldwide to join the protests during the Beijing Olympics and support the return of exiled Tibetans to their homeland.

''Today, in the spirit of the 1959 Uprising and in memory of the courageous Tibetans who sacrificed their lives for Tibet's independence and continue to resist China's brutal occupation, we are launching a unified movement to bring about an end to Chinese rule in Tibet,'' said Tsewang Rigzin, President of Tibetan Youth Congress.

The organising committee said the Chinese leadership was using the Beijing Olympics as a platform to gain international acceptance and legitimise its illegal rule over Tibet.

''After almost five decades of oppression and cultural assimilation, the situation inside Chinese occupied Tibet is dire.'' ''We are calling upon Tibetans worldwide to join us at this critical moment when China is trying to spread its Olympics propaganda,'' said B Tsering, President of the Tibetan Women's Association.

''Together, we will seize this unprecedented opportunity to voice Tibetan resistance and reinvigorate our freedom struggle,'' she added.

The statement further said the march to Tibet is an initiative by exiled Tibetans to strengthen resistance by taking the struggle home.

The march would commence on March 10, the 49th commemoration of the Tibetan National Uprising in Tibet.

The Tibetans worldwide would engage in non-violent direct actions and mass protests during China's Olympic torch relay and the Games themselves.

''Our message to Chinese leadership is loud and clear that after 50 years, Tibetans in exile are determined to return to our homeland and be reunited with our brothers and sisters,'' said Ngawang Woeber, President of the Gu Chu Sum, the ex-political prisoners' association.

UNI AG MSJ BD2027

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