Tibetan protestors pack off to their homes

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Gangtok, Mar 27 (UNI) The Tibetans camped at Rangpo border of West Bengal and Sikkim started moving to their respective destinations after calling off their protests late last evening on the appeal of the Dalai Lama.

''Today morning we sang the national anthems of Tibet and India and brought our march to an end,'' said Zimba Pencho, one of the leaders of the 400 odd Tibetan marchers grounded at Rangpo.

Led by North East Zonal Tibetan Youth Congress, the Tibetans had marched up to Rangpo border of Sikkim on March 24 demanding entry to Sikkim with an intention to cross the Nathu La border and into Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR).

However, they were denied entry by the Sikkim government as they did not have the required Inner Line Permits.

Non-Indians require Inner Line Permits to enter Sikkim, which is a sensitive border state surrounded by Nepal, Bhutan and TAR.

On being denied entry, the marchers had resorted to hunger strike on March 25 right at the border besides demonstrating against the Chinese authorities.

A special envoy of the Dalai Lama arrived yesterday carrying the message of the spiritual leader to withdraw the protests.

The protests were officially withdrawn late yesterday evening as earlier reported by UNI.

''Everyone is satisfied. Our objectives are fulfilled. We are successful in sending a clear message to our people in Tibet that we are with them,'' said Pencho who is also the president of Tibetan Youth Club of Sikkim.

The Tibetan protestors coming from the North East, Darjeeling and Sikkim have started packing and will be moving to their respective destination.

However, it is not the end of the Tibetan protests.

''We will be organizing more protest rallies as the date for Beijing Olympics comes closer,'' said Pencho.

UNI BG PL MSJ HT1357

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