Relay hunger strike by Tibetans enters 23 day

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Dehra Dun, Apr 17 (UNI) As the relay hunger strike by Tibetans enters its 23th day, preparations are on to organise a peaceful rally here to coincide with the Olympic Torch's run in the national capital later in the day.

However, the motive of the strike is not to voice ppostion against the Beijing Olympics, but to convice the Chinese government that Tibetans also have a right to recognition.

'' We are not against the Beijing Olympics, but our recognition as people with rights,'' secretary of the Hunger Strike Tanzing said.

'' We have a six-point charter of demands stipulated by the Tibetan Solidarity Committee which we want the Chinese government to fulfil and our indefinite strike will continue until the demands are met''.

The six-point charter of demands calls for the intervention of the UN and the international community to ensure the immediate despatch of fact-finding delegations to Tibet, freedom of press to cover the whole of Tibet, end brutal killings, release of imprisoned Tibetans, provide the injured medical assistance and allow free movement of people and provide them access to daily needs.

'' Since March 10 this year, there have been peaceful protests by Tibetans, but the suppression by Chinese authorities resulted in the killings of 148 innocent Tibetans, besides leaving hundreds wounded and many more imprisoned,'' he said.

Being a relay hunger strike, everyday 50 Tibetans gather at the Gandhi Park and pray before the picture of the Dalai Lama, sometimes organising candle light vigils in the hope that their efforts do not go in vain.

As one striker said, '' We will not quit our determination to win the battle which will go on everyday until victory is ours''.

The rally, under the Tibetan Solidarity Committee, will start from Gandhi Park and end at Ghantaghar.

UNI PB AM AS1405

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