Shimla/New Delhi, Aug 6: As the deadline for Olympics nears, tibetan agitation is getting a new bout of life...
After traversing through many countries, the Tibetan freedom torch reached Shimla on Tuesday, Aug 5 on the Indian leg of the relay. The so-called 'Tibetan Freedom Torch', that had a stopover in 50 cities of the world, will end at the border of Tibet on August 8, the day the Beijing Olympics start. The freedom torch had started its journey from Olympia in Greece on March 10, travelled across Europe, the US, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Taiwan and Uruguay before arriving in India last month.
After traversing through 25 Indian cities since July 10, the torch reached Shimla where the Tibetan exiles took out a procession, carrying the torch and chanting slogans.
The Tibetans said they believed their efforts would bear fruit and that the Chinese Government would be forced to take a stand on the Tibet issue.
"We certainly believe that whatever we do in exile will lead to policy changes inside Tibet and, with that support from the international community and media, we hope to utilize all this for our freedom struggle. We will pressurize the Chinese Government to do something on the Tibet issue and resolve the Tibet issue within the lifetime of His Holiness Dalai Lama and without any further delay,' said Dolma, Vice President of the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress in Shimla.
With two days to go for the Olympics, the Tibetans are trying to reinvigorate their freedom movement and protest against what they see as China's illegal occupation of their homeland.
China, however, claims that Tibetans enjoy full liberty in China and elsewhere in the world.
"All Tibetans, not only in India, and in the motherland of China, they just enjoy full freedom. All the talks between the Central Government and Tibetan people are open," said Peng Gang, Economic and Commercial Counselor at the Chinese Embassy.
Meanwhile in New Delhi, police stepped in on the ninth day and forcibly took away the fasting Tibetans to hospital even as other Tibetan exiles vainly tried to stop them.
Six Tibetan protesters were sitting on an 'Indefinite fast for Tibet-without Food and Water' for past nine days, to attract the attention of the international community towards the Tibetan cause.
Over 25,000 Tibetans plan to gather in New Delhi on August 8 to participate in a mass demonstration campaign and appeal the world community to boycott the Beijing Olympics.