Saturday, April 14, 2007

Jailed Activists Released

Two jailed activists who were arrested for protesting China's continued holding of the Panchen Lama in incommunicado detention at the Chinese Embassy, Delhi, India were released on April 13th, 2007.

I want to thank them for their courageous actions. We are with you all the way and support you with all our heart.

Please read the Press Release below by FoT.

Friends of Tibet, India[Saturday, April 14, 2007 14:35]
April 13 - We just received a call from New Delhi from Tenzin Tsundue and Baldeo Pandey of Friends of Tibet. They informed us that the two jailed activists, Shibayan Raha and Migmar Tsering, who were on a fast at Tihar Central Jail near Delhi were released by the jail authorities at 9pm today when the court accepted one of their demands, namely, 'not to charge them as they are fighting for freedom'. The court's decision to not charge the two activists comes as a pleasant surprise. They are now on their way to Majnu-ka-Tila, Tibetan camp in Delhi, to attend a reception hosted by the Delhi Regional Tibetan Youth Congress.

Thanks to all those who supported us. Tibet will be Free and Independent - once again!

*Team Friends of Tibet*


"Shibayan Raha and Migmar Tsering's hunger strike, begun in Tihar Jail immediately after their arrest during a non-violent demonstration at the Chinese Embassy in Delhi, reminds us how the non-violent struggle for Tibet must be waged even as it brings to mind the words of Mahatma Gandhi." It is not enough to refrain from taking the life of a living being. He who has pledged himself to this vow may not kill, even those whom he believes to be unjust; he may not be angry with them, he must love them. He will not carry out the tyrant's will but he will suffer punishment even unto death for disobeying his will until the tyrant himself is won over." In China, the hunger strikers would not have the freedom to use the Gandhian methods they are now employing in India. There can be no doubt about the identity of the tyrant whom they are working to win over. From Tihar Jail they speak truth to China's rulers. The world is watching."

(Thomas Laird, Author of 'The Story of Tibet: Conversations with the Dalai

"My view is that from a moral-even a religious and spiritual point of view
- it would be wrong not to oppose the injustice and evil that china is carrying out in Tibet. In fact, not opposing injustice and evil would amount to committing moral violence - which, in my view, is a greater violence that mere physical violence also, not doing anything amounts to non - action and must not be, glorified as 'non-violence' - which is an active force. Where would the world be today if Churchill had not stood up against Hitler? Where would India be today if Gandhiji had not carried out hunger strikes to end Britain's unjust, colonial rule?"

(Lhasang Tsering, Former President of Tibetan Youth Congress

"It is atrocious and a mockery of the rule of law that two young men - Shibayan Raha and Migmar Tsering protesting the continuing incarceration of the Panchen Lama have been have been imprisoned in Tihar Jail and are now on a hunger strike for the last four days. The two young men protesting outside the Communist Chinese Embassy tried to force their entry into the Embassy because they were not allowed to meet Comrade Ambassador and hand over a letter appealing for the Panchen Lama's release. They were not masked terrorists carrying bombs, nor machine guns.
Admittedly when they were not prevented from meeting Comrade Ambassador, Shibayan Raha tried to climb the wall and he was promptly pulled down by security guards probably a Delhi policeman. The symbolic protest by these young men should have been followed by a symbolic adherence to the rules of trespass.

Shibayan Raha and Migmar Tsering should realise that the present government of India couldn't care a damn if the two die. Raha was absolutely right when he said at the time of arrest: "As an Indian I am ashamed of my government for constantly appeasing China in the name of Hindi-Chini-Bhai-Bhai and for failing to take any action for Tibet." He is absolutely right. We all are ashamed of the cowardice of successive governments of India with our sellout of Tibet.

Now that Raha and Migmar have made their point may I on behalf of the Indian Liberal Group and the Indian Committee for Cultural Freedom plead with the two young men to give up their fast. We say to them "You need to be alive to continue to struggle for the liberation of Tibetan from Communist China. Only our enemies will rejoice if you die." We are with you in this struggle."

(SV Raju, Honorary Secretary, Indian Committee for Cultural Freedom and National Coordinator, Indian Liberal Group)

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