Feb 22, 2006

Tibet: Tibetan Youth Council on Indefinite Hunger Strike Day 6 and 7

Although the International Olympic Committee has failed to commit itself to the demands of the hunger strikers, pro-active campaigns of support and solidarity with the indefinite hunger strike have been growing with each passing day
Physicians mumbled inaudible words into each other’s ears and exchanged reports as they warmly smiled to a relaxed Ven. Palden Gyatso who along with his compatriots were into their seventh day without food and nourishment. With each passing day, the Indefinite Hunger Strikers are losing weight; eyes pushed back into the sockets yet the grace of patriotism and lofty sacrifice glowing unto a halo like radiance conquering all the frailties of existence.

As the TYC led Indefinite Hunger Strike at San Pietro In Vincoli, Turin, Italy for ‘No Olympics in China Until Tibet is Free’ rallied through its seventh day, the inner strength and spirit of the mission continued to remain high with the determination and commitment shown by the three Hunger Strikers led by Ven. Palden Gyatso.

Although the International Olympic Committee has failed to commit itself to the demands of the Hunger Strikers in harmony with the charter of the IOC, pro-active campaigns of support and solidarity with the Indefinite Hunger Strike have been growing with each passing day. Various Tibet Support Groups, individuals and Organizations expressed their concern and wishes in person and through e-mails and phone calls to the three Hunger Strikers.

In a letter from the Tibetan Committee, Belgium, the scattered population of Tibetans while expressing sadness in their incapability of making the priced trip to the hunger strikers in Italy because of document restrictions stated, “we fully support the hunger strikers and the Tibetan Youth Congress which is the biggest and the most generally accepted Organization to express the demands of the Tibetan Diaspora. Each and every Tibetan in Belgium is deeply concerned by the courageous action of their compatriots in Italy.” Many more mails and calls of encouragement and appreciation have been flowing in from all over the world, demonstrating an integration and reinvigoration of the Tibetan freedom struggle.

The leading news papers in Italy copiously covered the TYC led Indefinite Hunger Strike with reports and write ups appearing in news papers such as La Stampa, Lavoro, la Repubblica, Torino Weekend Cronaca, Ansa it.

Supporters and sympathizers continued to inspire and at times surprise the Hunger Strikers with their own special ways of showing solidarity. Michela Dauru, a young girl who was visibly moved by the commitment of the three Hunger Strikers, joined them for a daylong token hunger strike. While two other supporters, Philifte Serpollet and Xavier Panget came all the way from France with Tibetan National flags and placards declaring in Italian “No Olympic in China until Tibet is Free”.

Being the victims of the same communist regime, the President of the Falung Dafa Practitioner in Italy paid a personal visit to the Hunger Strikers to express his tacit support and sympathy for the Tibetan freedom struggle. It has been a major endeavor of the TYC to maintain a cordial relation and working understanding with other minority groups such as the Falung Dafa and the Uighur movement who share the same goal of freedom and respect for human rights in China and Tibet.

For the past couple of days it has been snowing heavily in Turin with temperatures dipping below the freezing point and dark clouds swelling the winter sky. Huddled inside the TYC Indefinite Hunger Strike tent, these few lines from Ven. Palden Gyatso la’s biography, ‘Fire Under the Snow’, in true sense illustrates the ambience of the common space that these three patriots share:

“In my prison, we used to sing, ‘one day the sun will shine through the dark clouds’. The vision of the sun dispelling the dark clouds and our unbroken spirits kept us alive. It was not only prisoners who were resilient; so were ordinary men and women who lived their daily lives in the shadow of the Chinese Communist Party. Even today, young boys and girls who knew nothing of feudal Tibet and who are said to be the sons and daughters of the Party are crying out for freedom. Our collective will to resist what is unjust is like a fire that cannot be put out. Looking back, I can see that man's love of freedom is like a smouldering fire under snow.”

The fire continues to burn passionately under the fresh snowfall in Turin for the freedom of Tibet.


Extract from: Times of Tibet