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Tibetans In India Resume Peaceful March To Tibet

Tibetans Resume Peaceful March To Tibet

Dehra, India - A day after the Chinese government's violent siege in Lhasa, a second wave of Tibetan exiles defied Indian government orders by resuming their March to Tibet this morning. While 101 Tibetan marchers remain under judicial detention, a second group of 44 Tibetans set out just before 10:00am from Dehra, the same location where the first group was arrested on Thursday.

Sources from Tibet are reporting up to 100 and possibly more Tibetans killed in Lhasa yesterday, while in other parts of Tibet protest marches continued.

"The brave protests by Tibetans inside Tibet have made us more determined to see this March through to the end," said Chime Youngdrung, President of the National Democratic Party of Tibet, and one of the marchers. "As we witness a violent escalation on the part of the Chinese government in Lhasa, we know that it is even more important now for us to complete this march and return to our home to be reunited with our brothers and sisters who are battling to survive under Chinese occupation."

On the fourth day of the March to Tibet, on orders from the Central Government, Indian police detained 99 Core Marchers, plus two of the March organizers. For the past six days, the world has responded with an outpouring of support for the Marchers; Tibetans and supporters have sent numerous messages of solidarity and Human Rights Watch Asia yesterday called on the Indian authorities to release them and "lift the restraining order and the allow the march to continue peacefully."

Chinese authorities have responded with lethal force this week to ongoing protests in Lhasa and across Tibet. Supported by tanks, thousands of armed troops have sealed off the three major monasteries where nonviolent protests were initiated on Monday. Police have fired live ammunition into crowds of unarmed Tibetans.

"The Chinese government has been trying to use the Olympics to promote itself in a new light but its crackdown in Lhasa shows the true face of China's brutal rule in Tibet" said B. Tsering, President of the Tibetan Women's Association. "United as never before, Tibetans and our supporters around the world are standing together to demand freedom and human rights in Tibet."

Like the first 100 marchers, the second group of marchers received training in non-violent resistance and discipline. They attended a three-day nonviolence training from March 6 to 8, 2008, at Dolmaling Nunnery, near Dharamshala. The Tibetan People's Uprising Movement is a global movement of Tibetans inside and outside of Tibet taking control of our political destiny. The current primary effort of the Tibetan People's Uprising Movement, the March to Tibet aims to revive the spirit of the historic national uprising of 1959, and by engaging in direct action, bring about an end to China's 60 years of illegal and brutal occupation of Tibet.

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