by Kalsang Rinchen
New York, June 17, 2008 - As Beijing postponed its Tibet leg of the Olympic torch relay, the Tibetans went ahead with their protest against the Olympic torch here today. Organized by Regional Tibetan Youth Congress, Students for a Free Tibet, Regional Tibetan Women’s Association, New York and New Jersey Tibetan Community and US Tibet Committee, the event marked the 100th day of China’s crackdown in Tibet following March 14th protests in Lhasa and daily protest by Tibetans in New York.
Tibetans and supporters from New York, New Jersey, Boston, and Philadelphia gathered this morning at the Chinese Consulate with Tibetan national flags, banners, placards and leaflets to condemn the Chinese government’s decision to pass the Olympic torch through Tibet. The Tibetans say that the Chinese government is deliberately putting Tibet in the torch route to reaffirm its domination over Tibet by attributing its claim over Tibet to the passage of the torch through Lhasa. The Tibetans also fear that the China would not hesitate to resort to violent crackdown in the event of Tibetans in Tibet protesting the torch relay. Tsering Palden, the president of the RTYC, NY&NJ, told phayul that the 5 organization strongly condemn the Chinese government’s repressive policies in Tibet and that the organizations stand in complete solidarity with the Tibetan people inside Tibet which is locked down since the March crackdown. “We seek the International Olympic Committee’s intervention to remove Tibet from China’s route for the bloody torch relay, “said Palden.
Youngsters dramatizing Tibet leg of the Olympic torch relay as protesters watch, 06/17/08
The organizers said they are gravely concerned about the situation inside Tibet as reports of arrests and killings continue to reach the outside world particularly as China keeps the international media at bay. A banner that read ‘China! Allow Free Media into Tibet’, made rounds in the sky opposite the Chinese Consulate as the Tibetans shouted slogans below.
After an event that featured speeches by the organizers, a political skit by volunteers of Students for a Free Tibet, and slogan raising, the Tibetans walked from the Chinese Consulate to the UN Plaza where another gathering was held. The Tibetans raised slogans against China’s killing of Tibetan protesters in Tibet in the last three months and condemned the Tibet leg of the torch relay due this Saturday. A group of Tibetan youngsters performed a skit depicting Chinese repression in Tibet. The skit arranged by Regional Tibetan Youth Congress dramatized events related to the Olympic torch relay in Tibet and consequent clampdown by Chinese security forces. The event concluded with a march to the Chinese mission where the Tibetans continued to protest vehemently.