February 21, 2006
Pawo Thupten Ngodup continues to live with us, to guide and inspire. The fire that augmented his body into a ‘choenmey’, a lamp eliminating ignorance and leading us to the path of freedom, still burns with us on this cold February day in Italy, giving the warmth of reassurance and joy of sacrifice to the three Hunger Strikers as they conclude their fifth day without food.
The rainy and windy atmosphere on the 4th and 5th day of the TYC led Indefinite Hunger Strike at San Pietro in Vincoli, Turin miserably failed to dampen the movement as support and encouragement continued to flow unabated. More than a few hundred supporters and well wishers thronged the Hunger Strike tent with flowers, candles, Tibetan National Flags, blankets and above all with their steadfast support, love and prayers for the success of the mission that the three hunger strikers have undertaken. The Tibetan community in Italy, although scattered in small pockets all over the country continued to come and show their gratitude for the sacrifices that the Hunger Strikers voluntarily chose to make for the freedom of Tibet. Members of Amnesty International Italy and head of the Maitri Buddha Study Center were among the distinguished supporters who visited the Hunger Strikers on the fourth and fifth day. Supporters of the Hunger Striker’s demand for ‘No Olympics in China Until Tibet is Free’ also turned up from the neighbouring countries of France, Sweden and Switzerland.
Mr. Gianni Verenetti, President, Italian Parliamentary Group for Tibet visited the Hunger Strikers to show his solidarity with their demands. Keeping his word of ‘strong support and future contact’ with TYC that he gave to the representatives of TYC at a meeting in Dharamshala during his visit in September 2004, Mr. Verenetti assured the three brave Tibetans of maximum support and assistance from the Italian Parliamentary Group for Tibet.
Mr. Gunter Cologna, President of Italia Tibet Association (ITA) and a long time supporter of Tibet, along with the members of ITA, Mr. Giampiero Leo, Mariacristina Spinosa, and Pietro Marcenaro visited the Hunger Strikers and expressed their appreciation and support for the movement.
A huge rally in support of the demands of the TYC led Indefinite Hunger Strike was carried out in Turin city. Members of Amnesty International, Italy and Tibetan Community coordinated the rally with the support and active participation of the local as well the international crowd. Making the introductory speech, Ms. Pema Yangchen, Organisational Secretary of TYC and Coordinator of the Hunger Strike, addressed the rationale behind the demand of ‘No Olympics in China Until Tibet is Free’, referring to the dismal human rights situation in Tibet and China. She submitted her deepest reverence to the three Hunger Strikers for offering their precious lives for the cause of Tibet and thanked all the supporters of the TYC led Indefinite Hunger Strike, urging them to intensify their support. The three Hunger Strikers also spoke at the rally, expressing their views and thanking the participants for their solidarity.
Other campaigns such as distribution of pamphlets and signature campaigns urging the IOC to meet the demands of the hunger strikers have been going on as well.
Ms. Pema Yangchen, Organisational Secretary, TYC and Coordinator+393332542727
Mr. Tamding Chomphel, Vice President, Tibetan Community, Italy +393332542727
Mr. Lobsang Yeshi, Acting President, Tibetan Youth Congress, Dharamshala, India +91-1892-221554/9816106224 Email: email@example.com
Established in 1970, Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) is the largest non-governmental organization within the Tibetan community fighting for the complete independence of Tibet, having over 30,000 active members in 80 Regional chapters across the globe.