‘To the Point: Tenzin Tsundue’
(The Afternoon | November 6, 2004)
Tenzin Tsundue speaks to Soubhik Mitra on the five-day relay hunger
strike by Tibetan Youth Congress, Friends of Tibet (India) and the
Tibetan Refugee Welfare Association.
Q: What is the protest about?
A: We are protesting China's continued detention of Tenzin Delek
Rinpoche, a highly respected reincarnate lama who is recognised by His
Holiness the Dalai Lama. Delek had returned to Tibet after six long
years of religious education in India to dedicate himself to the
sacred task of serving the poor local Tibetans who have no access to
education and medical facilities. However the Sichuab Public Security
Bureau (PSB) arrested him in 2001 in connection to serial bomb blast
in Chengdu and have been torturing him both mentally and physically.
The Chinese government did not reveal any information of his
whereabouts till seven months after his arrest.
Q: What are your demands?
A: We urge the Chinese government to guarantee fair trail and proper
legal access to Trulku Tenzin Delek, and refrain from to torture and
maltreatment during his imprisonment. We appeal to our friends in
India and across the globe to pressure Chinese government to release
Q: How many people are supposed to participate in the hunger strike?
A: We will begin the hunger strike with 50-odd people, however, it is
expected to double by evening. Besides we are expecting more people to
come in the course of next two-three days. Further, the other
activities in the course of the strike are candle light vigil,
screening of films featuring the plight of Tibetans due to Chinese
tyranny and the strike will end with a mammoth signature campaign.
Q: Considering the nature of the Chinese governance do you think such
protest actually make any difference?
A: At the moment our aim is to create awareness. We want to expose the
Chinese government in front of the international community. Our apathy
is that not so many look at us as a different nation. People feel that
we are also Chinese which is not true. We are a different sovereign
state and the Chinese government is suppressing our voice.
Q: What will be your next move in the protest?
A: We plan to repeat the same in Kolkata, Bangalore and Delhi.
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The Case of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche