Sat, Mar 14, 2009 - Page 2 News List

TYC groups are not terrorists: Tibetans

NO OPPRESSIONThe TYC released a booklet to rebut reports from Beijing that called it a terrorist group and that the Dalai Lama was behind violent uprisings

By Loa Iok-sin  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Regional Tibetan Youth Congress’ (RTYC) Taiwan chapter yesterday rebutted Chinese government allegations that it was a terrorist organization and that the Dalai Lama was behind uprisings in Tibet last year.

“China has oppressed Tibetan religion and culture since the very beginning [of its occupation of Tibet] and I cannot count how many lies they have told about the situation in Tibet,” RTYC Taiwan chairman Tashi Tsering told a news conference in Taipei, during which a booklet was released to counter China’s allegations on the Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC), its regional branches and the Tibetan movement in general.

Before the news conference began, Tashi sealed his mouth with tape, a gesture to symbolize Chinese oppression and efforts to stop Tibetans from telling the truth. Tashi removed the tape to show that Tibetans will no longer remain silent.

“We’ve tolerated it for much too long, we want to break the silence now,” Tashi said. “We Tibetans can proudly say that China may oppress us with weapons, but they cannot oppress our thoughts and our pursuit of independence.”

The booklet, titled Response: The Response to Communist Party of China’s Allegations, was published by the TYC headquarters in Dharamsala, India, and was translated by RTYC Taiwan earlier this month.

The pamphlet addresses allegations from China that Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama was behind violent uprisings in Lhasa last year, and that the TYC was a terrorist organization.

Last year, China’s state-run Xinhua news agency accused the TYC of trying to smuggle a guerrilla fighter into China-controlled Tibet.

“Before you [China] call us a terrorist group, you’re more than welcome to come visit us and see it for yourself,” Tashi said. “We never tried to hide from anybody — our headquarters is located in Dharamsala, India, it’s open and transparent, we make our decisions through an open and transparent democratic process.”

Tashi said that the Indian government would have cracked down on the TYC a long time ago if it were a terrorist group.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tien Chiu-chin (田秋堇) showed the conference investigation reports released by UN’s Special Rapporteur on torture, which said that many female political prisoners in China suffered sexual abuse with stun guns or forced abortions in prison.

Tien said that while Tibetans in Tibet under Chinese rule may appear to be free, “freedom at others’ mercy is not true freedom.”

Tibetans and Tibet activists in Taiwan will stage a parade in support of the Tibetan cause today. The parade will depart from Exit 2 of Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT station at 2pm.

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