In TA, Tibetans and locals to protest Chinese crackdown

Tibetans and locals plan 2-day strike to "stop the killing."

tibet riot 63 (photo credit:)
tibet riot 63
(photo credit: )
"We've been quiet for a very long time, despite the oppression - but it's become too much," said 37-year-old Tenzin, a Tibetan man married to an Israeli, Inbal, whom he met in India. The couple now lives in Israel with their two daughters. Accusing the Chinese government of "trying to destroy our culture, our language," Tenzin, who would not give his last name, is part of a group of 15 Tibetans living in Israel who are planning, along with some 150 Israeli friends and supporters, to launch a hunger strike on Wednesday in front of the Chinese embassy in Tel Aviv. The group had planned a two-day strike, but were refused a demonstration permit by police beyond daylight hours, so they were forced to limit the hunger strike to Wednesday. "We'll be there from 6:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m.," he vowed, calling on Israelis who support the "Tibetan cause" to join them. According to Tenzin, a Tibetan population that has been largely nonviolent during decades of Chinese sovereignty over Tibet is growing restless. The Chinese government "is transferring a lot of Chinese into Tibet. We are outnumbered by two million now - six million Tibetans and more than eight million Chinese. Since the railway to Lhasa opened [in 2006], this has increased." While the railway is bringing marked economic development to the area, "it's like taking away our freedom and developing it. If you don't know Chinese today you can't get jobs. And you can't follow Buddhism. Because of restrictions, the monasteries are museums. People don't go to the monasteries to pray or worship or study." Now, Tenzin fears young Tibetans are beginning to respond violently. "The Dalai Lama is the Dalai Lama. He is enlightened. We are trying to follow him, but we are not necessarily strong enough to follow," he said. "We've been quiet, so nobody listened to us. "Today, because of the Olympics, the whole world is concerned. We hope China will become concerned about human rights to gain the world's respect ahead of the Olympics. "We just want our freedom. Stop the killing in Tibet. And we want to request from the Chinese government to release the people who were arrested."