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Tibetan Solidarity Movement Kicks Off Today

Jantar Mantar, New Delhi

Tibetan protest rally started in the Indian capital New Delhi Tuesday to draw international attention on the growing self immolation protests in Ngaba county in eastern Tibet (Chinese: Aba County, Aba Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province).

The 4-day protest kicked off Tuesday with a 24 hour hunger strike by 35 members of Tibetan Parliament-in-exileat the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi.

This is a part of the Tibetan Solidarity Movement organized by the Central Tibetan Administration to draw world attention to the deepening crisis in Tibet.

The movement comes one day after a Tibetan nun Tibetan woman set herself on fire – ninth one since March – in desperate protests in the face of hardening Chinese repression.

In a press statement last week, Lobsang Sangay, the Harvard scholar who was elected the new Kalon Tripa or head of the Central Tibetan administration called upon all Tibetans and Tibet supporters to join efforts and organize solidarity activities.

As part of the movement, about 3000 Tibetans from all over India and Nepal are expected to take part in a global one day fast at Rajghat Wednesday followed by a peace march.

Tensions have bristled in eastern Tibet since the March protest and the later disappearance of some 300 monks whom witnesses said were rounded up by authorities and taken to undisclosed locations. Beijing acknowledged the disappearances in June, saying the detained monks were undergoing "legal education."

The U.S. State Department said last week that Washington is concerned about recent self-immolation of Tibetan monks, and the clear anger and frustration this trend represents. Washington has repeatedly urged China to respect Tibet's unique religious, cultural and linguistic identity.

China routinely rejects such warnings, calling them interference in its internal affairs.