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Tibetan PM Visits Kirti Hunger Strikers, Urges to End Fast


Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government-in-exile visits the three hunger strikes in New Delhi.

The incumbent prime minister of the Tibetan Government-in-exile Samdhong Rinpoche, met Thursday with three Tibetan political activists who are on an indefinite hunger strike in New Delhi to protest China’s ongoing lockdown of Kirti Monastery and clampdown in Ngaba county.

Dhondup Lhadar, Konchok Yangphel and Tenzin Norsang, who are executive members of the Tibetan Youth Congress, sat on the indefinite hunger strike on April 25, 2011. The hunger strikers are demanding immediate withdrawal of the Chinese troops from the monastery and release of political prisoners.

Rinpoche expressed his concerns about the health of the activists and urged the hunger strikers who are now on their 22nd day, to put an end to the indefinte strike. He handed over an appeal letter on behalf of his cabinet to Tsewang Rinzin, president of the Tibetan Youth Congress.

"The letter fromn the cabinet urged us to stop the hunger strike. The letter mentioned that the Dalai Lama is concerned about health of the hunger strikers," said Mr.Rinzin.

The patron of Kirti Monastery Kirti Rinpoche, recently elected Tibetan prime minister-in-exile Lobsang Sangay and many Indian leaders recently visited the hunger strikers.

"Their health has deteriorated over the past 3 weeks with Dhondup Lhadar shedding off 15 kilos, Tenzin Norsang putting off 9 kilos and Konchok Yangphel losing 12 kilos," said Rinzin.

The current crackdown at the Kirti monastery has left over 2,500 monks facing food shortages, while some 44 arbitrary arrests of Tibetans have been reported and 300 monks have been taken from the monastery to an unknown location, according to Kirti monks in India.

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