The three Tibetan school students, with a mission to pedal through India demanding an international monitoring team to be allowed inside Tibet, are expected to reach Bangalore city, the capital of Karnataka state in south India later today.
Coinciding with their winter vacations, Tselo Gyal, Lugoen Thar and Gyaltsen, all students of the Tibetan Children’s village (TCV) School, Gopalpur, north India, voluntarily organised the rally.
The ‘Cycling for Tibet’ campaign, which will culminate in the Indian capital New Delhi, was flagged off from the largest Tibetan settlement of Bylakuppe in Karnataka Friday.
Covering over 90 kms, the students arrived for their first major stop in Mysore and with the help of the regional chapter of the Tibetan Youth Congress, met with the press and distributed pamphlets around the city.
Speaking to Phayul over phone, the students said they would be reaching Bangalore later in the evening and arrange a meeting with the press tomorrow.
“With the help of the Tibetans in the city, we will be having a press conference at the Indian press club in the city tomorrow,” said Tselo Gyal, one of the three students on the cycle rally.
“The press conference will be followed by a mass gathering of Tibetans at the Tibetan Youth Hostel in the city, and then, in the afternoon, we will be heading off to Chennai,” Tselo added.
In a statement at the beginning of the rally, the three students said they were undertaking the ‘Cycling for Tibet’ campaign to highlight the “plight of Tibetans suffering under China’s repressive rule” and to appeal for support in the resolution of the ongoing crisis in Tibet.
“The suffering and the injustice meted out to Tibetans in Tibet must end soon if truth, freedom, and peace are to sustain this world,” the release said.
In the past 11 months, 16 Tibetans have set their bodies on fire in Tibet demanding the return of the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama from exile and protesting China’s continued occupation of Tibet.
The past couple of days have witnessed mass protests in many parts of Tibet, resulting in the deaths of at least two Tibetans as a result of police firing over unarmed demonstrators. The numbers are expected to rise as many more have been reported critically injured.