17 March 2008 :

Marco Pannella decided to change his thirst strike, which lasted for eight days, to a hunger strike.
“One of the motives that prompted me to make this decision is the news that during his prayers, the Dalai Lama mentioned my hunger and thirst strike to gain respect for promises made and for the World Satyagraha for Peace launched in the last few days,” the Radical leader said at a press conference at the Chamber of Deputies.
Karma Chopel, the President of the Tibetan Parliament in exile, and vice president Dolma Gyari also expressed support. They believe it is a civil and moral obligation to help whoever pursues the affirmation of rights through non violent means. Meanwhile, support grew from the organisers of the March to Tibet and from European and Italian Parliamentarians, many of whom are members of the Radical Party as well as their own party, for Rebya Kadeer for the arrest and maltreatment of his two sons by the Chinese authorities in the East Turkestan region. Kadeer is the leader of the Uiguro people and a Non Violent Radical Party member.
The Tibetan monks and nuns, who represent the majority of the marchers, spontaneously prayed for both Rebya Kadeer and Marco Pannella.
Kok Ksor, Montagnard leader (a Christian community persecuted in Vietnam) and Non Violent Radical Party member, announced that more than 300 montagnards went on a hunger strike on the 8th and 9th of March in support of Marco Pannella’s fight for the recognition of promises made and of pacts, both international or personal. This objective concerns Italy, as it is part of a political struggle that has transnational and global dimensions.
Thanks to Marco Pannella’s thirst strike, a request to China was made, including one by the Dalai Lama, asking for freedom for all people in the Chinese state and for recognition of Turkmenistan and Tibet’s autonomy.
The Non Violent Radical Party delegation, comprising Sergio D'Elia, parliamentarian and Hands Off Cain Secretary, Matteo Mecacci and Marco Perduca, Non Violent Radical Party Vice Presidents, participated in the non violent march from Darmanshala to Tibet. They informed us that Indian authorities in the Kangra district in northern India arrested and detained more than 100 of the participants of the “March to Tibet” for 10 hours. The demonstrators were then sentenced to 14 days for refusing to sign a commitment to abandon the march.
They are being held in the Yateri Niwas detention centre.
If they haven’t signed such a commitment after 14 days, the Tibetan militants risk up to five years in jail under a law that regulates the presence of foreigners in India.
In his bloody battles in Lahsa, the Dalai Lama said that unity and stability under brute force are a temporary solution at best, and that it is unrealistic to expect unity and stability under this type of government. Therefore a peaceful and lasting solution cannot be found this way. The Dalai Lama is appealing to the Indian Government and the Chinese leadership to stop the use of force and to engage the Tibetan people in dialogue. He also asked his Tibetan people to never use violence.
The demonstration is in favour of freedom for Tibet. However, while some of the marchers want to go forward for 6 months, believing that Tibet should be independent, this is not the position of the Dalai Lama.
The Non Violent Radical Party is with the Dalai Lama in favour of autonomy, as the Chinese Constitution guarantees, at least on paper. We are therefore seeking, on the one hand, to respect the promise made by the Tibetan spiritual leader to the Indians. We also ask those who have other ideas to manifest them in peaceful and non violent means, like what has happened in the last 4 days.

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