SFT Toronto joins in the Global Day of Action for Tenzin Delek Rinpoche

It was a cold rainy morning,  but we wanted to make sure those in the Chinese consulate were able to start the day off right with a healthy balanced breakfast of SFT kick-ass!

Today, Tibetans and supporters gathered at the Chinese Consulate in Toronto to take part in the Global Day of Action for Tenzin Delek Rinpoche.

Tenzin Delek Rinpoche is a highly respected community leader and staunch advocate for the protection and preservation of Tibetan culture and the environment, was sentenced to death in December 2002 on false charges of exploding bombs and distributing separatist leaflets. His death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment in January 2005 when a distant relative, Lobsang Dhondup, was executed. Tenzin Delek Rinpoche has maintained his innocence throughout his detention and, during a visit with family members in 2009, Tenzin Delek stated “I am not responsible for these explosions or any other illegal actions, they have pinned this on me…. If it is possible to appeal, there is hope that I may be cleared of all charges.”

On 11 June Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported that two of Tenzin Delek’s sisters were permitted to visit him in April, apparently in response to promises made by the Chinese authorities after demonstrations in Nyakchukha in December 2009. According to a written statement received by RFA, the prison doctor confirmed that Tenzin Delek Rinpoche was suffering from “ailments related to bones, heart, and blood pressure”. One source said that Tenzin Delek requested his sisters continue their efforts to secure his release, and that he had sent letters to 26 government departments.

As a part of this global day of action, people all over the world took action to fax, hand-deliver, and mail signed petitions calling for the release of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche. World-wide, 40,000 petition signatures were collected, to mirror the 40,000 signatures collected in Tenzin Delek’s own community in Tibet this past December.

In Toronto, SFT bundled the petition signatures we’ve collected in Toronto over the last several months, to hand-deliver the petitions to the Chinese Consulate in Toronto.  Unfortunately, and unsurprisingly, the consulate refused to accept our petitions, and we were even told that if we did leave them at the gate, that they would just end up in the garbage.

So what did we do? We went back to SFT Canada headquarters and fax-jammed Beijing, specifically Zhou Yongkhang. We’ll also be sending our petitions via post.

Whether they discard our petitions when they receive them via fax or snail mail, they will never ever be able to ignore us. We’ll just send them more, and more, and even more and amplify the voices of Tibetans inside Tibet even louder. Until Tibet is free, we will not be silent.

Free Tenzin Delek! Bhoe Rangzen!

To see videos from today of actions around the world for Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, visit:  http://blog.studentsforafreetibet.org/2010/06/global-day-of-action-for-tenzin-delek-tibetans-supporters-deliver-40000-signature-petition/

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