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DHARAMSHALA, May 31: As the human rights crisis in Tibet shows no sign of improvement, 160 Tibetan school students today began a 12-hour hunger strike in the Tibetan exile headquarters of Dharamshala.
The students also shaved their heads in protest against China’s repressive policies in Tibet.
The students from the Tibetan Children’s Village School, Suja, said they were organising this campaign on their own initiative, coinciding with the school summer break.
“With this campaign of shaving our heads and sitting on fast, we want to show our solidarity and support with the plight of people inside Tibet,” Kunchok Rinchen, one of the students at the fast said.
Following the day-long fast, the school students will also hold a painting exhibition at the same venue, near the Tsug-la Khang, the main temple.
“All the students who are participating in the painting exhibition are from Tibet and have the first hand experience of living under Chinese occupation and repression,” one of the main organisers said.
“Not all feelings can be expressed in words, sometimes, feelings are expressed best through paintings,” the student added.
On Sunday, the students will also hold a candle light vigil at the same venue, followed by a night-long prayer vigil at the main temple. Monday, June 3 is the 15th day of the Buddhist holy month of Saka Dawa, considered as the day of Buddha's birth, enlightenment and parinirvana.
The ongoing fiery wave of self-immolations in Tibet has witnessed 38 Tibetans set their bodies on fire demanding the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile and freedom in Tibet.
In the latest incidents of self-immolations, two young Tibetans had set themselves on fire in front of the Jokhang temple in the heart of the Lhasa, Tibet’s capital on Sunday. Three days later, a mother of three young children, passed away in her self-immolation protest in Zamthang eastern Tibet.