Hundreds of Tibetans on Friday organised a blood signature campaign in West Bengal's hill district of Darjeeling to protest human rights violation by the Chinese army in Tibet and demanded the release of the 11th Panchen Lama from captivity.
"We have organised the blood signature campaign followed by a drawing competition, a street show and a candle-light vigil in the district to protest the human rights violations in Tibet. We also demanded release of the 11th Panchen Lama from Chinese captivity," a representative of the Tibetan Solidarity Committee in West Bengal Palden Bhondup told IANS over phone.
The 11th Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, is the second highest-ranking figure in Tibetan Buddhism and is said to be the world's youngest political prisoner. After the death of the 10th Panchen Lama in 1989, Nyima was named as the 11th Panchen Lama by Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama.
Bhondup said: "Around 300 people, including Tibetans, and foreign tourists from Canada and France, participated in the campaign. We also arranged a drawing competition which was divided into two groups. Over 60 school children took part in that."
He said both the groups in the drawing competition were given two separate themes. The junior group (till class VII) was asked to paint on the 11th Panchen Lama who is said to be imprisoned by the Chinese authority.
The senior group (class VIII-XII) was told to paint on the ongoing human rights violation issue in Tibet.
"We have tried to voice our protest against the Chinese repression in a different way," he added.
Another protestor, Panchen Dhupen said the entire agitation programme was targeted to support the "freedom call" by the people in Tibet.
Tibetans say the Panchen Lama was kidnapped by the Chinese authorities in 1995, when he was just six-year old. He has been under house arrest in China for the past 13 years.