New Delhi, March 27, 2012: Writer Tenzin Tsundue was arrested and taken away by Delhi police officials while leading a discussion panelorganised by the TWA, on President Hu Jintao’s visit to India.
A writer and winner of the 2001 of the Outlook-Picador Award for Non-Fiction, Tenzin is a renowned Tibetan activist and was joined by three other notable individuals in an academic discussion on the rapidly deteriorating crisis in Tibet. Joining Tenzin was Mr Tempa Tsering, a Special Representative for the Delhi Bureau Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama; Dr. Mohan Guruswamy, Chairman and Founder of the Centre for Policy Alternatives and author of ‘Chasing the Dragon: Will India Catch Up with China?’; and former Major General Vinod Saighai, an internationally acclaimed political author and Executive Director of Eco Monitors Society (EMS).
The event was interrupted when ten officers in plain-clothes, led by the Deputy of Police, ambushed Tenzin as he was speaking to guests and preventatively arrested’ him around 5:30pm. All calls from TWA officials and members of the crowd to the authorities for an explanation and his release were met with a violent response. Tenzin was dragged to his feet and forced out of the building; his whereabouts and status remain unknown.
Born to a Tibetan refugee family, Tenzin has become of the most vocal and well-known supporters for a free Tibet. His first published book of poems titled ‘Crossing the Border’ was released in 1999 while studying his Masters degree in Literature from Bombay University and he has since released several other pieces of work.
Tenzin is no stranger to the struggle for a free Tibet and has been involved in protests and subsequently arrested for his efforts on multiple occasions. He first rose to international prominence in January 2002, scaling scaffolding to the 14th floor of the hotel where PRC’s Zhu Rongji was staying; where he unveiled banners for a Free Tibet before being arrested by Indian police. In 2005 he was once again protested against the visit of PRC Wen Jiabo to Bangalore. Stood upon a balcony of a 200 foot tower at the Indian Institute of Science, he again displayed a banner calling for the freedom of Tibet.
Tenzin’s work and struggle for a free Tibet mirrors the feelings of not only the Tibetan people, but millions around the world who want an end to the Chinese government’s rule. Tenzin’s arrest is a harsh reminder of the influence of the Chinese government on other countries. However the voice for freedom cannot be silenced or intimidated.