No one in the town called Mcleodganj in Himachal Pradesh is surprised at the protest by the monks of the Drepung monastery on March 10 in Lhasa, Tibet.
Tibetans in Mcleodganj and all over the world, particularly the new generation, want the Olympics 2008 to be held in Beijing in August to be a turning point in their half-century-old political struggle against the Chinese government's political, military and cultural policy of dealing with their motherland.
The protestors in Lhasa, India and elsewhere were preparing for it since the last many months as a resurgent and powerful China displayed its resolve to make the coming Olympics a mega success with President George Bush accepting the invitation of President Hu Jintao to attend the inauguration.
According to Tenzin Choedon, programme coordinator of Students For Free Tibet, since the last many months they have been preparing to make Olympics 2008 a turning point in their struggle for freedom for Tibet.
Tenzin was born in India and has studied at the Kamala Nehru college in Delhi. In this refugee town, Tibetans students, monks, Tibetan parents and shopkeepers all of them are politically aware of the importance of the Olympics to China.
They claim they can't be complacent in 2008 if they want to go back to their motherland in their lifetime.
More than 1,500 monks in four monasteries around Dharamshala are now active in spreading the political message.
"Tibetans in India think that the world is listening to them for the first time," says Tenzin.
The Chinese government brought railways, airports and bridges in Lhasa and along with that came mobile phones, Internet and other technologies.
Text and Photographs: Sheela Bhatt in Mcleodgang | Image: Young Tibetans on a hunger strike in Mcleodganj. They want China to give freedom to Tibet.
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