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Statement by Takna Jigme Sangpo

My release on medical parole by the Chinese government (I still have nine years of sentence to complete) and arrival in the United States on July 13 is the triumph of peace, justice and human rights. It is the result of many years of campaign and pressure by Tibet supporters, governments, individuals and public organizations in the international community as well as within and outside of Tibet. Above all, it is the fruit of international support for the fulfillment of the aspirations of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to everyone.

Soon after arriving in the United States, I was admitted to the Georgetown University Hospital where I underwent a series of medical tests. This did not permit me an opportunity to interact with you all personally.

Although I have had to experience immeasurable difficulties for a total of 37 years in prison since 1965 (served three terms), I did not waver in my determination to struggle for the just cause of Tibetan freedom. I served in prisons, which included Sangyip (known currently as Lhasa City Prison) and Drapchi Prison.

Most importantly, as I begin to enjoy a life of freedom and happiness, I am concerned at the fate of my former fellow prisoners who continue to suffer and languish in dark prisons. Therefore, I take this opportunity to urge strongly for the immediate release of all Tibetan political prisoners.

Above all, I urge for your continued support for the Tibetan issue until there is a solution to our just cause.

May Tibet be victorious!

Takna Jigme Sangpo
Washington, D.C.
July 29, 2002

[ photo | Takna Jigme Sangpo, during a ceremony in Rikon Monastery, Zurich, Switzerland. 8/15/02. Gesellschaft Schweizerisch-Tibetische Freundschaft (GSTF) ]

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