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15thmay201106Dharamshala: - Dr. Lobsang Sangay, the newly elected prime minister or Kalontripa of the Tibetan government-in-exile on Thursday (May 12 ), met with three Tibetan activists on indefinite hunger strike in New Delhi to protest against a Chinese crackdown at the Kirti monastery in Amdho province of eastern Tibet.

"I am here to show my solidarity and say thank you on behalf of the Tibetan people and also to tell them that we are with them," Sangay told reporters after meeting the three men in their encampment at the Jantar Mantar monument in New Delhi. The TYC says the Kirti monastery has remained under military occupation since the self-immolation death of a 24-year old monk on March 16.

"The stated policy of the Tibetan government in exile is the middle-way, which seeks genuine autonomy within China. So, I as the Kalon Tripa elect, when I take over, which is likely to be in mid-August, will implement that policy," he said.

Mr. Sangay told the reporters that he hadn't had any direct communications with Chinese authorities, but he said that his number one priority as Kalon Tripta, or prime minister, "is to restore freedom in Tibet and to have His Holiness the Dalai Lama return to his rightful place in Lhasa."

The activists are members of the Tibetan Youth Congress, which says the aim of the hunger strike - now in its 18th day - is to demand the immediate withdrawal of the Chinese security forces from the monastery and the unconditional release of all political prisoners, including those recently arrested in Ngaba, a region in eastern Tibet. They are also demanding that a Tibetan Youth Congress delegation is granted access to Tibet to assess the situation of political prisoners there.

"I've known them for some time and I know them to be really committed and dedicated leaders in our community. So what they're doing, actually putting their health and lives at risk, is to protest against the continuing occupation of Tibet, specifically the ongoing and unfolding tragedy in Kirti monastery," said Mr. Sangay.

According to recent reports, the young monk-Phuntsok was protesting against Chinese rule in Tibet, and timed his self-immolation to coincide with the third anniversary of the 2008 Tibetan uprising. Some 300 monks at the Kirti monastery have been detained after publicly expressing support for Phuntsok who against Chinese harsh treatment of Tibetan people in his own homeland.

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