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Friends of Tibet Conference Critical of China Relief Efforts, heads of two leading Tibetan NGOs meeting with Taiwanese friends in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan on 04 May 2010. Photo: TPI/Keary HuanTaipei: Taiwan's Friends of Tibet (TFT) organisation this morning held a press conference focusing on recent developments in earthquake-devastated Kyigudo (Chinese: Yushu) County.

Two friends of Tibet from Dharamshala, the president of Gu-Chu-Sum Movement of Tibet,Ven.Ngawang Woebar and the president of Tibetan Women's Association (TWA), Ms. Kirti Dolkar Lhamo; with the chairman of Regional Tibetan Youth Congress, Taiwan (RTYC-Taiwan),Mr. Tashi Tsering, held a press conference in Taipei in this morning, Ven.Ngawang Woebar, president of the Gu-Chu-Sum Movement of Tibet; Kirti Dolkar Lhamo, president of Tibetan Women's Association; and Tashi Tsering, chairman of Regional Tibetan Youth Congress of Taiwan, spoke at the Taipei event.

Chairlady of Taiwan Friends of Tibet, Ms. Meili Chow, began the conference by stating that immediately after the earthquake hit, TFT immediately moblised Taiwan's Rescue Team to help however China soon made it clear that no foreign group could access the area.

Ven.Ngawang Woebar said "Casualties of the Yushu earthquake far exceed China's official figures. Tibetan victims do not have enough tents or food to manage in these conditions. There are also not enough doctors to help, and [those doctors who are there] have no easy way to communicate with Tibetans without speaking the Tibetan language. Without enough medical treatment or food, all of us are worrying that the death toll will grow greater and greater." Woebar proceeded to show pictures taken from the quake zone to illustrate his claims.

Ms. Kirti Dolkar Lhamo spoke about the plight of child survivors of the earthquake.

"More than 1500 children lost their parents in earthquake. The Chinese government wanted to bring orphans to Shanghai and Beijing, where the rich populations there would adopt them. But Yushu Tibetans pleaded with the Chinese government not to do this, but instead to rehouse them and build new schools. There are significant worries that if children leave their hometowns, it will become easy to forget their culture," Lhamo said.

Mr. Tashi Tsering reiterated calls for China to let His Holiness the Dalai Lama into Tibet to comfort Tibetan victims and prey for the dead, and screened a video, produced by RTYC-Taiwan called The Truth behind the Kyigudo Earthquake.

Tibetans around the world today held prayer ceremonies for the victims of Kyigudo earth quake. Taiwan Tibet Office this morning in Taipei organised a prayer ceremony attended by around 100 Tibetans and Taiwanese, including many monks.

The video can be seen here: youtube.com/watch?v=bhp38_3X8E8&feature=player_embedded

Article edited by Max French, The Tibet Post International

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E-mail: editor@thetibetpost.com