Tibetans to hold their own Olympics

Tibetans living in India are holding their own Olympics ahead of the Beijing Olympics to assert their nationality and as a mark of protest against the Chinese government. NGOs and individuals are helping the cause

A ground in Dharamsala will host the archery and shooting competitions for the Tibetan Olympics, which will be held in May.

It's more a protest, says this man who conceived the idea.

Lobsang Wangyal, a photojournalist and the man behind the idea, says, "The Tibetan Olympics is being held so that Tibetans can show their love for the game and more importantly in view of the Beijing Olympics."

Children here are play football and basketball. Some are also taking active part in the Tibetan protests.

Tenzing Lungtok, a participant, says "It's our answer to the Beijing Olympics. We all knew that it is being held in May and we all will participate in it."

There will be 10 events at the games and 30 participants, all below the age of 30. The games will cost Rs 20 lakh.

Few sponsors have joined the march but NGOs and a few people are coming forward.

Catherine, a doctor from Australia has agreed to be the fund manager.

"It will require some lakhs to hold the Olympic games. We are developing sponsored package. Corporate and individuals can sponsor an athlete."

Tibetan Olympics may be symbolic in nature but this shows the deep-rooted anger and resentment of the Tibetans towards the Chinese government.

That resentment may grow as the date for the real Olympics draws closer.

Copyright © 2008 NDTV

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NDTV – http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/showsports.aspx? id=SPOEN20080044590&ch=3/20/2008%204:03:00%20PM