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62nd Tibet Uprising Day: Tibetan flag raised at London borough against officials’ wish

(TibetanReview.net, Mar11’21) – Against the wishes of the local authority, opposition councilors, joined by Members of the Tibetan community in Britain, raised the Tibetan national flag outside the Tower Hamlets town hall to mark the 62nd Tibetan national uprising day. The London Borough of Tower Hamlets is a London borough located in East London.

Tory group leader Peter Golds defiantly displayed the flag on the town hall steps while Lib Dem Cllr Rabina Khan also made the point at Shadwell Gardens next to the Battle of Cable Street mural just a stone’s throw from the old St George’s town hall, reported eastlondonadvertiser.co.uk Mar 10.

The report noted that the ex-patriot community’s request to have the flag officially raised over the town hall was rejected in January.

Cllr Rabina Khan making the point with Tibet’s national flag. (Photo courtesy: Free Tibet Campaign)

Tibetans were reported to see Tower Hamlets as pivotal in their global campaign for recognition as it was the local planning authority for China’s new embassy complex at Tower Hill, on the site of the old Royal Mint.

Cllr Khan, who first proposed the flag raising in January, was quoted as saying at the time: “We must make clear where our own principles apply, with our long history of being home for people fleeing persecution who are now British citizens.”

The report said the rejection upset Tibet campaigners because other local authorities like Waltham Forest in east London had raised the flag previously.

The council, which is sensitive as the planning authority for the Chinese government shifting its embassy to Tower Hill, decided the Tibetan flag was not a good idea, even though previously it had hoisted the Palestinian flag when Lutfur Rahman was mayor, the report noted.

A proposal was also reported to have been made at the council earlier this year to rename roads close to the proposed Chinese embassy complex to commemorate Chinese human rights activists, which would include “Tiananmen Square” to mark the 1989 student protests.  

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