(TibetanReview.net, Mar12, 2018) – Around 4000 Tibetans and their supporters from across European staged a rally and gathered before the United Nations Centre in Geneva to commemorate the 59th Tibetan National Uprising anniversary. The ‘Europe Stands with Tibet’ rally and gathering was addressed by a number of European leaders, including a former deputy Prime Minister, former government ministers, MEPs, and others. The protesters wanted the world body to send a fact-finding mission to Chinese ruled Tibet and demanded genuine autonomy for their homeland.
The gathering before the UN centre was preceded by a rally organized by Tibetan Communities from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland & Liechtenstein and United Kingdom in close association with Swiss Tibetan Friendship Association, Tibetan Youth Association in Europe, Swiss Tibetan Women’s Organization and the International Campaign for Tibet.
The rally took off from Jardin Anglais (English Garden) in Geneva old city and culminated before the Palais des Nations (the UN Centre). It was led by two exile Tibetan MPs from Europe Ven Thubten Wangchen and Mr Samdho Jampa Tsering while the exile administration’s Finance Minister Mr Karma Yeshi was the chief guest for the event.
Those who addressed the gathering to express their support included Mr Rémy Pagani, Mayor of the Geneva City. A statement of support from Mr Michael Brand and Mrs Maria Klein-Schmeink of the German Bundestag (and members of the German Tibet group in it) was read by Mr Kai Müller of ICT. Mr René Longet, former Mayor of Onex city of Geneva canton; Ms Lisa Mazzone, Swiss Parliamentarian for Tibet support group; Mr Thomas Mann, MEP and President of Tibet Interest Group of EP; Mm Molly Scot-Cato, MEP from the UK; Mm Jacquiline Eustache-Brinio, French Senator; Ambassador Mr Giulio Terzi di Santagta, Fr Foreign Minister of Italy; Mr Norman Baker, Fr Minister of State at the Home of UK; Mr Martin Bursik, Fr Dy Prime Minister of Czech Republic; and Mr Claudio Cardelli, President of Italy Tibet Association, as spoke to express their support.
“The UN should send a special rapporteur to look into the human rights situation in Tibet. China has already accepted the visit of UN rapporteur. But it didn’t happen, so we want the UN to send it now,” the aninews.in Mar 10 quoted Thomas Buchli, President of the Swiss Tibetan Friendship Association, as saying.
Decrying the absence of religious freedom and human rights in Chinese ruled Tibet, the protesters also demanded genuine autonomy provided for under China’s constitution for their homeland.
“Our message for the UN is, no more silence because they are aware of the problem that Tibet is facing,” Thubten Wangchen, exile Tibetan parliament member and head of the Tibet House, Barcelona, was quoted as saying. “The UN is under economic pressure from China. We urge the UN to speak and tell the truth to the world that Tibet is burning, it’s dying.”
This was the third ‘Europe Stands with Tibet’ rally after the ones held in Brussels in 2013 and Paris in 2015.