(TibetanReview.net, Apr24’20) – Outgoing mayor Sam Crooks of Milton Keynes city in Buckinghamshire, England, has expressed apology for not being able to raise the Tibetan flag this year to express as before the city’s solidarity with the people of the Asian country.
“I wanted to say just how sorry I am this year that we won’t be able to raise the Tibetan flag as we have in Milton Keynes for a number of years,” mkfm.com Apr 23 quoted Crooks as saying in a recorded YouTube video message.
Tibet has been occupied by China since 1950 and from 2013 the city’s mayor has supported the Apr 20 ceremonial raising of the country’s colourful flag at the Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Temple, at Willen Lake, the report noted.
Crooks, a Liberal Democrat whose mayoral term ends in May, has cited three reasons why the flag raising and the festival that goes with it is so important.
“We are showing solidarity with the people of Tibet, and that’s important to us in Milton Keynes,” he was quoted as saying on the council’s YouTube channel.
“The second reason is that we are aware of maintaining the importance of the history and identity within nations. We can’t allow land just to be taken by invasion, and facts on the ground used to justify what has happened.
“And we believe in the principle of self-determination. That’s why I think we should be raising the flag, and that’s what I hope we will be able to do once again in future years.”
The report noted that this year, instead of a ceremony involving scores of supporters, Sister Maruta of the Japanese Buddhist temple raised the flag on her own at the temple.
Instead of a ceremony, supporters took pictures of themselves displaying the Tibetan flag while looking forward to next year “when we can again all raise the flag together, as a community.”