(TibetanReview.net, Mar11’20) – Exile Tibetans marked the 61st anniversary of the national uprising against Chinese occupation rule over their homeland on Mar 10 with their elected political head calling on the UN rights chief to visit Tibet and their parliament in exile Speaker asking China’s leadership to relax their decades-old hardline policy of repression to negotiate a solution to the dispute. Political leaders especially in the United States issued messages of support for and solidarity with the Tibetan people commemorating the occasion as Tibetans across the free world took to street to commemorate occasion..
Sikyong Lobsang Sangay’s call has been prompted by recent reports about an expected visit to the People’s Republic of China, especially Xinjiang, in the near future by the UN high commissioner for human rights, Ms Michelle Bachelet.
The chief guest at the official exile Tibetan commemoration of the event was Mr Frantisek Kopriva, a founding member and co-chairperson of the Czech Parliamentary Group for Tibet and also the vice-chairperson of Czech parliament’s Committee for European affairs in the Chamber of Deputies. Ms Dana Balcarova, a founding member of the Czech Parliamentary Group for Tibet and also the chairwoman of the Czech parliament’s committee of environment in the chamber of deputies was a special guest. Both addressed the gathering and spoke about their abiding commitment to the issue of Tibet.
In the United States, Tibetans and supporters marched past the Chinese Embassy in Washington, DC, in a three-mile walk to the Dupont Circle, holding Tibetan and American flags as well as signs with texts calling for human rights in Tibet as they also shouted slogans. Those who addressed the gathering included President Matteo Mecacci of International Campaign for Tibet as well as Chinese democracy, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Uygur activists.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congressional House Representative James P McGovern, chair of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, issued statements in commemoration of the event.
Issued in honour of “the aspirations of all Tibetans to live in peace, autonomy and security, free from China’s brutal repression, Pelosi said in her statement: “China’s cruel crackdown on the religious liberty, cultural heritage and freedom of speech of Tibetan men, women and children remains a challenge to the conscience of the world. Yet, even after decades of outrageous oppression, their faith, hope and persistence continues to empower the Tibetan people in their fight for their fundamental human rights. Their tireless efforts remain an inspiration to all peace-loving people around the world.”
McGovern, who has led efforts in the US Congress to enact legislations supporting Tibet, bemoaned the fact that while in the US and other Western countries, commemorations of the event could be held in public, this was not so in Chinese ruled Tibet. “Tibetans living in Tibet will not be able to come together to express their views. … Nor will Tibetans living in places like Nepal, where China exercises its influence to prevent Tibetans from remembering their own history,” he said.
In New York, Tibetans gathered on the courtyard of the UN Headquarters to commemorate the occasion but cancelled the annual march due to the Coronavirus fear.
In the Canadian city of Toronto, a huge rally in support of the “Free Tibet” campaign clogged Queen Street West and the surrounding areas in a rally which was just one among a number being held around the world on Mar 10 to mark the 61st anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising, reported narcity.com Mar 11. Toronto is the Canadian city with the largest number of exile Tibetans.
Garnett Genuis, MP for Sherwood Park-Fort Saskatchewan in Alberta, spoke passionately on the issue of Tibet and the uprising anniversary in the House of Commons of Canada in Ottawa.
In India’s capital New Delhi, 16 Tibetan youths were taken away by police after they held a protest rally in front of the Chinese embassy. The protesters, all members of the Tibetan Youth Congress, were released later in the day.