10 March commemoration in South Africa
Friday, 16 March 2007, 11:00 a.m.
Cape Town: About 30 Tibet supporters and members of Tibet-Africa Rainbow Alliance (TARA) gathered together in Cape Town on 10 March 2007 to commemorate the 48th Tibetan National Uprising Day.
Holding large portrait of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela,
and posters bearing slogans such as Viva Dalai Lama Viva, Release 11th
Panchen Lama, China Stop Population Influx into Tibet, Freedom for Tibet, etc the marchers silently walked in single file from Kloof Street to the Parliament House.
The Tibetan national flag was hung at the Parliament gate by the peace march
leader Mr Ian Macfarlane, who then read an open letter addressed to South African
President Thabo Mbeki.
Mr Ian Macfarlane said “We the supporters of TARA entreat you as leader of the world’s most liberal constitution and successful democracy to kindly use your good office and humanitarian influence to impress upon :
- President Hu Jintao –the necessity to enter into substantive negotiations with the envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, without attaching any conditions, in accordance to the Middle Way Approach advocated so consistently by His Holiness the Dalai Lama;
- The United Nations- the importance of adopting resolutions supporting the peaceful struggle for self-rule and genuine autonomy proposed by His Holiness the
Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile;
- The Office of the President through the South African Foreign Ministry — to persuade the Chinese authorities to negotiate with His Holiness the Dalai Lama with sincerity and without further procrastination in order to find an amicable and mutually acceptable solution to the decades-old issue of Tibet”
Earlier in the day, the Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama for Africa, Mr Sonam Tenzing read out His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s 10 March statement.
The film Escape from Tibet was shown and a minute silence was observed by the peace marchers, paying tribute to the Tibetans who lost their lives fighting for truth and justice in their land.
Signatures for the open letter is being solicited from South Africans,which will be submitted to President Thabo Mbeki by end of the week.
Reported by the Office of Tibet, Pretoria, South Africa