MELBOURNE/BRUSSELS: The flame of truth torch relay, being organised by the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile to draw the international community’s support to end the Chinese government’s repressive rule in Tibet, is passing through Belgium and Australian among other regions of the world.
Supporters from the Chinese, Vietnamese and Mongolian communities joined the torch relay in Melbourne.
Joining the rally in Melbourne’s Federation Square on Saturday (15 September), representatives of the Chinese Democratic Coalition Group, the Vietnamese and Mongolia communities of Victoria, spoke on the Chinese government’s repressive policies in Tibet which are pushing an increasing number of Tibetans to set themselves on fire. Over 51 Tibetans have self-immolated so far calling for freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to his homeland.
They said the prevailing crisis is a repercussion of the Chinese government’s systematic repressive policies, which deny Tibetans basic human rights, marginalise Tibetan language, culture and tradition, and force Tibetans to denounce their spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
The torch relay travelled to heavily Chinese-populated Melbourne suburb, Box Hill, where members of the Chinese community and Tibetans called for freedom and democracy in China and Tibet.
During the four-day torch relay in Melbourne, a Tibet information desk was set up to collect signatures for the petition to be submitted to the UN on 10 December.
The torch was scheduled to reach Hobart, capital of Tasmania, on 19 September.
In Belgium, the torch relay which arrived in Brussels on Monday, travelled to the Belgian cities of Bolivaarplaats and Groenplaats on Tuesday. Local Tibetans and Belgian supporters took part in a rally at Groenplaats, a prominent tourist destination in Antwerpen.
Addressing the rally, Ven Thupten Wangchen, a member of Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile leading the torch relay, urged Tibetans and the friends of Tibet in Europe to support the two-month campaign in Europe. He expressed his gratitude to the Belgian supporters for their large attendance in support of the campaign.
Mr Ngodup Dorjee, the Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Ms Inge Hermans, President of Vrienden Van Tibet, Belgium, Mr Thupten Phegyal, President of Tibetan community, Belgium and Mr Lobsang Tenpa, President of Regional Tibetan Youth Congress, also addressed the rally.
The torch relay will once again travel to Brussels city center on 20 September, the day on which the city hosts EU-China Summit.