CANBERRA: The ACT Tibetan Community commemorated the 57th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising on 10th March, 2016 in Canberra, Australia. Tibetan community members and Australian Tibet supporters gathered outside the Chinese Embassy in Canberra to protest against the repressive policies of the Chinese government in Tibet. Professor Alex Bruce from the Australian National University (ANU) College of Law talked about the illegal occupation of Tibet by the Chinese government, while community members delivered messages of defiance and resilience against the Chinese oppression in Tibet. The protesters then marched towards the city centre at Garema Place. Mr. Lhakpa Tshoko, the representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama for Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia addressed the crowd and delivered Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay’s statement from Dharamsala. Various other eminent speakers such as Christina Hobbs from the Green party, Dr. McComas Taylor from ANU and Alice Dagleish from the Amnesty International spoke about the dire situation in Tibet. Christina Hobbs stated, “The Australian Greens believe that our country is strong enough and prosperous enough to trade with Chinese and at the same time express disappointment with the treatment of the Tibetan people. It is important at this time that we stand in solidarity with the community so they know they are not alone.”
The crowd was moved to tears on hearing the stories of former political prisoner Dadon and her horrific experience in a Lhasa prison for 3 years, for doing exactly what everyone was doing at that time- a peaceful protest. The story of Pema Pelmo, who escaped Tibet at the age of 6 and had not met her parents since then for over 20 years, tugged at the heartstrings of everyone gathered there. Everyone was shocked to see the pictures of the over 144 Tibetans who set themselves on fire to bring light to the crisis in Tibet. Prayers and a candlelight vigil was held for the Tibetans who had self-immolated and all the other Tibetans who had lost their lives as a result of the oppression of the Chinese government in Tibet.
– Report filed by Tenzin Dolma Dagpo, ACT –