Dharamshala: Tibetans and friends of Tibet across the world commemorated the 64th Tibetan National Uprising Day to honour the Tibetan martyrs and express solidarity with the appalling situation in Tibet.
Hundreds of Tibetans took to the streets of Brussels on Friday to protest against the illegal Chinese occupation of Tibet. Tibetans gathered at the Schuman Roundabout also known as the European Quarter, which hosts the headquarters of the European Commission and the Council, to protest against decades of Chinese atrocities.
The protestors were seen carrying Tibetan flags, photographs of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, portraits of 157 Self-immolators, banners with slogans and portraits of political prisoners.
Carlo Luyck, President of Belgium Buddhist Union, ICT Brussel’s Carlo Luyck, David van der Maelen, Office of Tibet’s Secretary Thinley Wangdue, and representatives of Tibetan associations in Brussels were among the distinguished guests.
Secretary Thinley Wangdue reminded the gathering about the significance of the 10th March in the political history of Tibet. Tibetans that 10th March has touched the lives of Tibetans past and present.
“The day continues to inspire generations about courage, resilience, and the hope of the Tibetan people and one that continues to fuel the Tibetan freedom movement”, he remarked.
Following the addresses, protestors marched towards the Chinese Embassy shouting slogans.
The protest was co-organised by the Tibetan Community of Belgium, the International Campaign for Tibet and Hiking 4 Children.
In France, around 750 Tibetans and Tibet supporters held a peace-march from the Freedom Ground to Chinese Embassy in Paris. The chief guest of the event, Jean Luc Romero Michel (Adjoint a La Marie de Paris) addressed the participants of the march where Secretary of the Tibetan Association and Education Director acknowledged participation of 110 Tibetan residents of France to the greater 10th March event, collectively organised at Rome by all the Tibetan associations in Europe.
As per the directions of the Office of Tibet-Brussels, Bureau du Tibet in Paris have also send off Tibetan national flags to 671 regions inside France appealing them to hoist the flags during the 10th March and many have consented. One region even invited the Tibetans’ Representative and ensured to organise a ceremony for the commemoration of 10th March Tibetan Uprising Day.
The Tibetan community in Japan and the Students for a Free Tibet Japan chapter jointly organised a peace march to commemorate the 64th Anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day.
A talk function was conducted in Tokyo which was attended by a large number of Tibet supporters. Representative Dr Arya Tsewang Gyalpo, thanked the participants for their continued support and for taking the time to join this important event. He read the gist of Kashag’s statement in Japanese and distributed the full statement to all the participants. (Click here to read the full statement of CTA in Japanese).
Representative Arya released and distributed the book “Tibet Needs Your Help”. The book details the ongoing Chinese policy to eradicate Tibetan identity through forced indoctrination of Tibetan children in Chinese residential schools, destruction of Tibetan religious items, and the CCP’s interference in the selection of the reincarnation high Tibetan Lamas, including the reincarnation of the 14th Dalai Lama. He thanked the Super Sangha, an association of bipartisan Japanese sangha members, for issuing a statement condemning the CCP’s interference in the Tibetan religious matter. In addition, he thanked Tibet Support Group Japan and the Japan Buddhist Conference for their statement denouncing Chinese continued repression and violation of human rights and religious freedom in Tibet. He requested that the Japanese parliaments, support groups, and NGOs issue similar statements to stop the increased Chinese aggression and eradication of Tibetan culture, language, and identity.
Tsering Dorjee of the Student for Free Tibet (SFT) Japan spoke on the forced education of young Tibetan children in Chinese boarding schools and condemned the CCP for robbing the Tibetan children of their fundamental right to their mother tongue and identity. He said the SFT would work on this issue in the coming days to stop China from eradicating the Tibetan language.
Taro Kanada read the statement from the Super Sangha group, where the Sangha members condemned Chinese repression in Tibet and made it clear that the CCP has no right to interfere in the Tibetan religious matter and that it should stop claiming authority over the selection of high Tibetan Lamas, including the 15th Dalai Lama.
The Words of Truth (Dentsig monlam) prayer and Tibetan uprising song (Mimang Langlu) were recited and sung along with video footage.
After the official talk function, around 100 Tibetans and supporters from Japanese, Uighur, Chinese, and South Mongolian held a peace march traversing the street of Shibuya city raising slogans and carrying Tibetan flags and placards. The peace march drew the attention of the people in the street. Some Japanese and foreigners also joined the protest and showed their support for Tibet.
The peace march headed to the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo, where slogans for free Tibet, human rights, and religious freedom in Tibet were raised. A statement calling for the immediate suspension of Chinese oppression in Tibet and Kashag’s statement was dropped into the Embassy’s letter box.
The Tibetans in North America, affiliated under 30 different Tibetan associations, have commemorated the 64th anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day by sending applications to regional lawmakers of the United States appealing to support the enactment of a recently introduced bicameral Tibet bill: A Resolution to the Tibet-China Conflict Act [H.R. 533, S.138].
In addition, the Tibetans and supporters headed by the Tibetan associations, often in collaboration with Tibetan NGOs, have organised various campaigns including parades, demonstrations, hoisting of Tibetan national flags, and advocating the Tibet cause to inform the bystanders about China’s enforcement of repressive policies inside Tibet. The statements of Kashag and the Tibetan Parliament in Exile were also read out during the gatherings where the guests and Tibetan representatives have addressed.
The Tibetan community in Kullu commemorated the event by hosting the photographic exhibition conducted by the Tibet Museum of CTA’s Department of Information and International Relations. The exhibition depicted the photographic narrative chronicling Tibet’s history and the present situation.
In the capital city of India, Delhi, the official commemoration of the 64th anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day was graced by the presence of chief guest Shri Sanjay Singh (MP, Rajya Sabha) and special guests Representative Lobsang Shatri (Bureau of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Delhi) and Shri Prahlad Singh Sahwney (MLA).
The chief guest addressed the gathering at TCV Day School Samyeling underscoring non-violence as the most powerful weapon in disposal to challenge the common threat viz China, accrediting Buddha Shakyamuni and His Holiness the Dalai Lama as the advocates of non-violence. The assembly also observed a minute mourning for the sacrifices made by Tibetan martyrs.
Similarly, Tibetans in Mundgod led by the Settlement Office observed the official ceremony commemorating the 64th anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising Day.
It was attended by Tibetan Parliamentarians, President of the Local Tibetan Assembly, Settlement Officer, members of the Local Tibetan Assembly, President of the Tibetan Freedom Movement and executive committee, President and Secretary of the Tibetan Cooperative Society, Heads of schools, Teaching and non-teaching staff, Heads of Tibetan Allopathy and Homeopathy centres, and representatives of local bodies.
The ceremony began with the singing of the Uprising Day song by the senior school band, followed by the Indian and Tibetan national anthems, a minute of silence was observed for the Tibetan martyrs and recitation of prayers by the students of the Sambhota school followed.
Settlement Officer Lhakpa Dolma read the Kashag’s statement, followed by the Tibetan Parliamentarian Geshe Lharampa Atruk Tsetan who read the Parliament’s statement.
The ceremony concluded with mass prayers from the Tibetan community.
On the evening of 10th March 2023 around 6 pm at Tibetan Youth Hostel Hall, Bengaluru, the event commenced with the Indian National Flag Hoisting by the Honourable Chief Guest Dr. Madan Krishan Gopal.
In London, the mayor of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Councillor Leo Fletcher and the leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Councillor Anthony Okereke showed their solidarity with Tibet by raising the Tibet flag at the Woolwich Town Hall, the headquarters of the Royal Borough of Greenwich located in South East London on the 64th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day.
The mayor and the leader described the Tibetan struggle as the struggle for liberation and for freedom and assured their continued support for the struggle and Tibetan community living in the Borough. They further promised to have a resolution passed for it in the council to mark this day permanently. Tenzin Zeydhan, staff of the Representative Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama for Northern Europe, Baltic States & Poland Office of Tibet, London thanked the mayor and the leader for their continued support and standing in solidarity with the Tibetans in this critical time. Also apprised of the deteriorating human rights situation in Tibet. As a gesture of friendship and gratitude, the Tibetan national flag pin badge was presented by Zeydhan to the mayor and the leader and the mayor then gifted the Royal Borough of Greenwich pin badge to all.
The event was joined by the members of the Tibetan community, council members of the Greenwich Tibetan Association, Tenzin Kunga, chairman of the Tibetan community in Britain and Tsering Passang, Founder and Chairman of the Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities, who coordinated the Tibet Flag raising ceremony on behalf of the Association.
The Greenwich Tibetan Association thanked the mayor’s office by offering the traditional Tibetan white scarf to the mayor and the leader. The Tibet Flag was first raised at this English Town Hall in September 2015 to honour and welcome His Holiness the Dalai Lama to The O2 Centre, in the Royal Borough of Greenwich.
Likewise, on 15 March, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet (APPGT) in the UK Parliament, and the Tibet Society UK jointly organised the wreath-laying ceremony with the recitation of prayers by The Right Reverend Anthony Ball, Canon in Residence, Westminster Abbey; and by Tulku Tenzin Khentse.
Rt. Hon Tim Loughton, MP and co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet in his address drew attention towards the similarity of the struggle of the Ukraine people to the Tibetan struggle. He said, “the struggle of Tibetan people is not just about the Tibetan people, it is about the principle of a group of people, a population, a part of the world to respect their own religion, culture and language and their freedoms as everybody should have right to do”. He also conveyed APPGT’s anticipation to welcome Sikyong of CTA to the UK Parliament whenever the latter visits London next.
The wreath was laid in remembrance of all Tibetans who have lost their lives as a result of China’s occupation of Tibet since 1950 and those Tibetans who are suffering in Tibet, to commemorate the 64th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising.
The wreath-laying ceremony was attended by Rt Hon Tim Loughton, MP of the Conservative Party; Ben Rogers, Deputy Chair of Conservative Party’s Human Rights Commission, John Jones campaigns, Policy and Research Manager of Free Tibet and Tenzin Zeydhan, staff of Office of Tibet, London. Tenzin Zeydhan thanked all present individually for their presence at the wreath-laying, despite their other busy schedules, and for their continued support for Tibet.
In Taiwan, a prayer service and candlelit vigil were held at Liberty Square in Taipei where Taiwanese Parliament Group for Tibet’s Deputy Director General Hung Sun-han; Yiong Cai-zin, the minister of Hakka Affairs Council; Taiwanese legislator Wang Wang Yu from New Power Party; Sky, a representative of Hong Kong youth association, and Sun You Lian as the representative of Taiwanese NGOs took part in the commemoration to express their solidarity.
To clarify the misapprehensions, Representative Kelsang Gyaltsen Bawa of the Office of Tibet in Taiwan stressed that the “commemoration of Tibetan National Uprising Day does not demonstrate Tibetans seeking an independence, but it was rather a gesture of paying tributes to every Tibetan who has sacrificed and suffered for the cause of Tibet up until now since China’s occupation of Tibet” in his address.
The event was arranged and made possible by the President of the Tibetan Association in Taiwan, Tashi Tsering, and Lin Hsinyi, the head of NGOs in Taiwan.
Every alternate year, the Tibetan communities of Europe organise the “Europe Stands with Tibet” event in one of the cities in Europe.
This year, over 1000 Tibetans and Europeans from across Europe joined the commemoration of 64th Tibet National Uprising day in the capital city of Italy-Rome on 10 March 2023 as part of the “Europe Stands with Tibet” event. The next one will be held in Amsterdam, Netherlands in 2025.
The demonstration was organised by the Tibetan community of Italy with support from other Tibetan Communities in Europe, Italia-Tibet Association, Buddhist Union of Italy, International Campaign for Tibet-Germany and Europe and the Swiss-Tibetan Friendship Association. Several other Tibet Support Groups also extended their support for the event.
The demonstration started from Largo Corrado Ricci and later assembled at Piazza Della Madonna di Loreto. More than thousands of Tibetans and Europeans across Europe joined the demonstration.
The chief guest of the demonstration Deputy Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile Teykhang Dolma Tsering, Representative Thinlay Chukki from Tibet Bureau Geneva, Member of Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile from Europe Thupten Gyatso, French Senator Ms. Else Joseph, Italian Senator Andrea de Priamo and Italian Parliamentarian llenio Malavasi addressed the gathering along with several other representatives from Tibet Support Groups in Italy.
Addressing the gathering, Deputy Speaker Teykhang Dolma Tsering highlighted the destruction and sufferings of Tibetans since 1959. She noted that over 6000 monasteries have been destroyed since the occupation of Tibet and several Tibetans killed. “China is showing to the world that all is fine in Tibet then why Tibetan in Tibet are burning themselves” she added. With 158 self immolations by Tibetans in Tibet and extensive surveillance being carried out through DNA sample collections, she called on the world to stand with Tibet.
Representative Thinlay Chukki expressed gratitude to all the supporters for standing up for Tibet and called on governments to support Tibet. French Senator Ms. Else Joseph expressed her support for the Tibetan cause and noted that the French Parliamentary Group for Tibet will continue to support the Tibetan movement. Italian Parliamentary Intergroup for Tibet Co-Ordinator Andrea de Priamo noted that the newly formed intergroup will continue its support work on Tibet and will work towards passing resolutions in support of Tibet. Similarly Italian Parliamentarian llenio Malavasi also extended her support to Tibet.
President of the Italia Tibet Association Claudio Cardelli, Michal van Walt van Praag, Historian and international Lawyer, Hon. Luciano Nobili former Italian parliamentarian, Italian Buddhist Union President Fillippo Scianna and Instituto Lama tsongkhapa Mr. Valerio talario also addressed the gathering.
Likewise, Tibetans and Tibet Supporters across Central and Eastern Europe commemorated the 64th Tibetan National Uprising Day including in Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Liechenstein.
In the Czech Republic, the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic Parliament, Marketa Pekarova Adamova and members of the Czech Parliamentary Group for Tibet hoisted the Tibetan National Flag on the Parliament building on 10 March commemorating the 64th anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day. “For over a year now, we have seen very closely how Russia is trying to rob an independent Ukraine of its freedom and territory. Tibet may be a few thousand kilometres away, but as democrats we naturally support those who are denied their freedom wherever on Earth it happens,” said Přemysl Rabas, chairman of the Czech Parliamentary Group for Tibet.
Parliamentarian Hayato Okamura, co-chair of the Group noted that “it is gratifying that after the Senate, the Chamber of Deputies has clearly returned to the tradition of strong human rights policy started by Václav Havel in the Czech Republic. Since yesterday, the Castle also seems to be in a similar mood on the subject of human rights and religious freedoms. I know from representatives of the Tibetan government-in-exile that our support is a significant encouragement to the Tibetans in their relentless pursuit of their own identity and freedom. They will be able to continue to rely on the Czech Republic for this.”
The Tibet Support Groups and the Tibetan community of Czech Republic also held a demonstration in Prague condemning China’s suppression in Tibet.
In Austria, Tibetans commemorated the 10th March Tibetan national uprising by protesting in front of the Chinese Embassy. The Tibetan Community in Austria -President Ngawang Lobsang read out the Statement of Kashag and Tibetan protestors were seen carrying Tibetan flags and hanging the banner with the slogans.
In Germany, the chairman of the working group on human rights and humanitarian aid of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group and President of the German Parliamentary Group for Tibet, Michael Brand. The Press Release noted, “Today, March 10, the people’s uprising in Tibet, which was bloodily suppressed by China in 1959, is commemorated worldwide. On the “Day of Tibet Solidarity”, the chairman of the working group on human rights and humanitarian aid of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group Michael Brand declared:
“There must be an outcry around the world in view of the new UN horror reports that China is snatching up to a million Tibetan children from their families. These children are forcibly placed in boarding schools in order to impose the Han Chinese language and culture on them. The federal government must demand that Beijing stop forced boarding schools for Tibetan children immediately. It must react quickly to the associated human rights violations and start a global initiative to protect children with value partners. The federal government cannot hide behind a China strategy, the realisation of which is currently completely uncertain due to conflicts between the Federal Chancellery and the Foreign Ministry.”
Tibetans and German supporters of Tibet observed the Tibetan National uprising in Berlin, Stuttgart, Munich among other cities in Germany.
In Switzerland and Liechtenstein, several hundred Tibetans and supporters joined the demonstration organised by the Tibetan Community of Switzerland & Liechtenstein, in Zurich. The demonstration was joined by Swiss Tibetan Friendship Association President Thomas Buchli and Executive Director Bettina Eckert. She also read out the joint statement of the Swiss Parliamentary group of Tibet which expressed solidarity and support for the Tibetan movement.
The strong support for the 64th commemoration of the Tibetan National Uprising Day has brought in new wave of commitment and inspiration across Central and Eastern Europe.