Tokyo: Braving heavy rain on Saturday, the Tibetan community and Japanese supporters held a peace march to commemorate the 62nd Tibetan national uprising against the illegal occupation of Tibet by China.
The Tibetan community in Japan in collaboration with the Students for a Free Tibet Japan organized the peace march. Tibetans from Tokyo, Nagano and Osaka, and Japanese supporters, including some who came from as far as Fukuoka prefecture in Kyushu, took part in the demonstration to express their solidarity with the Tibetan cause.
The peace march started with a minute’s mourning for all those Tibetans who have died in the last 62 years of Chinese oppression. It was followed by the singing of the Tibetan national anthem and the prayer of truth.
Addressing the gathering, Mr. Kalden Obara, President of the Tibetan community, expressed solidarity with Tibetans inside Tibet for their unwavering determination and courage for standing up against the Chinese government’s repressive rule.
Students for a Free Tibet Japan president Tsering Dorjee said the situation in Tibet continues to remain critical, as the Chinese government has strengthened its suppression of Tibetans after the unprecedented large-scale protests across Tibet in 2008 and self-immolation protests by 155 Tibetans calling for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet and freedom for Tibetans.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Representative Dr. Tsewang Gyalpo Arya read out the gist of the statement of the Central Tibetan Administration on the occasion. He thanked the Japanese people for their unwavering support for the Tibetan people’s struggle for freedom, truth and justice, and requested the gatherings to abide by the Coronavirus regulations. He called on the Chinese communist leadership to end human rights violations, suppression of freedom and democracy in Tibet, East Turkestan, South Mongolia, Hongkong and in China proper; and to stop intrusion into foreign territories at the earliest possible. (Click here to read the full statement of Sikyong in Japanese)
In his speech, Ven. Kobayashi Shuei of Super Sangha Tibet support group reminded Japan of its obligation to support Tibetans, Uyghurs and Mongolians who are suffering occupation and repression of the Chinese government.
Despite the rain, the peace marchers carrying Tibetan flags and placards went through the Tokyo Asakusa streets where international tourist attraction Sensoji Temple is located. Slogans were raised to urge China to stop killings in Tibet and seeking the UN’s attention to the growing repression in Tibet.
Earlier on 10 March, the Tibetan community in Japan and SFT organized a peaceful demonstration in front of the Chinese embassy in Tokyo and submitted a memorandum in the post box. Similar demonstration was organized by Free Tibet Fukuoka where some Japanese Tibet supporters protested in front of the Chinese consulate in Fukuoka, Kyushu Island.
- filed by Office of Tibet, Japan