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Home The News News Tibetans, local activists mark 1959 Uprising Day

Tibetans, local activists mark 1959 Uprising Day

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Hundreds of demonstrators yesterday thronged the streets of Taipei to commemorate the 56th anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan Uprising and express solidarity with Tibetans in exile.

Waving Tibetan flags — also called snow lion flags and seen as symbols of Tibetan independence — the marchers accused the Chinese government of infringing upon the human rights and religious freedom of Tibetans.

The demonstrators paid tribute to the 1959 uprising, which led to the flight of the Dalai Lama and the establishment of the current Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala, India.

Headed by a coalition of Tibetan advocacy groups and Taiwanese human rights organizations, the protesters also paid respect to more than 130 Tibetans who have self-immolated since 2009 to protest what they call the Chinese occupation of Tibet.

The procession drew a diverse crowd of different nationalities, as monks draped in maroon-and-yellow robes walked alongside Taiwanese supporters dressed in traditional Tibetan garments.

Activists in Tibet face a common threat with those in Hong Kong and Taiwan: repression of human rights by the Chinese government, Taiwan Association for Human Rights Secretary-General Chiu E-ling (邱伊翎) said.

The theme of this year’s parade, “Next Stop: Tibet,” refers to mass protests that began in Taiwan and Hong Kong last year, she said, adding that pro-democracy activists from both sides of the Taiwan Strait must stand in solidarity with Tibetans in their human rights campaign.

The theme also conveys organizers’ hope for Tibetans to be allowed to return to their homeland, as the Dala Lama and his followers have been barred from entry into China for more than five decades, organizers said.

They accused President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration of ignoring China’s treatment of Tibetans and urged the government to take a stand on the issue.

“While Taiwan and China establish ever-closer economic ties, Taiwan’s government has failed to stop the Chinese government from massacring Tibetans,” Green Party co-chair Lee Ken-cheng (李根政) said.

After walking from Taipei’s Zhongxiao-Fuxing MRT station, the demonstrators lay down on the pavement together in memory of the self-immolated Tibetans when they reached Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall.

Dhundup Gyalpo, secretary of the Tibet Religious Foundation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama — the Tibetan government-in-exile’s de facto embassy in Taiwan — said the event’s main purpose was to honor the pain and suffering that Tibetan activists endured.

Although Beijing has begun to loosen up on restrictions that barred Tibetans from attending religious events, Taiwan Tibetan Welfare Association vice president Tenzin Namda said he considers recent reforms to be mostly superficial, as key teachings of Buddhist philosophy are still banned.

Beijing has attempted to prevent Tibetans from learning their culture, which centers on Buddhist philosophy and ideas of universal compassion, he said.


Source: Taipei Times - 2015/03/09



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Newsflash

DHARAMSHALA, August, 11: Pakistan deported five ethnic Uyghur immigrants back to China on Tuesday amidst fear that they will face harsh punishment upon return.

The Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported that five “Chinese citizens” who were “blindfolded and handcuffed” were flown off to Urmuqi, the capital of East Turkestan.

"The deportation of Uyghurs are common nowadays, but it is very rare to be exposed to the media," said Omer Khan, founder of the Omer Uyghur Foundation in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad.