Sydney, Australia: 10 March 2008 — Today commemorates this day forty nine years ago, when Tibetans in Lhasa, Tibet, demonstrated en masse against their brutal oppression under the leadership of the Chinese Communist party.
Forty nine years later, Tibetans still continue to live in fear of living as a Tibetan in Tibet.
At 11.00 today, Tibetan residents of Sydney, along with their Western supporters, took leave from their work to march in solidarity with the Tibetans still living under the Chinese regime inside Tibet, andwith Tibetans living in exile across the world.
The protest started from Sydney harbour, and proceeded through the busy centre of Sydney city, past Chinatown to the gates of the Chinese consulate. Television film crews from Australian television stations, including Channel Nine and SBS, covered the story, and radio stations were present to record interviews with Tibetans and their supporters.
Placards and banners were carried with “Support Peace and Non-Violence”, “Three Billion People rely on Tibet’s Water”, “I love Tibet”, “Please Help Tibet”, “Save Tibet” and “Release all Political Prisoners in Tibet”. The demonstrators chanted continuously whilst marching, including chants of “Stop the killing in Tibet”, “Shame China Shame”, “Free the Panchen Lama” and “Stop Genocide in Tibet”.
As the march progressed through the city, supportive onlookers joined in the demonstration, cars hooted their support and spectators added their names to enlist their support for the Tibetan struggle.
Upon arrival at the Chinese Consulate, Tenzin Gaden, President of the Tibetan Community of Australia (NSW) Inc, read out the statement from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, which can be viewed in full at: http://tibet.net/en/ohhdl/statements/10march/2008.html
Tenpa Dugdak thanked Australia and its government for giving Tibetans the freedom and rights to demonstrate in a beautiful and free country, which allowed Tibetans to be free to speak on behalf of the voiceless in Tibet. At the same time, he asked the Australian government to apply more pressure on the Chinese government to improve its human rights record in Tibet, in this very significant year, when China is revealing its national identity as the host of the Olympic games.
Tenpa stressed that The Tibet Issue does not only have implications for Tibet itself. It has global ramifications, both politically and environmentally. The Tibetan struggle has been one of peace and non-violence, something all developed nations promote in their own policies as a fundamental objective. Yet they do not follow through the ideology of peaceful conflict resolution with action. In order for peace to become a reality, it is going to take a combined effort of courageous action from international powers. This is the time to show the world that international leaders do have the motivation and power to work for peace, to apply pressure on China for peaceful dialogue, and not allowing things to resort to violence, guns and bombs.
Tenpa says he believes that Tibet has the potential to be the example that demonstrates the possibility of peaceful resolution for world conflicts. To make this reality, powerful nations need to be motivated to act to ensure that meaningful peaceful dialogue takes place between the conflicting parties, that is, the Chinese leadership and the Tibetan leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Kashag, which is the Tibetan government in exile based in India.
Zoe, guest speaker from the Australia Tibet Council, advised the crowd of the many events that are planned for this year to raise awareness of The Tibet Issue, and noted her sadness that this was the forty ninth year of demonstrations against the brutal Chinese oppression in Tibet. She said she hoped that next year this would not be necessary.
The gathering closed with prayers and the singing of the Tibetan National Anthem.
For further information, please contact: Tenpa Dugdak Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mobile: 0434 322 449