By Tsewang Lhadon
Photo by Sonam Woser
Toronto - Organized by the Canadian Tibetan Association of Toronto, Ontario (CTAO), SFT leader Lhadon Tethong spoke in detail of her visit to Beijing to a packed hall of Tibetans, some having to make do standing outside the entrance hall. The enormous spate of interest and enthusiasm in the freedom struggle was abundantly evident from the numbers of people that kept pouring-in despite a slight drizzle outside. Members of various Tibetan organizations - the TWA, TYC, Dokham Chuchi Gangdruk and others present voiced their support and solidarity with the SFT leader and their mission to free Tibet from China.
Lhadon Tethong spoke of SFT line of attack to maximize pressure on China in the built-up to the 2008 Olympics. SFT members coordinated well in advance of their visit to China each with a separate mission to carry out. While in Beijing they were well connected but kept away from each other. Lhadon and Paul kept changing their hotel every day so as to not leave a record of their whereabouts incase the Beijing security were tracking them. People listened with rapt attention with huge applause each time Lhadon spoke of the risks they overcame.
Lhadon commended the team of four non-Tibetan activists from the US, UK and Canada who unfurled the 456 Sq. ft. banner “One World, One Dream, Free Tibet” from the Great Wall of China. She added that these activists carried out the act with great risks to their selves. A Chinese guard on the Great Wall unable to control the team from hanging the banner brought out a lighter threatening to burn the rope on which they hung. Lhadon herself despite being resolute in her mission in Beijing continuously lived with fear of being watched and arrested.
Photo by Sonam Woser
Tibetans in Toronto young and old asked questions, some unable to hold back their emotions with tears in their eyes and voice shaking.. Many queued up with khatas to thank Lhadon for her courageous role and for her leadership that inspired many especially the younger generation of Tibetans around the world.
Lhadon had one message, “if we have the will-power and stay united, we can make a difference, Tibet will be free”.