By Colleen Dane
Tenzin Tsundu thanks members of the Comox Valley public for coming to a rally for Tibetan freedom. Tsundu is a former Buddhist monk who’s lived in the Valley for 14 years. PHOTO by colleen dane
Dhamchoe Thokme —
A world away from his native country, he’s just one local Tibetan family looking for the support of his new home in finding peaceful change for those back in northern Asia.
“What I heard and see in the pictures ... I feel very sad and also see some hope,” said Thokme, in his still under-construction English.
“To see that hope — all is not lost,” he said.
His optimism comes from the seemingly united stand that all of Tibet has been taken against the Communist Chinese government, which occupied the country nearly 50 years ago.
While there have been uprisings in past years, Thokme said this stand which started a few weeks ago now, seems to have brought together all the people from different areas.
The sad part is that has brought on rallies and reactions — leading to the death of up to 100 people, depending on the source.
All Thokme’s mom would say on the phone last time they spoke was “the violence is not good.”
At a vigil held Monday afternoon outside the Sid Williams Theatre, signs held by rallyers demanded peaceful settlement for the Tibetan cause. They listened as other local Tibetan people talked about their homeland and asked for their continued support in advocating for the end of Tibet’s occupation.
“You all come to support for us —
It was his wife, Sherry Matson, who organized Monday’s event which brought out around 100 people of all ages.
“It’s a very difficult time,” said Tsundu. “You have knowledge, you have everything —
Geshe Yongdong, a Buddhist monk who lives here in the Comox Valley, talked about the increasingly difficult living conditions for people in the country.
Along with the violence, their movement is being severely restricted — some unable to leave their home, even to get food.
“It gets worse and worse every day,” he said.
Kelsang Ngapa, a Tibetan who now lives in Duncan, said his former country’s needs are very basic and simple.
“We need peace —
Meanwhile, international media are reporting the impact of Tibetan protests on the Beijing Olympics —