London, March 27: Members of the UK Tibetan community joined former political prisoner Palden Gyatso in protest demonstration outside the Chinese embassy here on the eve of what China calls “Serf Emancipation Day”.
A new public holiday has been imposed on the Tibetan people inside Tibet by the Chinese government which is using this day to disseminate false propaganda about Tibet, said Philipa Carrick of the Tibet Society who participated in the protest with Tibet Society Chairman, Fredrick Hyde-Chambers.
Kneeling on the pavement, handcuffed and gagged, wearing shirts with the message “I’m Tibetan and I am NOT emancipated”, the group gave a strong rebuttal to the Chinese government’s hypocritical and cynical propaganda that Tibetans were liberated 50 years ago.
“If we had done this protest inside Tibet, we would have been met with swift and brutal reprisals that could have resulted in beatings, detention and even death,” said Palden Gyatso, who served 33 years in Chinese jail.
Palden Gyatso, said, “We are remembering this day not as the day when Tibet was liberated, but imprisoned instead. Before China’s Red Army marched into Tibet, we enjoyed freedom of speech, freedom of movement and freedom of religion. But since the invasion, repressive surveillance and restrictions were imposed.”
Philippa Carrick said it is salutary to think that if we had done this simple action in Lhasa, we would have been risking our lives and the lives of our families. "The situation inside Tibet is critical; after 50 years of occupation, subjugation and repression, Tibetans are desperate. What little news that gets out of Tibet tells of continued demonstrations, arrests, severe crackdowns and, tragically, suicides.”