Pretoria - Around fifty South Africans and resident Tibetans participated in the Peace and Compassion march Sunday (May 17, 2009) to mark 14 years since the disappearance of Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima. In the morning the marchers said the ‘Words of Truth’ (Dentsik Monlam) prayer led by resident Tibetan Geshe. Held under the auspices of the Tibet Society of South Africa, the marchers, wearing yellow T-shirts printed with ‘Peace in Tibet’ slogans and carrying placards walked four kilometers from the Mahatma Gandhi Square to Nelson Mandela bridge in Johannesburg.
At the bridge symbolizing South Africa’s liberation and freedom, the marchers prayed and recited Mani Mantra. Representatives from Burmese freedom group took also joined the march.
The marchers were addressed by a representative of South African Human Rights Commission and the Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Pretoria, Sonam Tenzing.
In the memorandum submitted to South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma, the marchers among others called on him to take steps to end violence, strife and suffering in the countries such as Burma, Tibet, and many African countries.
The memorandum specifically called on unconditional release of His Eminence Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, and all the Tibetan political prisoners. They also urged the newly re-elected South African president to pressurize China to allow independent investigation of the situation inside Tibet. It further urged African leaders to urge Chinese authorities to sincerely discuss the recent Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan people presented last year by the envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Copies of the memorandum were sent to the UN Secretary-General, EU Representative and Chinese Embassy in Pretoria.
filed by Office of Tibet, Pretoria