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March 10 around the world - compiled report
By Email[Thursday, March 11, 2010 16:07]
Following is a compiled report on March 10 events and protests around the world. Though there have been several protests and demonstrations worldwide, we could only carry those about which we have received. Due to lack of space they have been compiled in one page.

New York
New York
New York – As thousands of Tibetans and Tibet supporters in dozens of countries took to the streets yesterday to commemorate the 51st anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day and to show solidarity with a new nonviolent resistance movement gaining momentum in Tibet, over 2000 Tibetans and New Yorkers gathered at Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn from where they marched into Manhattan crossing the monumental Brooklyn Bridge.

The commemorative event in New York was organized jointly by Students for a Free Tibet, Regional Tibetan Youth Congress of New York and New Jersey, The Tibetan Association, US Tibet Committee and Tibetan Women’s Association.

Ngawang Tashi, President of Regional Tibetan Youth Congress of New York and New Jersey (RTYCNYNJ), Tenzin Dorjee, Director of Students for a Free Tibet (SFT), Ngawang Sangdrol (Former political prisoner), Sonam Wangdu, US Tibet Committee, Kunsang la, Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA), and Phurbu Dorjee, Tibet Committee of New York and New Jersey spoke at a commemorative function held near the United Nations building.

The demonstrators headed towards the Chinese Consulate after the function. The Tibetans were joined there by pro democracy Chinese activists and members of Human Rights in China, a New York based NGO monitoring human rights in China.

Tibetans Protesters pass Supreme Court building in New York City, on Wednesday, March 10,2010 (Photo: T. Yangzom)
Tibetans Protesters pass Supreme Court building in New York City, on Wednesday, March 10,2010 (Photo: T. Yangzom)
Another gathering was held in the evening at the historic Union Square where a group of Uigyur students expressed their support for the Tibetans describing how similar their struggle is to the Tibetan struggle.

The day also marked two years since monks began protest marches in Lhasa, Tibet’s capital, that sparked the largest uprising against Chinese rule in Tibet since 1959. Chinese security forces are now a permanent presence in Tibetan towns and villages and a new “Strike Hard” campaign was launched in Lhasa in advance of this sensitive anniversary with hundreds of Tibetans being interrogated and harassed in recent days.

Tibetans and Tibet supporters in at least 100 cities worldwide, including in the USA, Belgium, Poland, UK, France, Germany, India, Australia, and Taiwan are marking the historic day fifty-one years ago – when Tibetans rose against Chinese rule ¬– with protests, marches, candle light vigils, and government lobbying initiatives. In response to a new “I am Tibetan” campaign originating from Tibet, Tibetans in exile will also be recording messages of support dedicated to Tibetans living inside Tibet as part of their Tibetan National Uprising Day activities.

Tenzin Dorjee, Executive Director of Students for a Free Tibet said, “March 10th is a day for Tibetans everywhere to be proud of being Tibetan ¬– proud of our ancestors who died protecting our homeland, proud of our brothers and sisters inside Tibet who continue to resist Chinese oppression, and proud of the new generation of Tibetans who are raising the flag of Tibetan freedom around the world.”

China has heightened security in Tibet in advance of today’s anniversary with journalists and most foreigners effectively barred from the region. Tibet advocates have also noted increased efforts by the Chinese government to silence international support for Tibet in recent days. Tibetan refugees have been preemptively arrested in Nepal, and in the United States, Chinese officials have attempted to pressure municipal governments to revoke annual proclamations of support for Tibet.


Paris

By Colette Davidson

Photo: Colette Davidson
Photo: Colette Davidson
Paris, March 10 - Hundreds took to the streets of Paris on Wednesday in honor of the 51st Tibetan National Uprising Day. While holding signs reading, “Stop the Torture in Tibet” and shouting messages of “Hu Jintao: Assassin!”, demonstrators marched along the Seine towards the Chinese embassy, where the group strengthened its calls for freedom.

For the Tibetan exiled community, National Uprising Day is one of the most important events of the year. The day marks the anniversary of March 10th, 1959, when Tibetans in the capital city of Lhasa rose up against nearly 9 years of Chinese occupation. More than a million Tibetans have died, according to the Tibetan exile government statistics, under the Chinese occupation. Exiled Tibetan communities and supporters worldwide use the day as a platform to promote justice for Tibet and to remember those who have laid down their lives for Tibet.

Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama made a statement from his home in Dharamsala, India, which was read out t the gathering. He reiterated his desire for Tibet’s autonomy, despite Beijing’s continually hard-line stand. The Dalai Lama called on Tibetans to respect others, educate themselves and continue working to preserve Tibetan language and culture. He also expressed the need for China’s 1.3 billion citizens to have free access to information and greater transparency within the country.

Photo: Colette Davidson
Photo: Colette Davidson
Tseyang, a board member of the Communauté Tibétaine de France, who jointly organized the Paris demonstration with La Maison du Tibet, hopes that the day’s protest will bring some sort of change within the current Sino-Tibetan dialogue.

“The Chinese government should try to better understand the situation,” she said as she marched, “Tibet and China are in their ninth round of talks and there are still no concrete results.”

The Dalai Lama sent envoys to Beijing at the end of January to resume negotiations between China and Tibet, which were fruitless. International intervention has not yet produced any significant change for the Tibet issue, which often gets pushed under the table due to Chinese pressure or in favor of more pressing political concerns. U.S. President Barack Obama met the Dalai Lama last month, resulting in angry reactions from the Chinese government.

Sonam Topgyal, an exiled Tibetan living in Paris, believes that the Uprising Day protest will be useful in its ability to bring light to the situation in Tibet and to show China that Tibetans are still fighting for freedom. “When it comes to politics, it’s difficult. But what France can do is to talk about the Tibetan situation to the rest of the world,” he said. Uprising Day demonstrations were planned for today in cities across France, as well as in other parts of the globe.

Above all, Sonam hopes that talking about Tibet will one day result in real change. Holding his Tibetan flag high in the air as he marched, he said, “What I would like is for Tibet to have the same rights as in France – culture, religion, everything.”

Nepal

Kathmandu - Hundreds of Tibetans took to the streets on March 10 in Kathmandu to protest the Chinese government against its rule in Tibet. Marking the 51st anniversary of the Tibetan people's uprising fifty one years ago, the Tibetans called for the long life of the Dalai Lama, and demanded release of Tibetan political prisoners.

Police looks for suspected Tibetan activists in a public van in Kathmandu March 10, 2010. Tibetans in Kathmandu protested during the 51st anniversary of the Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule. (REUTERS/Shruti Shrestha)
Police looks for suspected Tibetan activists in a public van in Kathmandu March 10, 2010. Tibetans in Kathmandu protested during the 51st anniversary of the Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule. (REUTERS/Shruti Shrestha)
The angry demonstrators shouted slogans calling for freedom in Tibet, and asked the Nepalese government to respect freedom of expression. The protesters were immediately charged by the Nepalese police who arrested several Tibetans on the day and detained them.

The Nepal government has recently launched hunt for “trouble makers” through surprise raids of hotels, restaurants and homes earlier last week reportedly under pressure from China that rewards the crisis stricken country with financial aid and military assistance. Several Tibetans have been reportedly taken under "preventive custody" ahead of Wednesday's commemoration. Unlike protests against China by exiles in other parts of the world, the Tibetans in Nepal do not organize protests under any of the Tibetan exile groups like the Tibetan Youth Congress, Tibetan Women’s Association or Students for a Free Tibet making it hard for the Nepalese police to pin down on any particular group.

Nepal has intensified its control on the Tibetan refugee community that numbers around 20,000 ahead of Wednesday’s Tibetan uprising day commemoration. The Himalayan Kingdom that was struck by a series of domestic turmoil and political revamp in the last decade has been preventing the Tibetans from engaging in anti China activities on its soil. Nepal saw one of the most vociferous protests by Tibetan exiles on its soil in 2008 when China cracked down on protests and demonstrations all over Tibet ahead of the Beijing Olympics.

Indianapolis

On this 51st Anniversary of China's illegal and brutal occupation of Tibet, the International Tibet Independence Movement (ITIM) led a walk participated by 24 Tibetans, Westerners from different locales in Indiana and from Cincinnati participated.

During the 3-hour walk down one of the busiest streets in Indianapolis, the walkers carrying banners that read “Independence for Tibet,” “Free The Panchen Lama,” “China Out of Tibet,” “Long Live Dalai Lama” were seen by hundreds of vehicles and pedestrians. The walkers were greatly inspired by the many, many vehicles that responded to the sign, “Honk for Tibet.”

One of the major local TV stations took footage of the walk and interviewed some of the walkers.

The walk ended in downtown Indianapolis during lunch hour. As a result, many office workers and convention goers witnessed the final rally at Monument Circle.

The walk concluded with brief moving speeches by the Presidents of the International Tibet Independence Movement and the Indiana Tibetan Association, the singing of the Tibetan National Anthem, prayers for the long life of His Holiness The Dalai Lama, and the dedication of the day's merit.

On this 51st Anniversary of China's illegal and brutal occupation of Tibet, the International Tibet Independence Movement (ITIM) also announced that it will lead a 150 mile “March for Tibet's Independence” beginning with a demonstration at Independence Hall in Philadelphia July 4 (American Independence Day). The walk will proceed through Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., concluding with another demonstration in front of China's Embassy in Washington July 13, 2010. This is the 15th major 'March' or 'Bicycle Ride' for Tibet's independence organized by ITIM since 1995. ITIM walkers and bike riders have compiled greater than 3,600 miles in more than 350 days.

The Indiana Tibetan Association and the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress-Minnesota are assisting ITIM with the coordination of this year's walk.

ITIM was co-founded in 1995 by Taktser Rinpoche and Professor Larry Gerstein to obtain Tibet's independence through non-violent methods. While ITIM is headquartered in Indiana, there are over 10,000 supporters of this organization worldwide.

Australia

In collaboration of the Tibetan Community Association of Western Australia and TAGWA (Tibet Action Group for Western Australia), a Peace March rally was orgainsed to commemorate the 51st anniversary of 10th March 1959. Tibetans and their supporters including Green MP Giz Watson gathered in front of the Parliament House where Zatul Rinpoche, president of the Tibetan Community, welcomed the participants and addressed the importance of the 10th March rally. Towards the end of his speech, he presented a letter to Giz Watson which was addressed to the Western Australian members of Parliament and urges Australian MPs to take a strong stance for the freedom of the Tibetan people and to raise the Tibetan issue during visits from Chinese officials.

A 5 km march through the city ending in front of the Chinese Consulate took place. Once gathered there the Tibetans sang the Tibetan national anthem which was followed by passionate speeches from Ven. Geshe Jampel Senge; Helen McLaughlin, president of TAGWA; Sonam Dolma Norden, Tibetan Community Association and Giz Watson. Slogans such as “Free Tibet”, “Long live Dalai Lama” and “Freedom for Tibet” where chanted for half an hour grabbing the attention of the staffs in the Chinese consulate.

The group planned on delivering a letter to the Chinese Consulate signed by the Greens, Tibetan Community and TAGWA demanding human rights in Tibet and to resume negotiation with the representatives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama but the Consulate refused to accept the letter.

Germany

Berlin, March 10th 2010 – Tibet Initiative Deutschland“ (TID) and the Association of Tibetans in Germany (VTD) held demonstrations, concerts, vigils and solidarity rallies in more than 20 German cities marking the 51st Tibetan National Uprising Day of March 10, 1959.

In Berlin, Frankfurt and Hamburg the rallies took place in front of the Chinese Embassy and the Consulates.

Tibetan Flag campaign, also organized by the TID, set a new record. 1056 cities, municipalities and counties all over Germany flew the Tibetan national flag on March 10 at town halls and official buildings, including the regional capitals Hanover, Magdeburg, Potsdam, Saarbrucken, Stuttgart and Wiesbaden.

By doing so, the democratically elected leaders of cities, municipalities and counties, who represent thousands of citizens, are affirming the legitimacy of the Tibetan people’s right to self-determination and protest against the violations of human rights and the destruction of the Tibetan people's culture, religion and national identity, said Monika Deimann, the campaign’s coordinator of the TID. “The Sino-Tibetan dialogue is after all not about the Dalai Lama’s person but about the fate of six million Tibetans. Given all the initiatives from the Tibetan side, it is now China’s turn to come forward with a meaningful proposal. Beijing should finally realize that the Dalai Lama is not the core problem, but on the contrary an indispensable part for a peaceful solution.”

Brussels, Belgium

Around 400 Tibetan and friends of Tibet gathered at the European Union place on March 10 to commemorate the 51st year of Tibetan people’s uprising against the communist Chinese invasion.

Tashi Wangdi, representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama for Western Europe, Magreb and EU read out the statement of His Holiness followed by address by supporters.

A protest was held in front of the Chinese Embassy later in the day.

Pune, India

Students from 16 different countries in Pune met today to commemorate the 51st anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising day at Symbiosis Auditorium.

March 10 holds a special significance in the hearts of all Tibetans as on this day, 51 years ago, Tibetan all over Tibet rose up against the brutan Chinese occupation that left at least a million people dead. Thousands of innocents and nonviolent protesters were killed by the People's Liberation Army(PLA) in Lhasa on this day. The day also signifies Tibetan people's resistance against Chinese occupation of Tibet when thousands of Tibetans gathered infront of the Potala palace to guard the Dalai Lama and defy the foreign occupation.

“It is our responsibility as Tibetans growing in the free world to share the plight of our brothers and sisters in Tibet to the global community.” said Tenzin Tselha, Coordinator of Students for a free Tibet – Pune chapter. “Organizing this meeting of international students enable us to educate our peers from different parts of the world to understand Tibetan struggle better.”

In today's event, "Knowing Others", Tibetan students did a special presentation on the Tibetan freedom struggle and Tibetan culture to the gathering followed by presentation of culture by student participants from different countries. The participants also sang their feelings through songs, hence creating an atmosphere of international union.

“Through this meeting, we were able to highlight the current situation in Tibet to the participants.” said Tenzin dolkar, a Tibetan participant and member of Students for a free Tibet. “Situation in Tibet has never improved since the Occupation. We demand the Chinese government to stop oppressing people of Tibet.”

Pune is a city of many communities and diverse culture. Known for its educational facilities with more than hundred educational institutes and nine universities, Pune has attracted international students from different parts of the world.

Students for a Free Tibet, Pune chapter remembers this day and wants to acquaint the plight and tragedy of Tibet that is fragmented into the hearts of six million Tibetans to Pune and beyond.

During a candle light vigil, Tibetan monks gather in support of the anniversary of the 1959 Tibet uprising against Chinese rule at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Square in Taipei, Taiwan, Wednesday, March 10, 2010. The 1959 Tibetan uprising began on March 10, 1959, when an anti-Chinese and anti-communist revolt erupted in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, which had been under the reign of the Communist Party of China since the Invasion of Tibet in 1950.
(AP Photo/Wally Santana)
During a candle light vigil, Tibetan monks gather in support of the anniversary of the 1959 Tibet uprising against Chinese rule at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Square in Taipei, Taiwan, Wednesday, March 10, 2010. The 1959 Tibetan uprising began on March 10, 1959, when an anti-Chinese and anti-communist revolt erupted in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, which had been under the reign of the Communist Party of China since the Invasion of Tibet in 1950. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
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