By Tenzin Tsering
Kasur Shawo Lobsang Dhargal (left) holds a Tibetans flag and a placard reading "Independence for Tibet"
Dharamsala, July 16 - “March for Tibet’s Independence’ which started from Philapdelphia concluded its 150 mile at the Chinese embassy in Washington DC Tuesday.
The cross state march covering Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland was organised by International Tibet’s Independence Movement on July 4th,a symbolic date celebrated as America’s Independence day.
The march started from the Independence Hall, Philadelphia and ended at the Chinese embassy, covering the distance within nine days. Along the route, Tibetans and supporters joined the core walkers who will continue to pursue such missions in future.
Kasur Shawo Lobsang Dhargyal joined the walk for the third time completing the last 3.5 miles to the embassy, said Larry Gerstein of the ITIM. “He walked with an “Independence for Tibet” placard and was joined by four other Tibetans from Philadelphia in the march.”
After the walkers including both Tibetans and westerners reached their final destination at the Chinese embassy they chanted slogans demanding release of Tibetan political prisoners and independence for Tibet. Members of the Indiana Tibetan Association, Tibetan Association of Philadelphia, Capitol Area Tibetan Association, Capitol Area Regional Tibetan Youth Congress, and Regional Tibetan Youth Congress-Minnesota who assisted in organizing walk were also present at the final event.
“We also attempted to forward a letter to the Chinese ambassador in USA, which was not accepted by the embassy, ” said Larry Larry Gerstein.
The letter called for an immediate release of all Tibetan political prisoners including Gendhun Choekyi Nyima, The Panchen Lama, and Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, the return of Tibetans to Tibet, withdrawal of PRC from Tibet among other demands.
“It should be noted that China's new and very expensive Embassy looks like an army fortress. While it appears to be a highly secure compound on the outside, we all know that it was built on lies, deception, human rights abuses, and horrific acts of violence in Tibet. Therefore, its essence is fragile and subject to collapse” said Gerstein, further adding that “China was even afraid to accept the letter”. The letter will be mailed.
This is the 15th major ‘March’ for Tibet’s independence organized by ITIM since its inception in 1995.