DHARAMSHALA, September 12: Canadian Member of Parliament Peggy Nash and Senator Consiglio Di Nino joined over 200 Tibetans and supporters in bringing the ‘Flame of Truth’ torch relay to Toronto, Canada, last week.
After campaigning throughout India, the second leg of the relay, initiated by the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, to express “solidarity with the courageous and selfless acts” of Tibetans inside Tibet, was flagged off simultaneously in North America, Europe and Australia on September 2, the 52nd Tibetan Democracy Day.
Long time friends and supporters of the Tibetan cause, MP Nash and Senator Nino, took part in the torch relay which began from the Parkdale area of the city and traversed through downtown Toronto covering ten kilometers.
All along the relay, pamphlets on the critical situation inside Tibet, heralded by the 51 known cases of self-immolations since 2009, were distributed.
Over 1000 signatures were also collected for the campaign petition urging the United Nations to discuss the issue of Tibet based on its earlier resolutions, to send an independent international fact-finding delegation to Tibet and to take special responsibility to ensure that the basic aspirations of the Tibetans inside Tibet are fulfilled.
MP Nash, while welcoming the torch to Toronto, called upon the international community and the UN to urgently act on the critical situation inside Tibet.
She also demanded an end to the “persistent violation of human rights in Tibet and the total disregard for Tibetan people’s personal life and freedom.”
In June this year, MP Nash, while speaking in the parliament, called on her government to take action to save Tibetan lives, noting that Canada has a “responsibility to take immediate action to end the suffering, and see a real improvement in the lives of the Tibetan people.”
Senator Di Nino expressed solidarity with the people of Tibet and pledged his continued support. He urged the Tibetans to never let the flame to seek freedom die and to never stop fighting for their country, for freedom, and for justice.
In Europe, the ‘Flame of Truth’ torch relay reached Paris, France last week following its launch from Barcelona, Spain on September 2.
The torch was received at the Pagode, Bois de Vincennes in Paris by hundreds of Tibetans and supporters on Saturday, among whom were Senator Andre Gattolin, Regional Council member of Ile de France, Jean Marc Brule, French actress Veronique Janot and representatives from various French support groups.
Members from the Chinese Democratic Party (Europe) and Tibet-Chine Friendship Alliance also took part in the brief ceremony.
All members of the French community present during the torch ceremony expressed support for Tibet and assured to continue to press the French government to take definitive and concrete steps to bring a peaceful resolution to the Tibet crisis.
The relay, after traveling around hundreds of cities all over the world will conclude on December 10, World Human Rights Day, with the submission of the petitions, simultaneously to the UN Headquarters in New York City, UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and UN information office in New Delhi.