MEP Thomas Mann, (3rd L) speaking at the Tibetan Flame of Truth torch relay in Brussels, Belgium, on September17, 2012.
DHARAMSHALA, September 18: The global journey of the Tibetan ‘Flame of Truth’ torch relay reached Brussels, the capital of the European Union and Melbourne in Australia over the last few days.
Arriving from London, the torch was received at the Bassillique de Koekelberg, in Brussels by MEP Thomas Mann, the president of Tibet Intergroup in the European Parliament, MEP Tunne Kelam, Ngodup Dorjee, the Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, members of local Tibet support groups and local Tibetans.
The torch bearer for the European leg of the tour, Tibetan Member of Parliament Ven. Thupten Wangchen spoke first on the campaign missions and called upon EU and its member states to stand in solidarity with Tibet.
After campaigning throughout India, the second leg of the torch 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.
MEP Thomas Mann welcomed the ‘Flame of Truth’ relay to Brussels and reiterated his support for the cause of Tibet. He recounted the efforts being made by the members of European Parliament to raise Tibet’s issue within EU and assured of the Tibet Intergroup’s continued work towards the appointment of an EU special coordinator for Tibet.
The torch will carry out its campaign in Belgium till September 20 in Brussels and Antwerpen with rallies, processions, and signature campaigns 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 ensure that the basic aspirations of the Tibetans inside Tibet are fulfilled.
Tibetans and Chinese carrying out the 'Flame of Truth' torch relay in Melbourne, Australia.
In Australia, the ‘Flame of Truth’ was received at the Federation Square, Melbourne by over 200 Tibetans and supporters, Saturday.
Representatives of the Tibetan Community of Victoria, the Chinese Democratic Coalition Group, and the Vietnamese and Mongolia Community of Victoria spoke at the rally which led to the Parliament House after marching through the city.
The next day, the torch relay was carried out in Melbourne’s densely Chinese populated suburb Box Hill by Frank Ruanji, the president of Chinese Democracy Coalition Group. The Chinese activists wore T-shirts calling for unity in bringing down the totalitarian regime of the Chinese Communist party and raised slogans for a ‘Free China, Free Tibet.’
On Wednesday, the Flame of Truth will travel to Hobart, the capital city of the Australian state Tasmania.
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.