Kalon Pema Chhinjor participating in the March 10 rally in Melbourne.
DHARAMSHALA, March 10: A coalition of Chinese, Australian, and Vietnamese supporters along with Tibetans today marked the 54th Tibetan National Uprising Day in the Australian city of Melbourne.
Over 300 people began the official commemorations at the city centre Federation square with a two-minute silence and prayers for Tibetans who have sacrificed their lives for Tibet, including the 107 self-immolators.
The participants then marched 10kms to the Chinese consulate through the heart of the city carrying photos of Tibet self-immolators, who have set themselves on fire demanding freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama from exile.
In his address, Kalon Pema Chhinjor of the Department of Religion and Culture of the Central Tibetan Administration, reminded that the Tibetan struggle is not against the Chinese people but against the Chinese government’s polices of repression of Tibetan language, culture, religion, and basic human rights.
He noted that Tibetans should reach out to Chinese friends both in Australia and the world over urging them to help the Tibetan cause and speak to their own government for the rights of Tibetans.
President of the Melbourne Tibetan Community, Samdup Tsering in his speech urged Australian PM Julia Gillard to make a strong public statement of concern over the situation in Tibet and urge China to allow foreign journalists unfettered access to all Tibetan areas.
A member of the Chinese Tibetan Friendship Association and the Chinese Democracy Party, Frank Ruanjie said that freedom for Tibet also means freedom for China. He added that there are many Chinese in Australia and elsewhere who support the cause of Tibet’s genuine autonomy and stand beside Tibetans in their fight for human rights.
Representatives of the Vietnamese and Nagaland communities in their speeches reassured continued support and solidarity with the Tibetan people.
At the Chinese consulate, the National Uprising Day Statement of Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, the elected head of the Tibetan people, was read out followed by vociferous sloganeering for Tibet’s freedom and human rights in Tibet. Based on a report sent by S Tsering, President, Melbourne Tibetan Community