By Tenzin Dharpo
SFT's rendition of the Chinese National flag on the 29th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre. photo- facebook
DHARAMSHALA, June 4: Activist group Students for a Free Tibet earlier today held a commemorative event on the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre here at McLeod Ganj’s main square to express solidarity with China’s democracy movement that continues to be snubbed out by the ruling communist party.
SFT unveiled an artistic rendition of the Chinese national flag wherein the yellow stars have been replaced by the iconic tank man resisting an approaching tank. The group engaged tourists and locals alike about the day and distributed pamphlets that highlighted facts about the 1989 massacre and significance, which Chinese government have been keen to omit from the pages of modern history.
The group’s National Director Tenzin Tselha said, “The Tiananmen Square protestors in 1989 is one of the most notorious illustrations of authoritarian repression. But from those dark days came one of the most famous symbols of resistance: the person we know only as Tank Man. Standing defiant in front of a column of tanks, he represented the strength of the people’s movement for democracy in the face of the PRC’s totalitarianism.”
She added that the act of solidarity will focus on this image of resistance and also express our solidarity with China’s democracy movement then and now.
SFT’s Campaigns Director Tenzin Dakpa said that the Tiananmen Square Massacre is relatively unknown in present China due to the heavy censorship on the particular topic. He also said that supporting the movement for democracy in China will have benefits to the Tibetan freedom struggle.
On June 4, 1989, a mass student led demonstration in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square calling for democracy in the country was met with brute force from the communist party. The resulting crackdown by the army and resistance from students resulted in death of several thousand people although the official Chinese government numbers suggest much lower death toll.
According to declassified document, written little more than 24 hours after the then-British ambassador to China, Sir Alan Donald, the death toll exceeds at the minimum 10,000 people who died from either from bullets being fired or being run over by armored vehicles and tanks.