By Kalsang Rinchen
New York, March 11: Tibetans and their supporters carrying colorful Tibetan flags on Monday marched across the Brooklyn Bridge to the United Nations this morning to mark the 55th anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day and 5 years since the first self immolation in Tibet.
Tibetans and supporters gathered at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in front of the United Nations’ headquarters in New York to commemorate the 55th anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising day.
Noted Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng expressed his hopes that the Middle Way Approach to seek a genuine autonomy for Tibet within China will bear fruit one day. Also present were representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to north America Kaydor Aukatsang, Liaison Officer for Latin America Tsewang Phuntsok and TYC president Tenzin Jigme.
“It is a critical time in Tibet where, in the past 5 years, at least 127 Tibetans across the plateau, young and old, set light their own bodies for freedom and return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet,” said Ngawang Palden, the president of the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress of New York and New Jersey.
The official ceremony at the plaza concluded with the vote of thanks from Mr. Kunga Thinley, president of the Tibetan Community of New York and New Jersey.
Tenzin Jigme, the president of the Tibetan Youth Congress submitted a memorandum at the office of Mr. Mauricio Paiz-Merino, Human Rights Officer, New York Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) concerning TYC’s Peace March which started from Dharamsala on February 8th and concluded in Delhi, India on March 10th. Mr. Jigme briefed Mr. Paiz-Merino regarding the dire situation in Tibet and appealed for UN intervention in Tibet.
Members from the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress accompanied TYC president Tenzing Jigme in the closed door meeting with Mr. Paiz-Merino who reportedly explained UNHCR’s initiatives for Tibet and assured his support.
Mr. Paiz-Merino also said that UN is well aware of the critical situation in Tibet and reassured all possible help in the future.
The rally then marched through the crowded streets of New York towards the Chinese Consulate passing through the popular Times Square area that was bustling with tourists.
Mr.Yan Jianli, a Chinese dissident and Tiannamen Square activist in 1989 spoke at the Chinese Consulate and expressed his support for the Tibetan movement. Yan, who is also the president of Initiatives for China, said he was honored to become a part of Tibet’s extraordinary struggle for freedom which has won worldwide respect. “I am humbled because your unspeakable suffering has been at the hands of a government that is largely Han Chinese of which I am a member. The wisdom and guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama have shown a path to justice paved with peace and non-violence for all to follow. I am indeed honored and humbled to follow the path of His Holiness and to walk with you and call each of you my brother or sister.”
The rally concluded with the singing of Mimang Lang-lu, the Tibetan National Uprising song and the recitation of Dentshik Monlam, the prayer of truth.