Tibetan Uprising Day

The Green Party of Canada is observing the 54th Tibetan Uprising Day this Sunday. On March 10th 1959, the people of Tibet rose against China's illegal rule. Thousands of Tibetans were massacred and His Holiness the Dalai Lama had to flee into exile. It will be an honour for me to attend on behalf of Green Party of Canada Leader, Elizabeth May.

To mark the 54th Tibetan National Uprising Day on March 10, 2013, around 3000 Canadian Tibetans in the GTA will take part in a massive protest rally in Toronto that will start at 10:00 am in front of China's Consulate-General at 240 St. George St. The protest rally will be followed by a Tibetan Cultural rally on Yonge St. starting at 11:00 AM from the Bloor St. and Yonge St. intersection to reach Yonge-Dundas Square by 12:00 noon. Leaders from various political parties and the Tibetan community will address the 3000-strong public gathering at Yonge-Dundas Square. The rally will also carry 99 dummy coffins draped in the Tibetan national flag to remember and to show respect to those Tibetans who have died so far through self-immolation in Tibet.

After the Communist Party of China came to power in 1949, China began its invasion of independent Tibet. By 1959 the People's Liberation Army of China and its military garrison controlled Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet. The Communist Party of China began its rule of Tibet, bringing irreparable destruction to Tibet's rich culture and unprecedented loss of human lives through the ruthless implementation of authoritarian Communist rule all over Tibet.

The desperation of Tibetans has led to over 107 self-immolation suicides in recent years. The situation in Tibet is an international crisis. Harper’s Conservatives recently created the Office of Religious Freedom: will it remain silent on the Tibetan question? If protecting religious minorities is really a ‘foreign policy priority’ for Canada, now is the time to send the Office’s ambassador to Tibet. 

Green Leader Elizabeth May, Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands.
Not able to bear the loss of national independence, loss of individual freedom and destruction of rich cultural heritage including freedom of religion, on 10th March 1959 the Tibetan people rose up against Communist China's rule in Tibet. This national uprising was suppressed with use of brute military force of the People's Liberation Army of China. Although many thousands were massacred during the uprising and Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama was forced to flee to India in exile, the Tibetan people's struggle for freedom continued with same resilience and hope. Since 2009, 107 Tibetans inside Tibet have burnt themselves alive through self-immolation to convey a strong message to China and to the world that Tibetans are as determined and committed as they were in 1959 to seek freedom, justice and equality. Through these peaceful means Tibetans also wanted to send a strong message to China that Tibetans are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to be free, to be treated fairly and to be treated equally without discrimination in the land of their birth. Tibet, today, remains one of the most oppressed and discriminated place on earth.
Tibetans will dress in their traditional Tibetan provincial and regional costumes and accessories to showcase their rich and unique cultural identity. In this cultural rally Tibetans will also exhibit their unique spiritual and Buddhist rituals and practices.
This is an opportune time for China’s new leader to act on his recent expression supporting democracy. There can be no democracy without respect for Human Rights. Recognizing the leadership presently in exile as the legitimate leaders of the Tibetan people and upholding the earlier negotiated autonomy within China would prove China’s new direction to the world. 

~ Joe Foster, Human Rights Critic for the Green Party of Canada.

Last week, Lobsang Sangay, exiled Tibetans’ political leader, called on Canada’s ambassador for religious freedom to investigate in Tibet.

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