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Candles lit in Taipei to mark 1959 Tibetan Uprising

Candles lit in Taipei to mark 1959 Tibetan Uprising

Taipei, March 10 (CNA) Around 80 Tibetan and Taiwanese people took part in a candlelight vigil in Taipei Tuesday evening to commemorate the 56th anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan Uprising against Beijing rule, calling for more autonomy and freedom for Tibet. The participants, some of whom were Tibetan monks in red robes, stood in the chilly rain at the National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall as they observed the day in unity via Skype with similar crowds in southern Taiwan's Kaohsiung and in Hong Kong. A poster at the Taipei event showed pictures of Tibetans who died after self-immolating to protest against Beijing's tight control over Tibet. On the ground were candles spelling out the slogan "Free Tibet." Only one Taiwanese and a few Tibetan monks attended the event in Taipei when it first began almost a decade ago, said Bari Dawa Tsering (????), chairman of the Taipei-based Tibet Religious Foundation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. "Now there are more and more students and non-Buddhists participating, which is very different from the past," he observed. "More people now feel that Tibet's problem is also their problem." Bari noted that people in Hong Kong who organized the event there did so because they know that "today's Tibet is tomorrow's Hong Kong." Under Chinese rule, Bari said, threats and abuse have become "daily meals" for the Tibetans, but more fearful for the Tibetans is the elimination of their language, culture and religion. Tibetan children are sent to school to learn Chinese and the use of the Tibetan language is strongly suppressed, he said, adding that "if the language disappears, there will be no Tibetan culture and religion." Thomas Tu (???), director of the Taiwan Students for a Free Tibet group, called on the passage of a refugee law in Taiwan that would give refugees in the country more protection, such as allowing them to work and receive medical benefits. Most of the Tibetans living in Taiwan are refugees. He also reiterated calls for the Taiwanese government to include a human rights charter in agreements signed with China and to ban Chinese officials who have violated human rights from entering Taiwan. Lai Pei-chun (???), a 32-year-old Taiwanese, said she came to the event for the first time because she feels that Tibetan's call for independence and the concern about the loss of Tibetan culture are similar to what she fears for Taiwan as China grows more powerful. "I can relate to their feelings," she said. (By Christie Chen)


Updated : 2021-09-24 14:50 GMT+08:00