Native Village Youth and Education News

April 1, 2009 Issue 196 Volume 1

Crowds Protest Around World for Freedom in Tibet    
by Audra Ang, Rod McGuirk,  Laura Nichols, Gavin Rabinowitz,  and Deborah Seward

Condensed by Native Village

The Dalai Lama, now 73, is among the world's great spiritual leaders. In an unusually harsh dialogue, His Holiness said the Chinese have pushed Tibet's culture and identity to near extinction and "brought untold suffering to the land and people of Tibet.

Read the Dalai Lama's Entire Statement:

New York: Tibetans and activists across the world recently marched to support Tibet's people against Chinese suppression. The violence began 50 years ago when after China invaded their country after a Tibetan uprising. Chinese troops killed millions of people and Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, was forced to flee Tibet and go into exile. Last year, another wave of violence broke out. This year, Chinese troops poured into the region to quell any protests.

 In Germany, lawmaker Volker Beck invited world leaders to ask China to resume dialogue with the Dalai Lama. Demonstrators also gathered outside the Chinese Embassy in Berlin.

 In New York City, 1,000 - 3,000 protesters threaded their way across the Brooklyn Bridge and through Times Square. Some wore the crimson robes of Buddhist monks.  Many carried portraits of the Dalai Lama, waved Tibetan flags and banners, and called out "shame on China,"  "Tibetan people are suffering enormously, and it is the responsibility of Tibetans outside, in the free world, to speak up for Tibet," said Tibetan-born demonstrator Tashi Sharjangk. "We are hoping for the world to pay more attention to Tibet."

In San Francisco, hundreds of pro-Tibetan activists gathered outside the Chinese Consulate, carrying signs and chanting, "Long Live the Dalai Lama" and "we want free Tibet. "They called on China to respect human rights in Tibet and to release Tibetan political prisoners. 55-year-old Ngodup Tsering left Tibet for India with his family in 1959.  He said he would like to return one day to "see Tibetans free, as free people in their own land."

 In India, thousands of young Tibetans marched through Dharmsala, the town where the Dalai Lama set up base after fleeing Tibet.  

In Canberra, Australia, protesters scuffled with police outside the Chinese Embassy after 300 had marched from Parliament House. Police arrested four people who broke through temporary fencing. The phone at the the Chinese Embassy press office went unanswered the following day.

In Paris, Pro-Tibet demonstrators marched down fashionable Avenue George V/

  In Nepal, home to thousands of Tibetan exiles, police blocked Tibetans who demonstrated on the outskirts of the Katmandu chanting "Stop killing in Tibet!" "Free Tibet!"

In London, protesters marched near the Houses of Parliament. Some wore monk outfits or bright traditional Tibetan dresses. "I could say
'freedom for Tibet' here, but a Tibetan person could be imprisoned and tortured for that," said protester Julie Speechley.

 In Warsaw, Poland, people people lit white candles in front of the Chinese Embassy.

Similar protests were held across Europe and the Asia-Pacific regions.


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