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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Across Canada, rallies and vigils commemorate Tibet National Uprising Day

March 14, 2016

Canada Tibet Committee, March 10, 2016 Under the banner “Canada Stands with Tibet”, Tibetan community groups, NGOs and supporters rallied today in cities across the country to commemorate the 57th anniversary of Tibet National Uprising Day.

In Ottawa, members of the all-party Parliamentary Friends of Tibet spoke passionately about the situation inside Tibet. MPs Arif Virani (LPC), Randall Garrison (NDP) and Garnett Genuis (CPC), as well as former PFT Co-Chair Irwin Cotler, emphasized the importance of supporting non-violent struggles and of promoting renewal of the Sino-Tibet dialogue.

Later in the House of Commons, current PFT Chair Arif Virani rose to make a formal statement commemorating the Tibet National Uprising. Around him, members of parliament donned “khatas” as a sign of solidarity. You can watch Virani deliver his March 10 statement here:

In Vancouver, more than 100 Tibetans and supporters gathered for a day-long vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate. Energy never faded as volunteers provided participants with tea and khapse throughout the day.  Short clips of the Vancouver actions can be viewed here:

In Calgary, both of Canada’s national television networks covered the community rally in front of the Chinese consulate. CTV and CBC highlighted events that led to the 1959 uprising and reported on the current situation in Tibet.  Media coverage of the Calgary rally can be viewed at:

In Montreal, attention focused on the five political prisoners highlighted this year: Shokjang; Lhamo Kyab; Gendhun Choekyi Nyima; Khenpo Kartse; and Yeshe Choedron.  An emotional reading of their personal stories generated a feeling of personal connection among those present. Amnesty International collected petition signatures on behalf of Tibetan prisoners.

In Toronto, hundreds of Tibetans rallied and marched through city streets despite persistent rain.  At the Chinese Consulate, speeches by community leaders called for an end to oppression inside Tibet and they condemned China’s efforts to block a Canada-US sponsored seminar in Geneva at which the Dalai Lama was a featured speaker.

In Victoria, supporters held their rally the previous weekend, on March 5.  Following the annual “flag run” through the city, participants were addressed by MPs Elizabeth May (GPC), Randall Garrison (NDP), and Murray Rankin (NDP) on the steps of the BC legislature. 

On March 11, the Geneva seminar with the Dalai Lama went ahead as planned, despite China’s objections.  It was the first time that a high-level UN official has met with His Holiness.  All and all, on the 57th commemoration of Uprising Day, Canada stood firmly in support of Tibet.

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