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Tibetans to mourn for New Year

February 25, 2009

VIGILS AND RALLIES: As part of a worldwide campaign, Tibetans living in
Taiwan will forgo their usual festivities to mark Losar, beginning with
a vigil tomorrow
By Loa Iok-sin
Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009, Page 2

Tibetans and Tibet activists will hold a series of events — including a
candlelit vigil tomorrow and parades in Kaohsiung and Taipei next month
— to remember Tibetans who died in uprisings in 1959 and last year.

“Following the uprisings in 1959 and 1989, the Tibetans rose up in large
numbers against the Chinese last year — according to official numbers
[from the Tibetan government-in-exile], 216 people died in the violent
crackdown and 6,000 were jailed last year,” Taiwan Friends of Tibet
chairwoman Chow Mei-li (???) told a press conference in Taipei
yesterday, adding that the Chinese government maintains tight control on
Tibetan civilians and monks.

Pictures of killed or injured Tibetan demonstrators in last year’s
uprising were shown during the press conference.

While tomorrow is Losar — or Tibetan New Year — Tibetans around the
world have decided not to celebrate and to remember those killed last
year, Chow said.

Tibetans traditionally celebrate Losar with a feast, dancing and singing.

“Tibetans in Taiwan and Tibet activists will hold a candlelit vigil on
Liberty Square in Taipei starting 7pm on Feb. 25 to pray that those
victims may rest in peace,” Chow said.

She urged President Ma Ying-jeou (???) to attend the vigil.

“Last year when we held a sit-in in support of demonstrators in Tibet,
Ma, as a presidential candidate, came to voice his support, and said
that he might consider boycotting the Beijing Olympics if the situation
did not improve after he was elected,” Chow said. “Nearly a year after
your election, President Ma, I invite you to come join us on Liberty
Square again on Feb. 25, to show that you sincerely care about the

Presidential Office spokesman Wang Yu-chi (???) said that the office had
not received a formal invitation and Ma would probably not be able to
attend because he has a busy schedule.

There will also be a rally at Liberty Square, while a parade will be
held in Kaohsiung on March 10 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the
Tibetans’ 1959 uprising.

Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (??) is scheduled to declare March 10 “Tibet Day.”

A march to commemorate the 1959 uprising will be held in Taipei on March
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