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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."

Italy marches for Tibet

June 20, 2008

Report filed by Tenzin Sangpo, Tibetan Community of Italy/edited by
Tenzin Sangmo
Phayul
June 18, 2008

Sunday, June 15 - Tibetans and supporters in Italy amounting to more
than 2,000 took to the Rome City Centre for a peace march to protest
against the decision to take the blood stained Olympic torch through
Tibet. Tibetan flags soared high in the sky while slogans denouncing
the authoritative regime echoed through the streets.

President of the Tibetan Community in Italy Dr. Thupten Tenzin called
on Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi and the European Union to
boycott the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. Despite promises
China continues to use its repressive policy in Tibet and remains
completely isolated and militarized. He said the participation of the
European Head of States will legitimize the brutality of the Chinese
administration. "We are here to also demonstrate our solidarity with
the Return to Tibet March which will be arriving at the Indo-Tibet
borders very soon," he further added.

In his speech, Honorable Matteo Mecacci of the Radical Party and
Member of Commission of External Affairs of the present Italian
Government said, "We still don't know if the Italian Prime minister
will attend the opening ceremony but we certainly don't want him to do so".

Honorable Luca Mellan and Bruno Mellano also attended the march and
gave brief speeches in support of the Tibetan cause.

Italian Actress Tiziana Foschi read part of His Holiness's message to
the international community for their support and a short prayer
session was held in memory of the victims of the recent Chinese
crackdown in Tibet.

Tseten Samdup Choekyaba, Representative of His Holiness in Geneve
sent a message to the Italian people and the government asking for
support in the non violent struggle of Tibetans. In his note read by
Dr. Thupten Tenzin, Choekyaba said that the Dalai Lama did not seek
independence but genuine autonomy which is aimed at preserving the
Tibetan (minority) culture and language, a degree of self governance
excluding matters of foreign relations and national defense. The
message also observed the undying support of the Italian community
and concluded with sincere appreciation of their efforts.

There was a large presence of monks and nuns from some Tibetan
Buddhist Centers of Italy especially the Lama Tsongka Institute. The
Taxi Union of Rome joined the march which was addressed by local
politicians as a mark of solidarity with the cause. The Tibetan
National Anthem was sung by those gathered at the City Center which
saw the day's event draw to an end.

The peace march was made possible by the Tibetan Community of Italy,
Tibetan Women's Association and the Laogai Research Center and
Association Italy Tibet.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
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