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"For a happier, more stable and civilized future, each of us must develop a sincere, warm-hearted feeling of brotherhood and sisterhood."

Tibetans march in mourning

February 27, 2009

By: Megan Orear /The Daily Cardinal - February 26, 2009

Instead of taking part in New Year festivities, members of the Wisconsin
Tibetan Association marched peacefully to the Capitol to mourn Tibetans
killed while protesting against the Chinese government.

Members of the Wisconsin Tibetan Association marched from Library Mall
to the state Capitol Wednesday to mourn Tibetans who died last year
while protesting Chinese control of the region.

Although Wednesday marked the beginning of the Tibetan New Year
festivities, Tibetans all over the world decided to make the day a
solemn occasion instead of taking part in the usual celebrations.

Mourners walked down State Street Wednesday, holding signs condemning
the Chinese government and reciting a prayer in memory of the dead.

“Instead of celebrating the Tibetan new year, we are actually trying to
show the world that we remember our dead brothers and sisters and
[those] who are still suffering in Tibet under Chinese occupation,” WTA
President Thubden Sangha said.

Shaoo Tahsi of Tibet said the march was meant to show “solidarity for
those who have suffered with the Chinese,” citing the government’s
imprisonment of hundreds of peaceful protestors.

The Chinese government, which has ordered additional troops to subdue
protests in Tibet and has cut off foreign tourists to the area, is under
fire from not only Tibetans, but also Amnesty International and the U.S.
State Department for its poor human rights conditions.

Sangha said he thinks the United States can do a “tremendous” amount to
assist the Tibetan people, but unfortunately economic conditions take
precedence over human rights issues. He said Tibetans are not asking for
independence from China, but want more autonomy while leaving foreign
affairs up to the Chinese government.

“Basic human rights, that’s all we’re asking, and that the Chinese are
not willing to give us,” Sangha said.
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