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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."

South Africans march for Panchen Lama's release

May 21, 2009

Office of Tibet (South Africa)
May 19, 2009

Pretoria -- Around fifty South Africans and
resident Tibetans participated in the Peace and
Compassion march Sunday (May 17, 2009) to mark 14
years since the disappearance of Panchen Lama
Gedhun Choekyi Nyima. In the morning the marchers
said the ‘Words of Truth’ (Dentsik Monlam) prayer
led by resident Tibetan Geshe. Held under the
auspices of the Tibet Society of South Africa,
the marchers, wearing yellow T-shirts printed
with ‘Peace in Tibet’ slogans and carrying
placards walked four kilometers from the Mahatma
Gandhi Square to Nelson Mandela bridge in Johannesburg.

At the bridge symbolizing South Africa’s
liberation and freedom, the marchers prayed and
recited Mani Mantra. Representatives from Burmese
freedom group took also joined the march.

The marchers were addressed by a representative
of South African Human Rights Commission and the
Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Pretoria, Sonam Tenzing.

In the memorandum submitted to South Africa’s
President Jacob Zuma, the marchers among others
called on him to take steps to end violence,
strife and suffering in the countries such as
Burma, Tibet, and many African countries.

The memorandum specifically called on
unconditional release of His Eminence Panchen
Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, and all the Tibetan
political prisoners. They also urged the newly
re-elected South African president to pressurize
China to allow independent investigation of the
situation inside Tibet. It further urged African
leaders to urge Chinese authorities to sincerely
discuss the recent Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy
for the Tibetan people presented last year by the
envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Copies of
the memorandum were sent to the UN
Secretary-General, EU Representative and Chinese Embassy in Pretoria.
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