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TIBET 1959-2009 -- 50 years of oppression; 50 years of resistance

March 5, 2009

Tibet Society (London, UK)
March 4, 2009

Saturday 7 March: Tibet Freedom March & Rally

Tuesday 10 March: Wreath laying at Memorial to Innocent Victims, Westminster Abbey

Tuesday 10 March: Mass Lobby for Tibet at House of Commons, Westminster

Tuesday 10 March: Candlelit vigil and prayers opposite Chinese Embassy

Further details below


March assembly point: Opposite Chinese Embassy, 49-51 Portland Place, London, W1B 1JL
Time: Assemble 11.30am. March commences 12.00.

Organised by a coalition of UK Tibet groups, this annual freedom march for Tibet is of greater significance than ever this year with it being the 50th commemoration of the Tibetan people’s uprising and one year on from the protests and demonstrations in Tibet that led to the death of over 200 Tibetans, with thousands more detained, summarily tried and draconian sentences being meted out. Today over 1,000 Tibetans remain missing. The march will be one of many being staged worldwide.

Key messages: "50 years too long: free Tibet now"; "50 years of resistance: Tibet will never die"; "Tibetans in Tibet: we stand with you”; “Stop the torture in Tibet”; Tibetans’ messages: "We are Tibetans not Chinese"; "China stole my land, my voice, my freedom".

Rally at Trafalgar Square: from approx 1.15pm.

Speakers at the rally in Trafalgar square include: Tibetan, ex-political prisoner, Palden Gyatso, Norman Baker MP, Shao Jiang, writer on civil and human rights, and Tibetans living in the UK telling of their struggle.

** Palden Gyatso will be available for interviews.

Memorial to Innocent Victims, outside the Great West Door, Westminster Abbey 
Time: 12.00 midday

A wreath laying ceremony in remembrance of those who have lost their lives or suffered torture and imprisonment as a result of China’s occupation of Tibet since 1950. The service will be conducted by the Dean of Westminster and His Eminence Dorje Dhenpa Rinpoche and has been arranged by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet and Tibet Society.

Central Lobby, House of Commons, Westminster; Time: from 14.30

Mass Lobbies are being planned in capitals around the world to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Tibetan People’s Uprising including Brussels, London, New Delhi, Ottawa and Washington. A coalition of UK Tibet groups have organised a lobby day at Westminster to commemorate the Uprising and call on MPs to take action on their constituents’ urgent concerns about Tibet. A letter from the Coalition groups to the Prime Minister urging that he stand up and act for will be delivered by Palden Gyatso accompanied by a representative from each group to 10 Downing Street at 15.45pm.

Opposite Chinese Embassy, 49-51 Portland Place, London, W1B 1JL
Time: 5.00-7.30pm.

The 50th anniversary will end with prayers conducted by His Eminence Dorje Dhenpa Rinpoche and a candlelit vigil opposite the Chinese Embassy.


For background / further information contact:

Philippa Carrick, Chief Executive, Tibet Society:  020 7272 1414 / 07941 105 485 email:

Background Notes to editors
Coalition of UK Tibet groups:

* Tibet Society:;; 020 7272 1414

* Free Tibet: ;; 020 7324 4605

* Students for a Free Tibet:;;

* Tibetan Youth UK:;; 07725 501 995

* Tibetan Community in Britain:; ? 07929 830 975

Palden Gyatso
Arrested in 1959 for peacefully protesting, Palden spent 33 years in various prisons and labour camps, during which he was subjected to unspeakable torture. A fully ordained Tibetan Buddhist monk, Palden continued to live by his dharmic principles throughout his time in detention and maintains a remarkable compassionate attitude towards those that inflicted the beatings and torments that have left his body permanently damaged. Today Palden travels the world to speak of his experiences and the plight of his people and his homeland.

Palden Gyatso is in the UK at the invitation of Tibet Society to accompany the screening Fire Under the Snow, a new  film based on his autobiography. The London Premiere is at the Prince Charles Cinema on 8th March, followed by an outreach tour around the UK. In the year of the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising, Fire Under the Snow, the life story of Palden Gyatso, bears poignant testimony both to the brutal oppression that Tibetans have suffered under Chinese occupation and the determined resistance they have shown in response.

Palden Gyatso is available for interview. Please contact Philippa Carrick or Katie Mallin on 020 7272 1414.

Documentary "Fire Under the Snow" screening dates

* 8 March: London, Prince Charles Cinema, 5.30pm

* 14 March: Cardiff, Chapter Cinema, 8.15pm 

* 15 March: Bristol, Watershed Cinema, 1.10pm

* 18 March: Norwich, Cinema City, 8.30pm

Shao Jiang
Shao Jiang is a Chinese writer on human and civil rights. He is currently living in political exile having been a prisoner of conscience between 1989-91 followed by house arrests and detentions due to his active role in the 1989 pro-democracy movement and subsequent involvement in civil resistance in China. He was witness to the Tiananmen Square massacre of 3-4 June 1989.

Shao Jiang is available for interview. Please contact Philippa Carrick or Phurbu Rinzin on 020 7272 1414.
Norman Baker, MP
Norman Baker is President of Tibet Society and Vice-Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet. He is available for interview, please call his office on 020 7219 5138.

All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet
Chairman Harry Cohen MP is available for interview, please call his office on 020 7219 2813.

Dorje Dhenpa Rinpoche
Dorje Dhenpa Rinpoche is a leading spiritual teacher in the Sakya tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. He is based in India and is touring the UK during March, when he will be giving  teachings in London, Brighton and Somerset. For further details: .
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