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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Russian Tibet supporters protest against "Serf Emancipation Day"

March 30, 2009

By Julia Jironkina
March 29, 2009

Moscow, March 28 - A rare event for a downtown
Moscow -- the Russian authorities said "yes" to
the request of the local Tibet supporters and
followers of Buddhism to hold a protest against a
new holiday in Tibet which China calls “Serf emancipation day”.

An ugly occasion could not have passed unnoticed
among the Russian Buddhists who have been
following news from Tibet on a daily basis, and
they used this opportunity to express their solidarity to the Tibetan people.

Colorful Tibetan flags were a surprising view for
the hundreds street-walkers in the main Tverskaya
Street, and the sounds of long monastic trumpets
(dunchen) – used as a sign of concern for the
destinies of Tibetan monks in Tibet – attracted everybody’s attention.

The address of Kashag issued earlier that on day
was read as well as the recent letter by Nobel
Winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu who asked
celebrities and general public to raise their
voices in support of the Dalai Lama and human
rights. The Russian Tibet supporters of all walks
of life added their signatures to the letter as
well as their best wishes to the Tibetan people
requesting them to carry on with their peaceful
struggle, never give up and take the collapse of
totatalitarian system in Russia as a sign of hope.

"If just a few years back I dared to say the
Communist regime would collapse in this country,
I would be definitely put into prison”, said one
of the participants. “However, this is exactly what happened here, in Russia”.

But certain topics are still being tabooed in
Russia up to these days and Tibet is one of the
issues that the Russian government finds too
sensitive because of their close relations with
China. Adequate media reports are scarce, but the
recent Russian media tours organized by the Head
Lama of Kalmykia Telo Tulku Rinpoche helped to
increase public awareness. A new Russian
documentary “Sunrise/Sunset. Dalai Lama the 14th”
filmed in Dharamsala in December 2006 was well
received in several Russian cities and
contributed to a better understanding of the
global ideas of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
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