International Campaign for Tibet EU Policy Director Vincent Metten speaks through a bullhorn at an event in Brussels on March 10, 2020 marking the 61st anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising

The International Campaign for Tibet joined in the commemoration of Tibetan Uprising Day globally on Tuesday with multiple events around the world.

In addition to a rally outside the Chinese Embassy in Washington, DC, ICT took part in marches and demonstrations in Amsterdam and Brussels, while our partner organization, Australia Tibet Council, was involved in events in Australia.

At the same time, politicians in the United States and Europe continued to express solidarity with the Tibetan people as they marked the 61st anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising of March 10, 1959, when Tibetans broke out in mass protest against China’s brutal occupation of their homeland in the Himalayan region of Asia.

Belgium

Brussels is the headquarters of the European Union, and the ICT office in that Belgian city took part in rally that drew about 200 participants.

Member of the European Parliament Isabel Santos and Member of the Belgian Parliament Samuel Cogolati spoke during the event, as did ICT’s EU Policy Director Vincent Metten. Below are photos of the gathering:

Protestors hold signs calling out China’s abduction of the Panchen Lama , one of the most important figures in Tibetan Buddhism , and its plan to interfere in the succession of the Dalai Lama

ICT EU Policy Director Vincent Metten holds the microphone as Member of Belgian Parliament Samuel Cogolati speaks during the protest

Protestors march through Brussels with Tibetan flags and signs criticizing the Chinese government’s oppression in Tibet

Tibetans and their supporters demonstrate behind a barricade calling on the public to save Tibet

The Netherlands

On Tuesday, ICT’s office in Amsterdam helped lead a rally and peace march to commemorate the Tibetan Uprising anniversary.

About 150 people took part in the activities, including representatives from Amnesty International, as well as Uyghur and Hong Kong activists.

The event’s participants helped raise awareness about the situation in Tibet, especially by screening a short video about the uprising and China’s occupation of Tibet on a large LED screen in Amsterdam’s Dam Square.

Below are photos from the event:

ICT Europe Executive Director Tsering Jampa speaks from the microphone during the Tibetan Uprising Day protest and peach march in Amsterdam

ICT Europe Executive Director Tsering Jampa (second from left) is on stage alongside Buddhist monks and other activists

An activist with a bullhorn rallies the crowd in Amsterdam

A long line of protestors marches alongside a bus on the streets of Amsterdam

Australia

The Australia Tibet Council, joined the rallies on Tuesday organized by the local Tibetan communities across Australia, including Sydney and the capital of Canberra.

See photos and videos of the event in Sydney below:

United States

ICT’s Washington, DC office took part in a rally on Tuesday organized by the Capital Area Tibetan Association and the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress. ICT president Matteo Mecacci delivered a speech during the event.

The Washington office also released a statement voicing solidarity with the Tibetan people as they marked the 61st anniversary of the uprising.

Several members of Congress—including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.; Rep. James McGovern, D-Mass.; Rep. Thomas Suozzi, D-NY; and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY.—released statements expressing their support for Tibetans, as did the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, of which McGovern is chair.

The Tibetan Association of Boston also reported receiving statements of support from McGovern and his fellow Massachusetts legislators Rep. Stephen F. Lynch; Rep. Ayanna Pressley; Rep. Joe Kennedy III and Sen. Edward Markey.

Germany

The Tibet Parliamentary Group in the German Bundestag also put out a message on Monday in recognition of Tibetan Uprising Day.

Below is the message translated into English from German by ICT’s Berlin office:

PRESS INFORMATION from the TIBET PARLIAMENTARY GROUP in the German Bundestag+++
Commemorating tomorrow’s anniversary of the crackdown on Tibet’s popular uprising: “Protect Tibet’s cultural and religious human rights; stop China’s brutal repression!

On the anniversary of the crackdown by Chinese troops of the popular uprising in Tibet on 10 March 1959, the Tibet parliamentary group in the German Bundestag, represented by chairperson Michael Brand (CDU/CSU) and co-chairperson Maria Klein-Schmeink (B90/Green Party) call on Germany and the EU to advocate for the people of Tibet and their rights:

“Sixty-one years ago today, on 10 March 1959, tens of thousands of Tibetans demonstrated for their country’s freedom as well as for their religion and culture. Nine years earlier, Communist China had violently occupied Tibet, which had been independent for hundreds of years, destroyed monasteries, and imprisoned and killed people. The Tibetans’ secular and spiritual head, the Dalai Lama, had to flee and go into exile.

The Tibetan’s continuing struggle for freedom has been brutally suppressed by the Chinese regime for decades. The Chinese leadership has done nothing less in Tibet than systematically destroy a culture that is thousands of years old.

With awe and respect, we have been watching how the Tibetans, both in Tibet itself and in exile, have preserved and maintained their unique, impressive, and peaceful customs despite the Chinese regime’s systematic campaign of destruction.

China has established a totalitarian police state in Tibet; it has destroyed or misused numerous cultural and religious sites. China has waged an increasingly open if undeclared war on the culture and religion of the Tibetans and against the entire Tibetan people. This makes it ever more urgent for us Germans and Europeans to advocate for the rights of the Tibetan people and to call upon the Chinese leadership to stop its brutal campaign, to check itself, and to engage in serious dialogue with the Tibetans.

Germany and the EU must insist that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights visit Tibet and speak with the Tibetans when she officially visits China this year. Tibet must play a role in the bilateral relations between Germany, the EU and China; otherwise, human rights dialogue, democracy, and rule of law are nothing but a farce.

Europe must not lose face in its dealings with the Chinese leadership. The Communist leadership has taken the free world’s pussyfooting as confirmation that it can attack critics or those who think differently more and more openly, whether in Tibet or elsewhere. In the meantime, the Chinese leadership has exported its practices and it now even threatens people in Germany and Europe who justly criticize human rights violations in China and Tibet. We must oppose these imperialist attacks on basic rights, including in other countries, with the utmost resolve.”

The current Tibet parliamentary group was founded in 1995 as a round table on Tibet to mark a hearing in the German Bundestag on the situation in Tibet. Its purpose is to raise awareness in the German Bundestag of the dramatic situation in Tibet and, alongside civic organizations and activists, to anchor the Tibet question in national and international political agendas and push for improvement.

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