New York Tibetans Mark 100th Anniversary of “Declaration of Independence”
Facebook Twitter Digg Delicious Email Created: 2013-02-13 22:46 EST
100 years ago today, Tibet’s 13th Dalai Lama declared independence after the fall of China’s Qing Dynasty. Today the Tibetan region is ruled under the brutal policies of the Chinese Communist Party.
On this anniversary, Tibetans all over the world are calling for basic liberties that have been denied to them for the past six decades. Here in New York City, their message is simple.
[Pema Yoko, Spokesperson, Students for a Free Tibet]: (English) 1:53-
“Tibetans only want basic rights, basic human rights, religious freedom and this is what Tibetans are grieving about.”
That grief was underscored today as the 100th Tibetan self-immolated to protest Chinese rule.
[Pema Yoko, Spokesperson, Students for a Free Tibet]: 00:58-1:05
“It is tragic, it’s heartbreaking you know, these are precious human lives.”
Tibetans from China say the situations there is so desperate that many have fled to nearby Nepal, India, and Bhutan. One refugee described the Tibetan region as “hell on earth.”
[Gyaltsen Dhonden, Tibetan Refugee]:
“And like the monasteries as where it used to be this ritual community, it is now, they are giving like a political indoctrinations of the communism there. And now, even the monasteries are not safe.”
Tibetans are angry that they have been forced from their homeland. They are showing solidarity with fellow Tibetans still under Communist rule.
[Holly Kellum, Reporter]:
“I’m here in front of the Chinese Mission to the UN in New York City and behind me are Tibetans who have chained themselves to the Chinese Mission to protest the freedom in Tibet.”
Police watched on, and eventually arrested the four men, saying they had no protest permit for that location. The men were released later in the day.The protest caught more than the attention of New York police though. On Tuesday, Chinese state-run Xinhua News Agency decried the Tibetan declaration of independence a ”farce”. It called organizers of the protest “separatists.”
[Pema Yoko, Spokesperson, Students for a Free Tibet]: (English) 3:16
“It’s a smear campaign to make Tibetans look, they’re just putting the blame back on the Tibetan victims for their own brutality really.”
Despite the suppression in Tibet, Yoko is optimistic. She believes Tibetans will soon be able to return to their homeland as civil resistance gains momentum.Holly Kellum, NTD News, New York