FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 10, 2020
Dorjee Tseten | Students for a Free Tibet |+1-646-753-3889 | firstname.lastname@example.org
TO COMMEMORATE THE 61ST ANNIVERSARY OF TIBETAN NATIONAL UPRISING DAY, TIBETANS AND ALLIES PROTESTED AT THE UN AND CHINESE CONSULATE
On Tuesday, March 10th, Over a thousand Tibetans and Tibet-allies gathered at the United Nations to commemorate the 61st anniversary of March 10 —a day when Tibetans remember the thousands who perished after bravely resisting China’s invasion and subsequent occupation of their homeland. At the UN, protesters proudly waved the Tibetan flag, an act which is illegal to do in Chinese-occupied Tibet, chanting slogans such as “Free Tibet, China out of Tibet now,” and “United Nations Stand for Tibet.” At the protest in front of the UN, an illustrious group of speakers addressed the marchers.
Former Tibetan political prisoner Dhondup Wangchen, who escaped Tibet in 2017, participated in the rally and said “March 10 Tibetan National Uprising is a historic moment in the Tibetan Freedom Movement. As we pay tribute to the extraordinary courage of Tibetans resisting in Tibet, and all Tibetans, past, and present who have courageously resisted China’s illegal occupation of Tibet. As a Former Tibetan political prisoner, I have first hand experienced repression, discrimination, and torture by the Chinese Government. We urge citizens around the world to join us in calling for an end to China’s occupation of Tibet.”
Prominent politicians also lent their support to those marching today. Congressman Jim McGovern, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and all provided statements affirming the rights of the Tibetan people.
Congressional-Executive Committee on China Senior Research Associate Jen Salen joined the event, reading out Congressman Jim McGovern’s statement at the rally, “Today Tibetans around the world will mark the 61 st anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising against Chinese rule, the moment when many Tibetans lost their lives and His Holiness the Dalai Lama and thousands of his followers were forced to flee their homeland. Today, I stand with you and with Tibetans all around the world in your struggle to ensure that Tibetans in China can exercise their basic human rights — to speak and teach their language, protect their culture, control their land and water, travel within and outside their country, select their religious leaders and practice their religion as they choose.”
The office of US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez from New York’s 14th Congressional district released a statement in support of the March. The statement read “For decades, the Tibetan people have bravely fought for their freedom. It is the responsibility of all those of us who value freedom of speech and expression to stand with them against China’s gross human rights abuses. I am proud to stand with the Tibetan residents NY-14 and all those across the country in their righteous fight against persecution.”
US Congressman Thomas Suozzi representing the 3rd District of New York also released a statement of support. The statement read “Today is the 61st anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising. On March 10, 1959, tens of thousands of Tibetans took to the streets of Lhasa, Tibet’s capital, rising up against China’s illegal invasion and occupation of their homeland. Sixty-one years later, Tibetans are still demanding independence and the freedom simply to be Tibetan – to speak their language, to practice their Buddhist religion, and to live freely in their own country. Whether it’s Tibetan Buddhists, Uighur Muslims, or the students in Hong Kong, we need to stand up and push back against China for its failure to promote basic human rights. As a member of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, I will continue to stand up and call out oppression and religious persecution around the world.”
Tibetan Community of New York/New Jersey President Sonam Gyaphel, representing the organizing committee of the March 10 rally, submitted a petition to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in New York to be directed to the High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet Jeria. Tibetan representatives call the High Commissioner for Human Rights to take concrete steps towards ameliorating the human rights situation in Tibet. Representatives wrote in the Petition, “Commissioner Bachelet’s upcoming trip to China must include access to Tibet, in addition to the “unfettered” access, she is already requesting to Xinjiang. We are pleased that she “will seek to analyze in-depth the human rights situation in China. However, no in-depth analysis would be complete without reporting on human rights in Tibet and raising this issue in meetings with Chinese leaders.”
After the program at the UN finished, marchers took their energy to the Chinese Consulate. Given the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) increasing their efforts to brutally suppress Tibetan calls for freedom and human rights, Tibetans and their allies ensured that their voices were heard loud and clear. Chanting slogans like “Free Tibet, Long Live the Dalai Lama, Tibet Belongs to Tibetan.” The Chinese Consulate staff certainly took heed of everyone outside their windows. Protestors were determined that Chinese crimes against Tibetans and other occupied peoples are unacceptable and called on the international community to stand up.
Prominent Tibetans and allies spoke at the event including former Tibetan political prisoner, Dhondup Wangchen, Tashi Dhondup, Secretary Office of Tibet, DC, Dorjee Tseten, Member of Tibetan Parliament in Exile, Jen Salen from the CECC read the statement of Congressman Jim McGovern, Sharon Hom, Director of Human Rights in China, Gompo Dhondup, President of Regional Tibetan Youth Congress, Dolma Yangchen, President of Tibetan Woman Association and Tselha Zoksang, Tibetan-American Youth Activist. The protest was also joined by Tibetan allies from the Uyghur, Taiwanese, Hong Kong, Chinese, and other communities.
The New York March 10 rally was organized by The Tibetan Community New York/New Jersey, Regional Tibetan Youth Congress NY/NJ, Dokham Chushi Gangdruk, Utsang Association of New York & New Jersey, North America Dhomay Association, United State Tibet Committee and Students for a Free Tibet.