FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 10 March 2022
***Photos available at https://bit.ly/March10Media; interviews with protest participants and movement leaders on request
TO COMMEMORATE THE 63RD ANNIVERSARY OF TIBETAN NATIONAL UPRISING DAY, TIBETANS AND ALLIES PROTEST AT THE UN AND CHINESE CONSULATE
NEW YORK, March 10th—Today, more than 500 Tibetans and human rights activists gathered in front of the United Nations to protest and commemorate the 63rd anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day. At the UN, speakers and protesters called for freedom for the people of Tibet and lamented the recent self-immolation death of young Tibetan singer, Tsewang Norbu, in Lhasa.
Campaigns Director at Students for a Free Tibet, Pema Doma, spoke in front of the UN. She said:
“As we stand in front of the United Nations, I am thinking about the recent announcement of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet. She recently announced that she will be visiting China and East Turkestan. However, with no visit by a UN expert to Tibet in 17 years, it is unacceptable that she should visit China and not look into the plight of the Tibetan people. I call on Commissioner Bachelet to visit Tibetan political prisoners such as A-Nya Sengdra, Go Sherab Gyatso, Rinchen Tsultrim and Lobsang Lhundup. I call on her to visit Drago, which is undergoing an unprecedented destruction of cultural and religious sites. This is the bare minimum Commissioner Bachelet can do to ensure that Tibetan voices are heard during her visit.”
Prominent politicians also lent their support to those marching today. Congressman Tom Suozzi expressed his support for the Tibetan cause:
“Sixty-three years ago, 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, Uyghur Muslims, or 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 CECC, I will continue to stand up and call out oppression and religious persecution around the world.”
After more than three hours protesting at the UN, protestors marched to the Chinese Consulate where they continued chanting slogans such as “Free Tibet, China out of Tibet now.” In front of the Chinese Consulate, representatives from the Uyghur community and movements lent their support to the Tibetan struggle.
Outside the Chinese Consulate, SFT’s Grassroots Director Tenzin Yangzom said: “63 years ago this day, Tibetans inside Tibet took to the streets to protest China’s brutal occupation of Tibet. Today, everything we know of our homeland has changed in every way possible. Scholars and writers like Go Sherab Gyatso are being wrongfully imprisoned and pushed to an undeserving fate. Over 78% of Tibetan children, some as young as four are being sent to colonial boarding schools where they are coerced into learning Mandarin and forget their mother tongue. Last week, we heard about the self-immolation attempt by 25 year old singer Tsewang Norbu. We must hold the Chinese government accountable and educate the world about these issues that impact their future as well.”
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.