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Parade marks Tibetan uprising

2011/03/12 19:30:05

Taipei, March 12 (CNA) Shouting "Free Tibet" and "Tibetan peopleneed freedom and human rights, " about 200 Tibetans and Taiwanesemarched through the streets of downtown Taipei Saturday tocommemorate the 1959 Tibetan uprising against China's invasion.

Participants sang the national anthem of Tibet and performed askit that depicted the 1959 uprising before starting to parade downZhongxiao E. Road in Taipei City.

"What we can do for Tibetan people is very limited. Through theparade, we want Tibetans to know that we have not forgotten aboutthem, " Chow Mei-li, president of Taiwan Friends of Tibet, whichco-organized the annual event, told the crowd.

The Dalai Lama on Thursday announced in Dharamshala, India thathe would step down as the political head of Tibet's exiled governmentbut continue to push the Tibetan cause in his key role as itsspiritual leader.

Chow said the announcement was a clear message that the DalaiLama wanted Tibetans to be prepared for the time when he is no longerwith them, and that every Tibetan should be aware that the future oftheir country is in their hands, rather than dependent on any oneperson.

"Sooner or later, Tibetans have to face the reality, whether ornot they choose to continue with a moderate approach," she said.

Tibetans living outside their country may not be stronglyaffected by the Dalai Lama's announcement, but for those people stillin Tibet, the move could be very disheartening, Chow said.

Sunday's march drew about 200 participants, according to Chow.

Jesse Duffield, a New Zealander who has lived in Taiwan for fouryears, said he joined the march because he believes Tibetans have theright to govern their own country and that China should leave Tibet.

Sixty-year-old Helen Lin said she took part in the march everyyear, because she is supportive of the universal values of democracy,freedom and human rights.

"An open debate on the future of a country is far better thanauthoritarian rule, " she said.

(By Hermia Lin)