Tibetans commemorate 1959 Uprising
[Ottawa, Monday,March 10, 2008] –Tibetans and supporters commemorated the 1959 Tibetan Uprising today with colorful demonstrations across Canada and the world. Almost five decades ago, Tibetans rose up in Tibet to protect the Dalai Lama and to demand that Chinese occupying forces leave. Today’s protests foreshadowed the global uprising expected by Tibetans and supporters during China’s Olympics torch relay stop next month in San Francisco and this summer during the Beijing Games. Tibetans and supporters from Montreal traveled to Ottawa to join the demonstration on Parliament Hill and to specifically call on Canadian telecom company Mitec to immediately withdraw from Tibet.
“The Chinese government is using the Olympics to gain acceptance on the world stage and to legitimize its illegal occupation of Tibet,” said Wangdu Duntak, President of University of Ottawa Students for a Free Tibet. “The human rights situation in Tibet and China is getting steadily worse and yet the Chinese government continues to try to deceive the world by depicting Tibetans in their Olympics propaganda as happy and prosperous under Chinese rule.”
Tibet activists recently learned that Montreal-based wireless communications firm, Mitec, is designing satellite technology for the Chinese government to broadcast its Olympic torch ascent of Mt. Everest.
“Tibet is a central part of China’s Olympics propaganda, which includes the running of the Olympic torch to the top of Tibet’s Mount Everest, ” said Dermod Travis, Executive Director of Canada Tibet Committee. “Summiting Mt. Everest with the torch is a purely political move by the Chinese government to underscore its claims to Tibet and we call on Mitec to immediately withdraw its involvement.”
Tibetans in India launched a historic return march to Tibet today to show that Tibetans in exile are more determined than ever to reclaim their homeland. Young Tibetans also gathered in Greece to light the Tibetan Freedom torch, preempting the lighting of China's Olympic torch later this month. The Tibetan Freedom torch will arrive in Canada on May 9th and will be stopping in Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.
Tibetans and supporters from across Canada are planning to join a major mobilization in San Francisco on April 8th and 9th during China’s Olympic torch relay stop in the city. Protests are also expected at Chinese Embassies and Consulates in key Canadian cities this summer during the Beijing Olympics.
Please visit www.March10.org for more information on the protests worldwide.
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Wangdu Duntak 613-697-7563 (On site)
Dermod Travis 514-487-0665
Tsering Lama 647-637-1810