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Global Walk for Tibet – Australian Sydney Event

July 29, 2011

United Nations for a Free Tibet, in conjunction with the NSW Tibetan community and Australia Tibet Council, walked through Sydney this morning to highlight the oppressive military rule, cultural genocide and environmental carnage inside Tibet today.
On 14 February this year, Jigme Norbu,  the nephew of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, was participating in such a Walk for Tibet in Florida USA, when he was hit and killed by an SUV vehicle. He was a dedicated activist who highlighted the Tibetan issue and continued the tradition of Walks for Tibet, which originally his late father, Thupten Jigme Norbu (also known as Taktser Rinpoche) had  initiated to promote awareness of the Tibetan issue. Jigme Norbu had already walked over 6800 miles throughout the world as part of his campaign, including in December 2010, when he led such a march in Taiwan. 
Out of respect to Jigme Norbu following his death, Tibetans have become even more committed to continuing this tradition.   The walks will continue throughout cities around the world, to ensure the voices of the voiceless Tibetans inside Tibet are heard in every corner.
Todays walk saw a large contingent of Tibetans and Tibetan supporters walk from Hyde Park North down Macquarie Street to the finish at the Sydney Opera House.
The day started with the singing of the Tibetan national anthem, followed by the Tibetan Freedom Song “Tsey MeyYounten”. 
A history of Jigme Norbu was presented to the crowd in acknowledgement of his life’s work, and his passing, and to pay respects to his family. 
Speeches were made in Tibetan, English and Mandarin about the abduction of the Panchen Lama, the situation in the three Tibetan regions, including the intentional mass migration of millions of Han Chinese into Tibetan regions, forced relocation of nomads into instant ghettos, the mining exploitation in all three regions, the mass deforestation leading to landslides and water catchment problems, the pollution of the headwaters of the major river systems from nuclear waste, mining runoff and over-damming, destruction of monasteries and religious repression through arbitrary punishment of monks and nuns, the destruction of the Tibetan language by imposed Mandarin education, the arbitrary arrests of children, artists, writers and lawyers who express their views, and the use of Tibet for military bases and storage of nuclear weapons.
One main current point was raised in several of the speeches:
At the moment, Lhasa and much of Tibet is under martial law.  This month, Xi Jinping along with 59 (perhaps this number of attendees was chosen to celebrate the 1959 massacre of Tibetans?) communist cadres have implemented total military control of Lhasa, to force Tibetans to appear to celebrate the Chinese invasion, which the PRC refers to as “liberation”.  The deepest insult to Tibetans was that the celebration took place in front of the Potala, the traditional seat of the much beloved Dalai Lama.  Such actions generate seething anger and resentment in the Tibetan people, and will ensure ethnic tensions continue to be a major issue for both Tibetans and Han Chinese alike for years to come.  After destroying over 6,000 monasteries since occupation, the modern PRC strategy is to intimidate Tibetan monks and nuns into denying their vows and devotions, as a strategy to attempt to fragment and dissolve the fabric of Tibetan society.  This alongside a PRC statement which proclaimed that “reincarnations will not be permitted without PRC approval."
Xi at the Tuesday event,  addressed an audience of thousands on the central square of Lhasa, in which he vowed to crush any threats to stability in Tibet, and he urged the monks to "make a clean break with separatist forces".  This is actually asking them to break their devotion to the Dalai Lama.
 “Threats to stability” include the Tibetan dream to live true to their culture and beliefs.  This statement clearly shows that the Communist Party in Beijing fully intends to crush Tibetan culture, in no uncertain terms.  What a brutality, and what a lack of conscience in not only admitting this genocidal policy, but shamelessly promoting it.
The lives of 6 million Tibetans may cause a modicum of concern around the globe, but to date has resulted in no action from the rest of the world, as it is not seen to be of significance to other countries.
This could not be more wrong.
Tibet is the well spring of water, the headwaters of the essential life force which sustains almost half of the worlds population.  Until the occupation, the Tibetans had maintained a pristine environment which made this well spring a well protected and sustainable resource for the planet.
Known as the earth's third pole and the water tower of Asia, Tibet is a region of unparalleled environmental significance. The Mekong, Yangtze, Ganges, Brahmaputra, Yellow rivers, lifeblood of India, China, Bangladesh and Southeast Asia, all begin their life high on the Tibetan Plateau.  The pollution, deforestation and damming of the major river systems is increasing the threat of  landslides, downstream flooding, drought and subsequent famine.  In countries like Bangladesh, the cost to humanity could be the worst the world has seen.  The glacial melt of the water towers combined with these other unsustainable activities will surely soon result in unprecedented environmental disasters, such as the landslide in Gansu.  If there is an earthquake, similar to the Kyegu Yushu earthquake in the region of the Three Gorges Dam, the tragedy will be truly unprecedented.
China, as an overpopulated nation, has an insatiable greed for land and resources, and has a strategy of seeking countries with low population and high resources, such as Tibet, East Turkistan and Mongolia, and further afield, Australia, Africa and South America, to purchase resources and political power.  In order to control the movement of resources from these land masses, China is also seeking control of the sea, particularly the South China Sea, and the more significant ports around the world, known as the “string of pearls”.
It is possible that if these same PRC strategies are extended to other selected countries, such as Australia and Africa,  many more nations could suffer the same fate as Tibet, Inner Mongolia and East Turkistan, where their ecomonies and governance are taken over and controlled from outside their own sovereign jurisdiction.  It is apparent that China already considers that it has some rights to select who other sovereign nations can invite as visitors and honour with awards.  It is in the interests of the world to address the Tibet issue sooner rather than later, so a genuine precedent can be set for human rights and environmental preservation around the world, not only in democratic nations.
This “Walk for Tibet” screams for world attention to all of these issues, for the sake of Tibet and for the sake of humanity and sustainability all around the world.
The walk concluded at Sydney Opera House.  Photos available on request.
For further information:
Jigme Dorjee
President
TIBETAN COMMUNITY OF AUSTRALIA (NSW) INC
PO Box 1759
DEE WHY NSW 2099
Email: jdorjee70@yahoo.com.au
Mobile: 0410 138 568
Website: www.tibetancommunity.org.au
ABN: 27402634212
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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