1,000 Tibetan gathered in front of the UN for Solidarity Rally

Geneva: Over a thousand Tibetans gathered in front of the United Nations in Geneva on 23 October to express their solidarity with Tibetans who recently self-immolated in Ngaba and Tawo in Eastern Tibet. Mr. Penpa Tsering, Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile called upon the UN to send a fact-finding mission to Kirti Monastery to investigate the situation there. He also called on the UN to immediately issue a statement expressing its concern on the situation in Tibet. ''Self-immolation is the highest form of non-violent action for the benefit of others'' he said. "Harmonious Society cannot be achieved through repression. Harmonious Society as promoted by the Chinese President Hu Jintao can be achieved only through mutual trust and dialogue", Mr. Tsering said. Five coffins draped in the Tibetan national flag mounted by the photos of the five deceased monks and nun who self-immolated since 16 March were placed on top of each coffin and carried through the rally. The rally began from Rotond du Mont Blanc to Palais Wilson, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Office and later assembled in front of the UN main office in Geneva. Tibetans from different parts of Switzerland and Liechtenstein arrived in Geneva in 11 buses. Some travelled as long as 4 hours. Large number of Tibetans travelled by the early morning train or arrived in private transports.  The Solidarity demonstration was held on the eve of the United Nations Day in Geneva and was organized by the Tibetan community of Switzerland and Leichtenstein. A Geneva based Swiss writer who travelled to Lhasa in 1999 addressed the rally. She told Tibetans to “Never give up”. “I saw with my own eyes the most important movement – the strength of Tibetan resistance against Chinese occupation,” she said. “We cannot accept what is happening in Tibet today.” The Speaker of Tibetan Parliament in Exile Mr. Penpa Tsering arrived in Zurich on 20 October at the invitation of the Swiss Tibetan Friendship Association. On 21 October evening, Mr. Tsering along with two other panelist spoke on the changes taking place in the Tibetan democracy post His Holiness the Dalai Lama‘s devolvement of his political authority in May 2011. He said the Tibetan parliament and the Tibetan people must extend support to the incumbent Kalon Tripa, Dr. Lobsang Sangay, who is now the political leader of the Tibetan people. He said Lobsang Sangay shall succeed and his success will be Tibet’s success.  He also gave a detailed account of the changes leading up to and after the devolution of political authority of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the elected Tibetan leadership to the members of the Tibetan community on 22 October evening in Zurich. The speaker said great changes are taking place in the Tibetan society. He called upon the Tibetans to remain united. “We must resist what is not good for the society, the Chinese want to divide our community as much as possible“ he said. Mr. Penpa Tsering will meet with UN officials on Monday to present an appeal.Photos..

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