Tibetans petition UN in Geneva on International Human Rights Day.

Coinciding with the International Human Rights Day, on the10th of december, the Tibetan Community of Switzerland and Leichtenstein, in a strong show of solidarity, unity and sympathy with the Tibetans inside Tibet and the 95 self immolators, led a peace march in Geneva, the seat of the UN offices in Europe.  Around one thousand and five hundred Tibetans and supporters had gathered for the day.

The international rally of Flame of truth that started in Dharamsala on 6th july 2012, officialy concluded its six month journey of traverse across more than 30 countries in five continents. Venerable Wangchen la and Mrs Chungdak Koren la, Tibetan members of parliament in Europe handed over the the 351,000 signatures of support that the rally had garnered over its course and a petition letter to Madam Navi Pilay of UN Human Rights High Commissioner´s Office at Palais Wilson in Geneva urging immediate UN intervention in the ongoing Tibetan crisis and to send an independent fact finding mission to Tibet to investigate the situation at ground level. 

The rallyists, gathered for the day on the lakeshore of Geneva, at Palais Wilson, the seat of UN Human Rights Office were joined by Mr René Longet, member of the executive council of the city of Onex.  Mr. René, a long time supporter of the Tibetan cause, in his address extended his personal sympathy and solidarity with the Tibetan people, underlining the fact that Tibet is a virtual colony of the CCP regime and is presently suffering under economic, cultural and demographic colonisation. Representative of the Tibetan youth Association in Europe, in her address urged the crowd to call concerned authorities in Tibet for the release of Golok Jigme, a political prisoner, who had disappeared under strange circumstances last November. She said each call would give him an extra chance of living and escaping execution by the Chinese authorities. President of Tibetan Women's Association in Switzerland also addressed the crowd in passing a written document from the TWA that called upon the Internation community to step up its effort for the Tibetan cause. Mr. Tenzin Samphel Kayta la from the Tibet Bureau in Geneva also addressed the rally. Mr. Samphel la in his address thanked Madam Pillay of the UNHRC for her recent tacit statement on Tibet at China. He stressed that with continued unwavering determination and action, results will manifest in due course of time.

The crowd was also addressed by Madame Marcell Roux, France Tibet who had come especially came from France to join the rally today. Madam Marcell Roux is a long time supporter of the Tibetan cause and had led a movement of " Parrainage de vilee" in which a city would adopt an another city. Their movement had 60 "parrainage" in which 60 cities from France, Belgium and Switzerland had adopted a city or town in Tibet. She urged the crowd to request their respective city mayors and authorities to do the same for a town or a city in Tibet. 

Shouting slogans of immediate UN intervention in Tibet and the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet, the rallyists marched from Palais Wilson to Palais des Nations, the seat of the UN offices in Europe. In front the UN offices, the rally was addressed by Mrs Marguerite Contat Hickel, former co-president of the Geneva Constitutional Council and incumbent president of Swissaid Geneva, Amie du Tibet. Mrs. Marguerite in her address said that with the count of self immolators exceeding ninety and reaching almost hundred, it is no longer a case of few isolated incidents, but a strong symbol for call of liberty. Sharing her personal faith in the struggle, she said “ I salute the pacific character of your struggle. The path of non-violence is long, torturous and sometimes misunderstood. Yet it is the only compatible way with Human Rights".  She extended solidarity for the cause from the Swiss Green Party and particularly from Madame Maya Graf, the President of the Swiss National Council. 

Member of Tibetan Parliament in exile from Europe, Mrs Chungdak Koren la in her address urged the exile community in the free world to shoulder a greater responsibility for the cause. She informed the crowd that Kusho Wangchen la have been granted an audience at the office of UNHCR at Palais Wilson to discuss the issue of Tibet.

Mr. Wang Longmong, a dissident Chinese and President of the " Initiatives for China Association" also joined the rally. In an emotive address to the crowd, he expressed his personal solidarity with the Tibetan cause and said after years of unbiased personal research in free country he realised that Tibet was a free country before the forceful military occupation by China. He said, like Tibet, China also needs freedom from the clutch of the incumbent oppressive regime in China.

Mr. Joseph Maldonado parliamentarian from Spain also joined the rally to lend his sympathy for the cause citing similarity with the free catalonia movement in Spain. In his address he extended his support for the Tibetan cause.

A group of marchers that had independently undertaken a week long peace march movement from Bern on the 4th of december also arrived at the UN Head Quarters coinciding with the rally at Geneva. The marchers were welcomed and honoured with khatas by the Vice President of the TCSL, Mr. Sampa Dhondup la. 

Monks from the Monastic community of Tibet institute, Rikon led a Dentsik Monlam prayer followed by the Tibetan National anthem from the Folklore Ensemble of the TCSL. 

The rally ended at 16.00 Hr. with the words of thanks from the President of TCSL, Mr Lobsang Gnagshontsang.


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