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13.feb2010.1Dharamshala: Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) are tomorrow launching ‘Raise our Flag', a new campaign to mark the first day of Losar 2137. 500 flags will be distributed, and Tibetans and supporters will be urged to raise the flags to mark the beginning of the year of the Iron Tiger; a time for change, hope, renewal and an action to express a renewed commitment and solidarity with the Tibetan people.

"The National Flag is a symbol of freedom and resistance. Hundreds of national flags were defiantly flown throughout Tibet in the 2008 uprising to amplify the people's call for freedom. The flag unifies all the Tibetans in our desire to help bring change on the ground inside Tibet." Tenzin Choeying, National Director of Students for a Free Tibet, India, said.

Over the years the Tibetan flag has become a symbol of resistance.

In uprisings in Tibet, the flag is flown, frequently in simple hand-drawn form to express continued resistance to China's occupation. Displaying the mountain and snow-lion flag in Tibet is a "splittist" offence which warrants arrest, imprisonment and even death in China. In March 2009, a young monk from Kirti Monastery, was shot by Chinese armed forces in Aba town for carrying a hand-drawn Tibetan flag and a picture of the Dalai Lama.

Today the Tibetan national flag has become the most striking symbol of Tibetan freedom and resistance, and SFT has appealed to all to raise the flag on the first day of Losar.

Edited by Max French

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E-mail: editor@thetibetpost.com