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freeze-tibet2Toronto - Tibetan high school students from Parkdale Collegiate will hold a 'Lhakar' (White Wednesday) vigil on July 4, in front of the Chinese Consulate in Toronto, in solidarity with the non-violent resistance movement inside Tibet. Parkdale Collegiate has the highest number of Tibetan students in Toronto, with more than 200 students of Tibetan background.

"This Lhakar vigil is dedicated to all those who have sacrificed for Tibet, where since 2009, over 40 Tibetan monks, nuns, lay people and students have self-immolated demanding and end to Chinese repression in Tibetan areas and calling for the return of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama back to Tibet," Tenzin Wangdak of Parkdale Tibet Club said. "The unprecedented wave of self-immolations by Tibetans highlight the extreme urgency of the situation inside Tibet, Change must come to Tibet now."

'Lhakar' or 'White Wednesday' is a home grown Tibetan people's grasstroots movement that started in the aftermath of the 2008 protests in Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet. Every Wednesday, a growing number of Tibetans in Tibet make special effort to wear traditional clothes, speak Tibetan, eat in Tibetan restaurants and buy from Tibetan-owned businesses. They channel their spirit of resistance into social, cultural and economic activities that promote Tibetan-ness. 'Lhakar' is considered special by Tibetans because it is the Dalai Lama's soul day.

"In spite of China's intensified crackdown, Tibetans have embraced the power of strategic nonviolent resistance," Urgyen Badheytsang, National Director of the Canada Students for a Free Tibet said. "For over six-decades now, Tibetans in Tibet are continuously resisting China's violent rule; now they are lighting their own bodies on fire as a cry to the world to help restore their fundamental rights as human beings, we have an obligation to all that we can for our brothers and sisters inside Tibet."

In recent years since 2008, Tibetans in Tibet and in exile have taken diverse Lhakar Pledges, resolving to boycott Made-in-China products, holding weekly vigils on Wednesday, to go vegetarian every Wednesday, to speak pure Tibetan, or to read a Tibetan newspaper once a week, or to wear chuba every Wednesday, etc. Through these pledges and actions, Tibetans are coming together in the greatest non-cooperation movement Tibet has ever seen.

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