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18 august 2012 005Dharamsala: On the 15th of August in London, The Tibetan Community in the UK and Students for a Free Tibet UK staged a vigil in solidarity with Tibetans as they braced themselves for news of the 50th confirmed self-immolations in Tibet since 2009. Each carrying a large photo of one of the 50 who have laid down their lives in rejection of the Chinese oppressive rules, stood outside the Chinese Embassy to make sure the Chinese government will be continually haunted by the faces of these brave Tibetans and the resistance they are galvanising.

The atmosphere in Tibet today is a far cry from the atmosphere in London over the past few weeks, where the world has been watching and celebrating the spectacle of the Olympics. It was the best opportunity to let the world know about the current situation in Tibet- no celebration, no equality, no freedom or any of the other principles which underpin the Olympic spirit. Over these past few weeks, Tibetans in London have been using the Games as a platform for the call for free Tibet. They've been flying the flag at Olympic events and interviewing members of the public about their views on the games, also using it to spread the word about protestor Dhondup Wangche, still jailed for doing the same in Tibet.

These two organisations supporting Free Tibet cause have been going to Olympic venues to celebrate Tibetan national pride alongside supporters from all over the world. They lined the route of Tibetan athlete Choeyang Kyi's race with flags to make sure spectators across the world took note that this contestant is not Chinese. They also took part in the 'Forbidden Games', where Tibetans competed in sports in front of the thousands of Olympic viewers on their way to the Olympic screen at the Hyde Park. These actions were designed to highlight the fact that under Chinese occupation, Tibetans cannot represent their country. People were happy to be photographed with the Tibetan flag and overwhelmed by the affirmative response from visitors in London. The joy of Tibetan athlete's win of the Bronze medal in women 20 Km walking race was dimmed by five self-immolations that occurred in one week. China, once again, reacted with deadly force to peaceful protests in Ngaba, Rebkong and Markham Counties.

There can be little doubt that the self-immolations will continue, as it already reached the tragic milestone of 50. At this time it is more than ever important for Tibetans and their supporters around the world to gather at the Chinese embassies and consulates, highlight the oppressions in Tibet and assemble supportive politicians to push for multi-lateral action.

Students for a Free Tibet UK, alongside the Tibetan Community in Britain and other Tibet support groups, will continue to push the UK government to take serious steps to promote what all Tibetans and British people want to see- freedom for Tibet's nation and its people. As the world witnesses brutality in Syria, citizens must be aware that this situation has worsened due to a lack of strong action by their and other countries, and though the situation is different, further loss of life can also be prevented in Tibet if world governments would be strong in their condemnation of China's atrocities. Nations must all get active to make sure that their governments finally take action to support free Tibet cause. The Tibetan community is bravely challenging China; the governments of the free world must do the same.

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E-mail: editor@thetibetpost.com