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taipei-2013-10-marchTaipei: Hundreds of Tibetans and their supporters took to the streets of the Taiwanese capital Taipei on March 10 to commemorate the 54th anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan Uprising.

 

The march and rally was organized by Taiwanese Tibetan groups and was addressed by the exile Central Tibetan Administration’s (CTA) finance Minister, Tsering Dhondup, who said the CTA and Tibetan Parliament-in-exile were resolved to settle the Tibet issue through peaceful and non-violent means and the Middle Way approach. He added that Tibetans do not seek independence and hope to resolve the Tibet issue through peaceful talks under the existing framework.

 

The march proceeded along Taipei's bustling Zhongxiao East Road, with demonstrators shouting, "Free Tibet!”, “Tibet belongs to Tibetans!”, and “China, get out of Tibet!" in Tibetan, Mandarin and English. A Tibetan monk and an activist dressed as a Chinese soldier performed a street drama depicting the 1959 uprising, followed by 110 protesters holding portraits of the 110 Tibetans who have self-immolated since 2009.

 

Tashi Tsering, adviser to the Taiwan Tibetan Welfare Association, stated that, "Tibetans and Chinese are all humans. As long as the Chinese respect Tibetans' rights to our own culture, religion, language and self-determination, we will respect the Chinese as brothers and good neighbors."

 

Su Tseng-chang, chairman of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) told the rally that, as a people who have struggled against an authoritarian regime, the Taiwanese understand the suffering of Tibetans, and support their struggle for freedom. "Even today, there is still injustice and we should give each other support until all the repressed are liberated," he said.

 

Several DPP politicians, including legislators Hsiao Bi-khim, Yu Mei-nu and Chen Chieh-ju also attended the event, together with Taipei City councillors Chien Yu-yen, Alan Lee and Hsu Chia-ching.

 

Former DPP chairperson, Tsai Ing-wen, expressed her support in a Facebook message. "Our grief for the more than 100 Tibetans who have self-immolated in the past three years is indescribable,” she wrote. “As we are free, we should fight for the freedom of those who suffer, and make the annual March 10 march a regular element in Taiwan's social movement.

 

“US president John F Kennedy expressed his support for West Germany and people's right to pursuit freedom and human rights by saying that he was a Berliner, in a speech in 1963. Today, on the 54th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising, I offer the same support. I am a Tibetan. We are all Tibetans."

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