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15march20102Taipei: Over 1,200 protestors gathered at the Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT station yesterday afternoon to commemorate the 51st Tibetan Uprising Day. The protest also marked the 2nd anniversary of the 2008 protests and subsequent Chinese crackdown, and the fifth anniversary of the widely criticised Anti-Secession Law, implemented by the PRC to assure a "non-peaceful" response to Taiwanese independence.

"It is very difficult for outsiders to know the real situation in Tibet," Mr. Liu, a Taiwanese protester, told TPI's Taipei correspondent Keary Huan, "the Chinese tend to only allow delegations to visit particular parts of the country. Some Tibetan areas; Karze county (Ch: Ganzi) in Sichuan, and Tongren County in Qinghai, have been under a long period of Chinese Communist blockade. After the peaceful demonstrations in Tibet in 2008, the Chinese placed even more stringent control over Tibetans."

The protest and march was organised by the Taiwan Friends of Tibet, and involved many activist groups, including the Taiwan-Tibetan Welfare Association, Taiwan Association for Human Rights, Regional Tibetan Youth Congress, and the newly established Tibetan Women's Association in Taiwan.

Protesters marched through Chung Hsiao East Road towards Taipei 101, Taiwan's tallest building and a symbol of national pride. The protesters carried hundreds of Tibetan flags and banners which read "Self-determination for Tibet!", "Stop cultural genocide in Tibet!" and "Stop the killing in Tibet!", and shouted slogans such as, "UNO, we want justice!" and "Who is the killer? Hu Jin Tao!"

15march20104Chow Mei-lim, chairwoman of Taiwan Friends of Tibet, said the protest was a demonstration of continued Taiwanese solidarity with Tibet, which "has been passed down through generations, and will continue until there is real freedom in Tibet."

"We're here to remember March 10 1959, when more than 100,000 Tibetans took to the streets in Lhasa to protest against Chinese occupation of their country and were violently suppressed

"We want Tibetans inside and outside Tibet who are still struggling for their freedom to know that they have the support of the Taiwanese people.

"The parade ends in front of Taipei 101, which most Chinese tourists visit, and we would like them to hear some different voices from what their government allows them to hear," Chow said.

Many Chinese tourists did stop to take pictures of the parade, but all declined to comment.

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