Waving Tibetan flags — also called snow lion flags and seen as symbols of Tibetan independence — the marchers accused the Chinese government of infringing upon the human rights and religious freedom of Tibetans.
The demonstrators paid tribute to the 1959 uprising, which led to the flight of the Dalai Lama and the establishment of the Central Tibetan Administration in Dharamsala, India.
The event was jointly organised by Tibetan support groups and Taiwanese human rights organizations, the protesters also paid respect to more than 130 Tibetans who have self-immolated since 2009 to protest what they call the Chinese occupation of Tibet.
Mr Dawa Tsering, head of Tibet religious foundation of H.H. the Dalai Lama, and Tashi Tsering, the president of Tibetan Welfare Association, legislator Chiech-Ju Chen, Ni-An Chu, Yi-kang Tuan, and Mei-Li Jhou, the chief of Taiwan Friends of Tibet, and representatives of other Taiwanese NGOs attended the gathering.
The procession drew a diverse crowd of different nationalities, as monks draped in maroon-and-yellow robes walked alongside Taiwanese supporters dressed in traditional Tibetan garments.
Activists in Tibet face a common threat with those in Hong Kong and Taiwan: repression of human rights by the Chinese government, Taiwan Association for Human Rights Secretary-General Chiu E-ling said.
The theme of this year’s parade, “Next Stop: Tibet,” refers to mass protests that began in Taiwan and Hong Kong last year, she said, adding that pro-democracy activists from both sides of the Taiwan Strait must stand in solidarity with Tibetans in their human rights campaign.
The theme also conveys organizers’ hope for Tibetans to be allowed to return to their homeland, as the Dala Lama and his followers have been barred from entry into China for more than five decades, organizers said.
They accused President Ma Ying-jeou’s administration of ignoring China’s treatment of Tibetans and urged the government to take a stand on the issue.
“While Taiwan and China establish ever-closer economic ties, Taiwan’s government has failed to stop the Chinese government from massacring Tibetans,” Green Party co-chair Lee Ken-cheng said.
After walking from Taipei’s Zhongxiao-Fuxing MRT station, the demonstrators lay down on the pavement together in memory of the self-immolated Tibetans when they reached Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall.
Chen, Chiech-Ju said, “the rights of those Tibetans in Taiwan should be ensured.” Chou, Ni-An said, “Taiwan stands with Tibet.”
Tuan, Yi-kang stated that "the voices in China are muted and cannot receive enough respect; since Taiwan shares a very similar political situation with Tibet, we should cooperate with Tibetans."
Tashi Tsering said, “the repression from china is undeniable no matter what attitude that Beijing government chooses toward Tibet. Therefore, the fight for the human rights in Tibet will be continued."
Hung Chung-Yen, president of the Green Party Taiwan, said in 2012 that Green Party has passed a resolution that is supporting Tibet movement. “the feeling of a threat from China is also very strong for Taiwanese people.” He said, “we disagree with what China government did for the people of Tibet, and the issue of Tibet is much more well-known in Taiwan these days.”
Dhundup Gyalpo, secretary of the Tibet Religious Foundation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama — said the event’s main purpose was to honor the pain and suffering that Tibetan activists endured.
During the event, Amnesty International Taiwan's children's group distributed the picture book “Over the Himalayas” in order to introduce Tibetan issues to younger generation.
When the crowd arrived at the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall, they lied down as a symbolic way paying homage to those self-immolated 136 Tibetans. The crowd formed a human chain as 'T', which implied both “Tibet” and “Taiwan for Tibet.”
Kaohsiung City Government set March 10 as Tibet day and named a street as “Tibet Street” in 2009, and Ding Yun-Gong, the head of the Kaohsiung city government information office mentioned that Kaohsiung City Government has paid attention to Tibet issues for many years.This is the first time for Kaohsiung City government to take part in the Tibetan uprising day."
In the evening, the parade holding at night in the Kaohsiung city show how difficult Tibetans cross Himalaya mountains and then go back their hometown.
At the same time, another night rally held in Taipei Liberal Square. The film “Fire in the Land of Snow Self-Immolations in Tibet” was screened in the beginning.
Dawa Tsering mentioned that there were few people in the past, but now there are lots of young people, means that there are more hope in the future.
Mr Tsering said Tibet issue also actually is connected with Hong Kong. “In the past, they thought it’s not Hong Kong’s business, but, nowadays, ‘Tibet’ today is Hong Kong’s tomorrow.’ So, today people in Hong Kong choose to stand with Tibet.”
Tenzin Namda, the deputy of Tibetan Welfare Association, tendered his deepest thanks to local activities, “We won’t forget you.” He said.
Although Beijing has begun to loosen up on restrictions that barred Tibetans from attending religious events, Taiwan Tibetan Welfare Association vice president Tenzin Namda said he considers recent reforms to be mostly superficial, as key teachings of Buddhist philosophy are still banned.
Beijing has attempted to prevent Tibetans from learning their culture, which centers on Buddhist philosophy and ideas of universal compassion, he added.
Other local NGOs also expressed their solidarity for Tibet, including society in Soochow University, Formoshark, Restoration of Taiwan Social Justice, etc.
On March 10 evening, Taipei, Kaohsiung, and Hong Kong all stood together for Tibet uprising day.