Over 1000 Tibetans and Europeans from across Europe joined the commemoration of 64th Tibetan National Uprising day in the capital city of Italy-Rome on 10 March 2023, and marked “Europe Stands with Tibet”. Every alternate year, the Tibetan communities of Europe organise the “Europe Stands with Tibet” event in one of the cities in Europe. The next one will be held in Amsterdam, Netherlands in 2025.
The demonstration was organised by the Tibetan community of Italy with support from other Tibetan Communities in Europe, Italia-Tibet Association, Buddhist Union of Italy, International Campaign for Tibet-Germany and Europe and the Swiss-Tibetan Friendship Association. Several other Tibet Support Groups also extended their support for the event.
The demonstration started from Largo Corrado Ricci and later assembled at Piazza Della Madonna di Loreto. More than thousands of Tibetans and Europeans across Europe joined the demonstration.
The chief guest of the demonstration Deputy Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile Teykhang Dolma Tsering, Representative Thinlay Chukki from Tibet Bureau Geneva, Member of Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile from Europe Thupten Gyatso, French Senator Ms. Else Joseph, Italian Senator Andrea de Priamo and Italian Parliamentarian llenio Malavasi addressed the gathering along with several other representatives from Tibet Support Groups in Italy.
Addressing the gathering, Deputy Speaker Teykhang Dolma Tsering highlighted the destruction and sufferings of Tibetans since 1959. She noted that over 6000 monasteries have been destroyed since the occupation of Tibet and several Tibetans killed. “China is showing to the world that all is fine in Tibet then why Tibetan in Tibet are burning themselves” she added. With 158 self immolations by Tibetans in Tibet and extensive surveillance being carried out through DNA sample collections, she called on the world to stand with Tibet.
Representative Thinlay Chukki expressed gratitude to all the supporters for standing up for Tibet and called on governments to support Tibet. French Senator Ms. Else Joseph expressed her support for the Tibetan cause and noted that the French Parliamentary Group for Tibet will continue to support the Tibetan movement. Italian Parliamentary Intergroup for Tibet Co-Ordinator Andrea de Priamo noted that the newly formed intergroup will continue its support work on Tibet and will work towards passing resolutions in support of Tibet. Similarly Italian Parliamentarian llenio Malavasi also extended her support to Tibet.
President of the Italia Tibet Association Claudio Cardelli, Michal van Walt van Praag, Historian and international Lawyer, Hon. Luciano Nobili former Italian parliamentarian, Italian Buddhist Union President Fillippo Scianna and Instituto Lama tsongkhapa Mr. Valerio talario also addressed the gathering.
Likewise, Tibetans and Tibet Supporters across Central and Eastern Europe commemorated the 64th Tibetan National Uprising Day including in Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Liechenstein.
In the Czech Republic, the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic Parliament, Marketa Pekarova Adamova and members of the Czech Parliamentary Group for Tibet hoisted the Tibetan National Flag on the Parliament building on 10 March commemorating the 64th anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day. “For over a year now, we have seen very closely how Russia is trying to rob an independent Ukraine of its freedom and territory. Tibet may be a few thousand kilometres away, but as democrats we naturally support those who are denied their freedom wherever on Earth it happens,” said Přemysl Rabas, chairman of the Czech Parliamentary Group for Tibet.
Parliamentarian Hayato Okamura, co-chair of the Group noted that “it is gratifying that after the Senate, the Chamber of Deputies has clearly returned to the tradition of strong human rights policy started by Václav Havel in the Czech Republic. Since yesterday, the Castle also seems to be in a similar mood on the subject of human rights and religious freedoms. I know from representatives of the Tibetan government-in-exile that our support is a significant encouragement to the Tibetans in their relentless pursuit of their own identity and freedom. They will be able to continue to rely on the Czech Republic for this.”
The Tibet Support Groups and the Tibetan community of Czech Republic also held a demonstration in Prague condemning China’s suppression in Tibet.
In Austria, Tibetans commemorated the 10th March Tibetan national uprising by protesting in front of the Chinese Embassy. The Tibetan Community in Austria -President Ngawang Lobsang read out the Statement of Kashag and Tibetan protestors were seen carrying Tibetan flags and hanging the banner with the slogans.
In Germany, the chairman of the working group on human rights and humanitarian aid of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group and President of the German Parliamentary Group for Tibet, Michael Brand. The Press Release noted, “Today, March 10, the people’s uprising in Tibet, which was bloodily suppressed by China in 1959, is commemorated worldwide. On the “Day of Tibet Solidarity”, the chairman of the working group on human rights and humanitarian aid of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group Michael Brand declared:
“There must be an outcry around the world in view of the new UN horror reports that China is snatching up to a million Tibetan children from their families. These children are forcibly placed in boarding schools in order to impose the Han Chinese language and culture on them. The federal government must demand that Beijing stop forced boarding schools for Tibetan children immediately. It must react quickly to the associated human rights violations and start a global initiative to protect children with value partners. The federal government cannot hide behind a China strategy, the realisation of which is currently completely uncertain due to conflicts between the Federal Chancellery and the Foreign Ministry.”
Tibetans and German supporters of Tibet observed the Tibetan National uprising in Berlin, Stuttgart, Munich among other cities in Germany.
In Switzerland and Liechtenstein, several hundred Tibetans and supporters joined the demonstration organised by the Tibetan Community of Switzerland & Liechtenstein, in Zurich. The demonstration was joined by Swiss Tibetan Friendship Association President Thomas Buchli and Executive Director Bettina Eckert. She also read out the joint statement of the Swiss Parliamentary group of Tibet which expressed solidarity and support for the Tibetan movement.
The strong support for the 64th commemoration of the Tibetan National Uprising Day has brought in new wave of commitment and inspiration across Central and Eastern Europe.