Thu, Mar 02, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Tibet campaigners draw link to 228

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan Tibetan Welfare Association chairman Tashi Tserin, center right, is accompanied by New Power Party Legislator Freddy Lim, center left, and some supporters as he speaks at a news conference in front of the Legislative Yuan yesterday, inviting the public to participate in a pro-Tibet rally on Sunday.

Photo: Lu Yi-hsuan, Taipei Times

A small group of Tibetan independence advocates rallied outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday amid preparations for the annual Tibetan Uprising Day march on Sunday.

About 20 people shouted “Free Tibet” as they arrived on bicycles streaming Tibetan flags as part of a weekly cycling trip around downtown Taipei to promote the march.

“We in Taiwan should not do nothing in the face of the continuous stream of protests we see coming out of Tibet,” said Lee Peng-hsuan (李芃萱), a specialist in the East Asian branch of the International Tibet Network.

She compared the abortive March 10, 1959, uprising by Tibetans against Beijing’s rule to the 228 Incident in 1947 against the then-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration.

The Dalai Lama fled to India following the 1959 rebellion’s suppression, establishing a Tibetan government-in-exile.

“Putting on events around the world to commemorate the Tibetan Uprising is important because the 6 million Tibetans who continue to reside in Tibet have no way to publicize their plight,” Taiwanese Tibetan Welfare Association head Tashi Tsering said.

New Power Party (NPP) Legislator Kawlo Iyun Pacidal, who is an Amis and former Hualien County Council member, compared the cultural, political and environmental damage suffered by Tibetans to the experience of Taiwan’s Aborigines.

“The fact that we are no longer able to protect our rights in this land makes it all the more imperative that we support Tibetans’ freedom and independence,” she said.

NPP Legislator Freddy Lim (林昶佐) called for opening up opportunities for Tibetans to come to Taiwan for work and study, adding that the Tibet Uprising Day march would serve as an opportunity to promote an effort to have the Dalai Lama visit Taiwan again.

“The timing for a Dalai Lama’s visit should be determined by Taiwanese, not China,” he said.

The Dalai Lama has visited several times in the past and Lim invited him to come again when the lawmaker met the Buddhist leader during a trip to India in September last year.

Taiwan Association for Human Rights secretary-general Chiu E-ling (邱伊翎) reiterated calls for the passage of refugee legislation to provide a formal mechanism for the admittance of Tibetan refugees, stating that there are still at least 18 undocumented Tibetan refugees in the nation, even after the passage of special legislation granting residency rights to those who entered the country prior to June last year.

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