Mon, Mar 11, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Marchers warn of repeat of 1959 Tibet

LESSONS OF HISTORY:Democracy advocate Wuer Kaixi said that ‘it is foolish in the extreme for politicians in Taiwan to believe China would keep any of its promises’

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Tibetans and supporters march in Taipei yesterday to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising against China.

Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times

Taiwanese marched with Tibetans in the rain in Taipei yesterday to mark the 60th anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan uprising against China, with organizers and politicians highlighting the contrast between freedom and democracy in Taiwan and the situation in Chinese-ruled Tibet.

The march started at the 228 Memorial Park and ended at the Nishi Honganji Relics, a reconstructed Buddhist temple complex in the Ximending (西門町) area, with participants shouting slogans including: “Tibet belongs to Tibetans,” “Chinese military get out of Tibet” and “We want to return to our homeland.”

The annual event was organized by the Taiwan Tibetan Welfare Association’s Tashi Tsering and Tenzin Namdak; Dawa Tsering, chairman of the Tibet Religious Foundation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama; and Regional Tibetan Youth Congress-Taiwan chairman Lobsang Tsewang, among others.

More than 20 Taiwanese organizations took part in the event, while representatives of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the Green Party-Social Democratic Party Alliance and the Free Taiwan Party attended.

No Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) representative attended.

“China has carried out repression of Tibetans for more than 60 years, but I am proud to say that Tibetans have not given up hope of returning to our homeland,” Tashi said. “Tibetans inside Tibet have never given up the goal of taking back our nation and for the return of the Dalai Lama. Tibetans living in democratic countries are also working toward these goals.”

Tashi said that the 17-point “peace agreement” signed in 1951 in Beijing between representatives of the Dalai Lama and the Chinese government needed to be remembered.

“We remind Tibetans and Taiwanese not to forget this history,” he said. “Less than 10 years after signing the agreement, the Dalai Lama had to escape from Tibet for his safety to exile in India.”

“China wrote in the agreement a promise that Tibetans could preserve and protect their language, and practice their religion and culture, but it all came to nought,” Tashi said.

DPP Secretary-General Luo Wen-jia (羅文嘉) criticized the leaders of the KMT for urging Taiwan to negotiate with Beijing and sign a peace agreement, saying that the result of the 1951 deal was Beijing’s annexation of Tibet.

“Have people not learned the lessons of history, about the bloody repression in Tibet and atrocities committed by the Chinese military 60 years ago?” Luo asked. “How can the KMT dream of talking to a tyrannical regime and asking them to guarantee peace?”

Uighur democracy advocate Wuer Kaixi said that Taiwanese must not believe the authoritarian Beijing government.

“It is foolish in the extreme for politicians in Taiwan to believe that China would keep any of its promises when signing a peace agreement,” Wuer Kaixi said.

“If Taiwan does, then Taiwanese would fall into the depth of hell and perpetual suffering,” he said.

“Taiwan today faces the same situation Tibet faced 60 years ago. A brutal Chinese regime wants to annex a neighboring country by devious means,” he said. “From our experience of promoting democracy in China, it is clear that peace cannot be guaranteed by signing an agreement.”

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