Today was the first day of the protests against the Olympic Torch through Tibet organized by the Joint Action Committee (JAC). The protests shall continue for two more days to coincide with the torch passing not just through the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) but also the eastern parts of Tibet – where Tibetans protested in March. As Tsering Lama, SFT Canada National Director said, “While the Chinese government claims that the Torch’s route through Tibet has been shortened to one day – this is not true. The Torch will be in Tibet Autonomous Region for one day only, but it will go on to the Tibetan province of Amdo (or Qinghai province) for three days after where Tibetans protested in many places in March. Amdo is on the Tibetan plateau and part of historical Tibet, although China deemed it separate in 1955.”
On a surprisingly cool day, around 200 Tibetans and their supporters chanted slogans calling for no Torch through Tibet, press freedom and release of all political prisoners. MPP Cheri Di Nova, a long and active supporter of Tibetan Freedom Movement, addressed the crowd and supported the call against the Olympic Torch passing through Tibet. The speech was followed by two mock dramas. First, a play enacted by a local professional actor who passed on the words of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the Chinese brothers and sisters
The second act staged by SFT Canada was a powerful and painful yet a very accurate picture if the Torch was allowed to pass through Tibet. As the protestors were chanting slogans one of the actor dressed as a Chinese army general raised his baton and yelled at the crowd to keep quiet. When the crowd did not listen to his command, the general ordered his army to fire at the crowd – mercilessly “killing” all the protestors. This die-in was followed by laying down a white cloth with bloody handprints on the streets. Standing right in front of this bloody cloth was the Torch runner with the Chinese army by his sides. There were also national and local media persons taking interviews and videos of the mock dramas.
Even though the Chinese communist government continue to deny about any killings or torture of the Tibetan protestors, evidences pouring out of Tibet and the first hand accounts tell a very different story. Disappearances, tortures, intimidation, constant surveillance, arbitrary detentions and heavy army presence are daily occurrences. If all these events are taking place despite the Chinese communist government’s denial, take a second to imagine what would happen to the Tibetans that protest against this torch relay especially after the government announced that no dissents would be tolerated. The earthquake was a natural disaster but this Torch relay is a man made disaster and the IOC should be held accountable for this. Regarding the earthquake, it was very surprising to hear that the Chinese consulate here in Toronto refused to accept our donation for the earthquake victims.
This was just released by JAC:
Tibetans continue to show their goodwill towards the Chinese people, especially the victims of the earthquake. On Tuesday, members of the Tibetan community here went to deliver donations collected at a prayer for the earthquake victims. However, after the Tibetans were questioned and made to wait for many hours, the Chinese government showed its rising insecurity around the Tibet issue by refusing the gesture of compassion and goodwill intended for the Chinese people.
I do not know what to make of this and leave it to you, the readers to think how this Chinese communist government acts even towards its own people. We can only sit here and comprehend how much Tibetans in Tibet suffer under this totalitarian regime.
As the day progressed and it started to rain, Tibetans and their supporters continued on with their protests knowing about the faith of the Tibetans in Tibet. We, in the Diaspora community, shall not remain quiet and continue with our protests. I look forward to the protests tomorrow and the day after.