Hundreds of Toronto Tibetans Hold Vigil for First Day of Losar
Toronto, Feb 25: On the first day of Losar, around 350 Tibetans gathered in Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood – the heart of the Tibetan exile community in Canada – for a candle-light vigil to mourn the suffering of Tibetans inside Tibet. The vigil was organized by a coalition of six of the largest Tibet NGOs in Toronto including: Canadian Tibetan Association of Ontario, Tibetan Youth Congress, Tibetan Women’s Association, Chushi Gangdruk, Canada Tibet Committee and Students for a Free Tibet.
“Toronto is home to one of the largest Tibetan exile communities in the world and as China launches its brutal siege over Tibet, the whole community is very concerned about the fate of our fellow Tibetans inside Tibet,” said Kunga Tsering, president of the coalition named The Canadian-Tibetan Joint Action Committee (CTJAC).
Speakers including Member of Provincial Parliament Cheri DiNovo and former Member of Parliament Peggy Nash gave words of encouragement to Tibetans and promised to continue pushing the Canadian government to pressure China on Tibet.
“A cry for freedom and justice from the Tibetan people is a cry for freedom and justice from all people. And when that demand is crushed, it is crushed for all of us,” said MPP DiNovo.
Monks from local monasteries read out prayers that then were followed by enthusiastic shouts from the crowd for freedom. After speeches and anthems, members of the community walked to a local community hall for prayers.
“As the Chinese government closes Tibet from the rest of the world and floods it with troops, we will do everything in our power to make the public aware of the suffering of Tibetans inside Tibet,” said Kalsang Tsomo of Tibetan Women’s Association.
On March 9th, Tibetans and supporters in Canada will congregate in the nation’s capital Ottawa to lobby political representatives to push for action on Tibet. On March 10th, The CTJAC will be organizing buses from Toronto for the protest in Ottawa. On the same, there will be a mass protest in Toronto. For more info: http://www.sftcanada.org/index.php/our-work/upcoming-events
Read about the event: http://www.torontosun.com/news/torontoandgta/2009/02/26/8536861-sun.html