Earlier tonight Tibetans in Toronto lit candles and prayed in respect for the brave souls who defied all fear and sacrificed their lives for Tibet. Although the brave martyrs have given their lives, their sacrifice has shed light on the continuing brutality of the Chinese government towards Tibetans who voice their opinions. Lobsang Gyaltsen, aged 27, born in Lhasa; Loyak, aged 25, of Tashi Khang, Shol Township, Lhasa and Penkyi, aged 21, born in Sakya County were executed in Lhasa on Tuesday, October the 20th.
Thus, in remembrance, Tibetans from Toronto showed up in a sizeable gathering outside the Chinese Consulate in Downtown Toronto. The vigil was respectful, heart-touching as well as re-assuring of our goal as Tibetans. One of unity, perseverance and above all our non-violent path to freedom as followers of The Dalai Lama.
The elderly and some monks sat behind praying as some youth and adults stood in front holding the Tibetan and Canadian flags. We started with the prayer ‘Jangchup Semchok Rimpoche’ (roughly translated as ‘rebirth of compassionate wisdom’) going on until 7:30, when Urgen Sangay from SFT shared the grievous news and details of the tragedy to the people gathered. This was followed by a note of thanks to SFT for organizing the vigil from CTAO by Tseten Badheytsang and finally a few words of hope from Kasang Tsomo from TWA, who mentioned our need to engage with Chinese on a proper dialogue level whenever possible.
The observation was over after we recited ‘Tsemey Younten’ (wisdom of non-violence by HHDL) and the Tibetan and Canadian national anthems respectively. As a reminder of the fire still burning within us everyone yelled “BHOD GYALO” at the top of their lungs. Although some Toronto police came in two cars, they stayed on the other side of the street and re-assured that it was all they would do until the end of the vigil.
As we walked home on our way, some elderly Tibetans could be overheard saying ‘This is truly what freedom is, the ability to voice opinions without fear’. Bhod Gyalo!
Reported by Ugen B, SFT Toronto