"Dharamshala Remembers Tiananmen"
(Dharamshala | June 5, 2004)
Yesterday, 4th June 2004, just the day after Dharamsala rejected
China's White Paper, the exile capital of the Tibetans saw a new kind
of political wave; a solidarity meeting to remember the sacrifice
the Chinese made for Democracy during in 1989. A huge red banner
hung from a shopping complex in the centre of McLeod Ganj read:
"FREE CHINA! FREE TIBET!"
Tibetan activists distributed solidarity leaflets in Tibetan and
English. It was also an invitation to a film show- "Tiananmen: The
Gate of Heavenly Peace". Tibetans who do not understand a word of the
English commentary on the film, sat through out the film show, grim
and emotional watching the young Chinese student leaders embroiled
in a democracy movement. The film that details the otherwise student
movement, later joined by workers, went on for almost three hours.
Tenzin Tsundue, (Writer-activist and National Secretary of Friends
of Tibet) in his introductory note said "until Tiananmen Square
massacre China meant only the brutal ready-to-kill soldiers.
This democracy movement created a new image of China where a face of
the common people demanding freedom and Democracy got created.
This is history for Tibetans." He said "15 years ago, on this day China
ruthlessly massacred their own children who were asking for freedom
and democracy. Tiananmen Square massacre remains the biggest blot
on humanity. The Tibetan people stand with the Chinese youngsters
today looking for free and democratic China."
Karma Choephel (President of national Democratic Party of Tibet)
explained to the Tibetan gathering how much the new generation
Chinese struggle for democracy in China. "In China not only the
minority people like Tibetans and Mongolians, common people in China
without contacts or financial clout, do not enjoy any political
rights. They suffer like the Tibetans in Tibet. Being common victims
of corrupted Chinese Government, we sent our solidarity to the
Tsewang Lhadon (Director, TCHRD), said "Human Rights is universal,
it is not begged for, but in China theses rights are not respected.
Tiananmen Square massacre is an example of such human life
sacrifice for greater freedom and democracy. The recently released
'White Paper' on Tibet by China makes big claims of political and
social rights. In our research we get to meet thousands of Tibetans
who escaped from Tibet, and they all have personal stories to tell,
of discrimination and atrocities.
Yeshi Togden (President of Gu-Chu-Sum Movement of Tibet) related his
stories of prison experiences, while he was in prison. In March 1989,
China tightened the Tibetans in Lhasa under martial law. Still the
Tibetans went into streets demonstrating for freedom from China. We
didn't know at that time, that there was similar freedom movement
brewing in the heart of China. Three months later, we heard about
the student massacre at the Tiananmen. We were not shocked. We
saw their brutality, but we did not expect the Chinese leaders to
be so power hungry, that they would shoot their own children.
We are Tibetans. They called us 'splittists.' But young and educated
Chinese demanding Democracy are trampled. We used to talk about
this in prison.
'In Solidarity: Remember Tiananmen'
was organised by the Friends of Tibet (INDIA)
on June 4, 2004