By Lee Ya-wen and James Lo Enditem/ASG
CNA photo March 5, 2022
Taipei, March 5 (CNA) Taiwanese, Taiwan-based Tibetans, Uyghurs, and Hong Kongers took to the streets of Taipei on Saturday to call for world peace, Tibetan liberation, and for Taiwan to pay attention to Tibetan issues, ahead of the Tibetan Uprising Day.
While the official day of the 63rd Tibetan Uprising Day, which commemorates the 1959 Tibetan rebellion against the Chinese Communist regime, is on Thursday, March 10, a rally was held Saturday to advocate for a stronger public response in Taiwan to decades of Chinese oppression in Tibet.
Before the start of the rally, the demonstration was opened with the singing of the "Gyallu," the anthem of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, which is banned in China.
Tibetan flags were also waved as three Tibetan monks chanted Tibetan Buddhism scriptures before a one-minute silence was held to pay tribute to the victims of the rebellion in 1959.
After the rally began, attendees could be heard chanting "Free Tibet," "Tibet belongs to Tibetans" and "Tibet needs human rights."
President of the Taiwan Tibetan Welfare Association Tenzin Namdak told the crowd that exiled Tibetans all over the world commemorate the rebellion on March 10 each year.
He went on to condemn China for forcing the communist regime onto Tibet, while stating that "Communism does not equal China," and that Taiwan should pay more attention to issues surrounding Tibet.
Wu'er Kaixi (吾爾開希), a prominent student leader of Uyghur descent during the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests in China, said in a speech that it was shameful to have to witness the oppression of Uyghurs, the invasion of Ukraine, and Taiwan being the only country in the world to publicly release Hong Kong documentary "Revolution of Our Times," in the 21st century.
However, he also added that many countries were beginning to reflect on the behavior of authoritarian states while strengthening democracy at home.
Lam Wing-kee. CNA photo March 5, 2022
Lam Wing-kee (林榮基), a Hong Kong bookseller who was once arrested in mainland China and who later relocated to Taipei where he opened a new book shop, also addressed the rally.
Lam said that Tibet, Hong Kong and Taiwan were being threatened by the same authoritarian state, and implored Taiwanese people to watch "Revolution of Our Times" to contemplate the transformation experienced by Hong Kong.
Independent Legislator Freddy Lim (林昶佐), who has been involved with the rally annually, was also at the event.
Legislator Freddy Lim (center left). CNA photo March 5, 2022
In his speech, Lim said that neither Russia nor China had fully transitioned into internationally friendly states, even though most of the world had expected them to.
The 1959 Tibetan uprising began on March 10, 1959 when a revolt erupted in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, in defiance of Chinese occupation forces, according to the Human Rights Network for Tibet and Taiwan.