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Today's Tibet, Tomorrow's Hong Kong?

An activist network in Hong Kong, Walking along with Tibetans (與西藏同行) organized an assembly at Tsim Sha Tsui to express their solidarity with Tibetans on the 54th Anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising Day on March 10, 2013. The occasion was also to mourn for 113 Tibetans who immolated between February 2009 and February 2013 to protest against the Chinese government's oppression in Tibet.

The assembly statement said:

過去一年,中國政府對西藏鎮壓變本加厲,導致藏曆2139年(即2012年)境內藏人自焚抗議事件愈演愈烈。從2009年2月27日至2013年2月25日,共113位藏人自焚,在境內藏地有109位,在境外有4位,包括15位女性,已知其中94人犧牲(境內92人,境外2人)。這些自焚藏人所留下的遺言,和自焚時喊出最後的響亮心聲是:“讓達賴喇嘛尊者返回西藏”、“祈願達賴喇嘛尊者永久住世”、“西藏要自由”、“民族平等”、“西藏獨立”等等。

The Chinese government's oppression against Tibetans has kept elevating, in Tibetan calendar year 2139 [which means in 2012) there are more and more self-immolation protests. Between February 27, 2009 to February 25, 2013, a total of 113 Tibetans have self-immolated. 109 immolations have taken place in Tibet, 4 were outside Tibet. 15 of them are women, 94 of them have died (92 from Tibet and 2 from overseas). Their last wishes are: "Let Dalai Lama return to Tibet", "Long Live Dalai Lama", "Free Tibet", "Ethic equality", "Tibet independent" and etc.

Online Banner for the 54th Anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day in Hong Kong.

Banner for the 54th Anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising in Hong Kong.

Citizen reporter Marco Mak interviewed the event organizer Dorothy who had visited Tibet three times in the past few years:

Dorothy 表示被藏民純樸善良的個性所深深感動,遂在回港後致力為西藏發聲,希望令更多人知道藏民每日要面對的如武裝鎮壓、文化清洗和媒體封鎖等嚴重問題。「藏民被迫去到高樓大廈裡生活,他們失去了以往賴以生存的方式。兒童不能學習藏語,令文化滅絕。我認識的藏人正努力保護自己的宗教文化,他們大多很純真。這與香港的物質生活反差很大...」

Dorothy said she was touched by Tibetans' simple and kind nature and wanted to speak out for them in Hong Kong so that more people would be aware of the everyday life oppression such as military control, cultural cleaning and media blockage faced by Tibetan: "Tibetans are forced to live in high-rise buildings and changed their lifestyles. Children can't learn Tibetan and their culture is eroding. My Tibetan friends are trying very hard to protect their own religion and culture. Their hearts are pure, very different from the materialistic attitude in Hong Kong…"

Exhibition on Tibet human right situation during the assembly. Photo from inmediahk.net (CC: AT-NC)

Exhibition on Tibet human right situation during the assembly. Photo from inmediahk.net (CC: AT-NC)

Hong Ningshan(韓年山), the spokesperson from Protect Hong Kong Freedom Coalition said that what has happened in Tibet is closely related to Hong Kong and many participants of the assembly echoed the view. Marco reported Hong's speech:

面對西藏現時不公義的情況,香港人不能再沉默。即使西藏和香港的距離很遙遠,但仍然和香港息息相關。因為中共政權自建國以來,不斷剝削人民的自由;西藏人民的宗教自由和基本人權更是接近去蕪存菁。
他更認為當時中共答允給予西藏人民的宗教自由,和港人的雙普選都只是「權宜之計」;實際遙遙無期。因為中共只會以謊言治國,蒙蔽人民。他呼籲港人必須立即醒覺,盡力避免被重蹈覆轍。

Hong Kong people cannot be silent about the injustice in Tibet. Even though geographically the two places are far apart, [their fates] are connected. Since the establishment of PRC, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been exploiting people's freedom. Tibetans are now deprived of religious freedom and human rights.
Hong believed that the religious freedom promised by CCP to Tibetans was their strategy [to pacify the Tibetans], the situation is similar to their promise for universal suffrage to Hong Kong people, it is very likely that the promise will never be fulfilled. The CCP is using lies to rule the country and cheat people and Hong Kong people has to be aware of the history and avoid [what happened in Tibet from recurring in Hong Kong].

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