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[10 March 2013] Speech by Tim Loughton MP at the Tibet Freedom Rally outside the Chinese Embassy, London , on the occasion of the 54th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising.

Tim Loughton MPGood morning everybody. Good morning London.

My name is T
im Loughton and I have been longstanding member of the Tibet Society and a supporter of the Tibetan cause. I sit on the Tibet Council and I have travelled to many countries around the world and I have never met a more peace-loving, friendly and just people than the people of Tibet, both in Dharamsala and around the world, and thats why I am really honoured and humbled to be part of your rally here today.

Now just 54 years ago in 1959, 300,000 Tibetans gathered around the Norbulingka Palace in Lhasa in peace. So we come in peace today to appeal to the people of China and to the people of the United Kingdom for justice and for liberty for Tibetans.
In a few hours time, thousands of people will march across the Brooklyn Bridge in New York to petition like us at the United Nations. Today in Edinburgh our brothers and sisters will be marching as well, in Brussels and in many countries around the world, the people are on the march for the cause of Tibet and oppressed Tibetans in the world today.

Now around the world, people, more than ever, are upholding the rights and liberties of Tibetan people to be able to live in freedom and liberty in their own country. And thats why more than ever, its important that we draw attention to that cause as we are doing today. To draw attention to the liberties that are denied to them by China in their own country.

Now we all know since those years of occupation, hundreds of thousands of innocent Tibetans have died at
the hands of the Chinese (government). Many thousands are still in prison or have been subject to torture. Thousands of monasteries, nunneries and schools (have been) destroyed by the Chinese. Many people are missing and tragically many people seem fit to resort extreme measures to draw attention to the plight of Tibet.

Well again today we draw attention to the plight of Tibetans in peace and we offer an olive branch to China if they really mean what it says in their constitution about respecting the autonomy of regions within the borders of China. If the Chinese really do have any respect for human rights then use this opportunity under your new President to start a real dialogue.
Tim Loughton at the RallyI have even brought an olive branch with me for the Chinese to take the opportunity - the opportunity of your new President to show you are serious about what it says in your constitution. Start a new dialogue and if you do, if you really are serious about respecting the rights, identity, and culture of the Tibetan people inside and outside your boundaries, then the world will be behind you. We will be behind you.

What we ask is not unreachable or overly ambitious. It is simply to respect the fundamental human rights of freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of worship and freedom of culture that we all take for granted in countries like this and are universally accepted in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In the United Kingdom, we enjoy free speech. Sometimes its difficult for governments, sometimes it means admitting youre wrong. Sometimes it means admitting you can do better in revealing failure. But always, free speech means that you value the precious virtues of truth and equality and respect for all of your citizens, and we ask no less for the people of Tibet.
So, on Wednesday we will come together again at Westminster in the traditional wreath- laying ceremony and to lobby the government and members of parliament, and I urge you all to come along and lobby to get your friend to come along and lobby. If you cant be there on Wednesday, lobby your own MPs in their constituencies and make them aware of the great injustice that goes on day in day out in Tibet. Call out for our Prime Minister to speak out more loudly against the abuse of Tibetans because in this country we can. But in Tibet our friends, brothers and sisters, cant. But one day soon China will have to think and act realistically about all of its people.

The Tibetan cause is stronger than it has ever been. You are all a part of making that day for freedom and liberty in Tibet arrive sooner.

Thank you very much.

Watch footage of this speech: Youtube (1) , Youtube (2)
Read Tibet Uprising Anniversary 2013: UK Report

Tibet Society, the worlds first Tibet support group, was founded in 1959. Funded by its members, it has been working for over 50 years to seek justice for Tibet through parliamentary lobbying, campaigns and actions. Help keep Tibet alive by joining Tibet Society today. (Annual membership 24; Overseas 36; Life 500).

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