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Tibet Uprising Anniversary 2013: UK local events PDF Print E-mail
The 54th anniversary of the Tibet National Uprising was marked in the UK by a series of events, attended by over a thousand people. As well as the Tibet Freedom March and Rally in London, a wreath-laying ceremony at Westminster Abbey and Tibet Lobby (a UK-wide action where MPs were lobbied about Tibet), a demonstration was held in Edinburgh, a flag-raising ceremony took place in Northampton and public events were held in and Lampeter (Ceredigion), Chipping Norton (Oxfordshire) and Corsham (Wiltshire).

Edinburgh I Northampton I Lampeter I Chipping Norton
I Corsham

Edinburgh DemonstrationOn Sunday 10 March, Edinburgh University Tibet Society (with support from other groups including the Tibetan community of Scotland, Students for a Free Tibet and Tibet Society) organised a demonstration in the Scottish capital.

In the early afternoon, Tibetans and Tibet supporters gathered at the Mound, in the centre of Edinburgh, to listen to influential speakers on the issue of Tibet, including Marco Biagi, an MSP from the Scottish National Party, Doris Jones from Nations Without States, Fiona Lyndsey from Torture Survival Programme and James Moohan from the National Union of Students Scotland.

The 100-plus crowd, carrying Tibetan flags and placards of all 107 Tibetans who have self-immolated since 2009 in protest against Chinas rule, then marched through Edinburgh to the Chinese Consulate. One demonstrator entered the Consulate grounds and placed a Tibetan flag onto the side of the building, which was promptly removed by Consulate staff. A lively vigil continued outside the Consulate for several hours. When the demonstrators finally dispersed, Tibetan flags and all 107 images of the self-immolators were left on display on the Consulates railings.

Further reading & links:
Full report on
Edinburgh University Tibet Society: website I facebook

Flag-raising ceremony, NorthamptonOn 5 March, 100 people gathered for a special ceremony marking the Uprising anniversary, which included the raising of the Tibetan national flag at Northamptons Guildhall.

Among the guests were Mayor and Mayoress Roger and Jenny Conroy, Leader of the Council David Mackintosh and the Dalai Lamas Representative to the UK and Northern Europe, Mr Thubten Samdup. The ceremony included speeches, prayers and music. Supportive statements were read out from TV presenter Gloria Hunniford and Michael Ellis MP.

Uprising Ceremony, NorthamptonLeader of the Council David Mackintosh revealed that the Council had been pressured by Chinese government officials to cancel the flag-raising ceremony, but having held the ceremony for 14 consecutive years, the Council refused to yield saying, Its traditional now!

Mr Ellis, MP for Northampton North said in his statement, I hope that the new Chinese leadership will show a reforming attitude to this matter [of Tibet] and new-found respect for Tibetan culture but until they do, campaigners like those here today are so very important.

The flag-raising & ceremony was organised by Shine a Light for Tibet, a Northampton-based voluntary group which raises awareness about the Tibet issue.  For further details contact: Caroline on This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Further reading: Full report on Tibet Society's blog

In an innovative and creative Uprising anniversary protest, students of Lampeter University and Save Tibet Wales organised a 24 hour relay meditation called Sit for Peace. The event ran from 9pm on 5 March to 9pm the following day. As well as meditation, prayers and reflection there were film screenings, talks and stalls selling Tibetan crafts and traditional Tibetan food. Overall, the event raised over 300 for organisations supporting Tibetan refugees as well as raising awareness of the Tibet issue.

Further link: Save Tibet Wales: facebook

Chipping Norton
On 2 March, an Evening for Tibet was held in Chipping Norton, North Oxfordshire, with special guest Mr Thupten Samdup, the Dalai Lamas Representative to the UK and Northern Europe.

Mr Samdup addressed the audience, reminding them of the UKs connection to Tibet, including the British invasion of Tibet in 1904, the subsequent signing of treaties and Tibets hosting of British diplomats until Chinas invasion in 1950. Mr Samdup also discussed the current plight of the Tibetan people which has led to a wave of self-immolations, and urged the audience to write to their local MP, Prime Minister David Cameron, urging him to take a bolder stance on the Tibetan issue.

Following Mr Samdups speech, Nick Grays Escape from Tibet was screened and Jane Alston sang a beautiful song Burning in the Mountains, which she was inspired to write after hearing about the self-immolations. Tibetan momos were also served, rounding off what had been an evening of insight into Tibet.

The 'Evening for Tibet' event was organised by Tibet supporter Diana Hughes.

Further reading & links:
Full report on Tibet Society's blog

Escape from Tibet - film synopsis; purchase book
Video of Burning in the Mountains on YouTube (warning: video contains graphic images of self-immolations)

Tenzin and PasangTo mark the Uprising anniversary, the Bath District Tibet Support Group organised a screening of the film
Escape from Tibet in Corsham on 7 March, with special guests Director Nick Gray and Tenzin, one of the two young brothers who feature in the documentary
(left in picture, with his brother Pasang).

The event was attended by 100 people who were moved by the documentary and inspired by Tenzins presence. Nick and Tenzin answered questions from the audience and were also interviewed by the local press. The positive feedback from the event included a 12-year-old saying that the documentary had been better than the new Batman movie!

Further reading & links:

Bath District Tibet Support Group: website I facebook
Escape from Tibet - film synopsis; purchase book

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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