Repeal “One-China Policy” – British Tibetans urged Indian High Commissioner in London

To coincide with the commemoration of the 62nd anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day, on 10th March 2021, a group of eight Tibetans took part in the #WalkAMileForTibet in support of the Repeal “One-China Policy” campaign.

This campaign was initiated by Tenzin Tsundue, a Tibetan Youth Leader and Writer based in India. After launching an e-Petition to draw the attention of Indian PM Narendra Modi, Tsundue started his month-long campaign on Losar – Tibetan New Year – 12th February, from Dharamsala to Delhi, covering 500 kilometres distance on foot.

The “One-China Policy” is a diktat laid down by the Chinese Government (Communist Party of China – CCP) which denies any area currently under Chinese control the right ever to differentiate itself from China. Thus Tibet, Southern Mongolia, East Turkistan [Xinjiang], Manchuria and Hong Kong must – according to this diktat – accept that they are forever an integral part of China and can never break free of communist control. Taiwan – a democracy – is included in this diktat.

In his letter to the London-based Indian High Commissioner, ahead of the Tibetan commemoration anniversary, Tsering Passang, founder and convener of the Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities (GATPM), wrote, “On 10th March, Tibetans in diasporas commemorate the 62nd anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day. Exactly 62 years ago, on 10th March 1959, tens of thousands of Tibetans rose up against the invading Chinese forces in Lhasa, Tibet’s capital. A week later, the Tibetan Leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama left Lhasa and sought political asylum in India. Some 80,000 Tibetans joined the Dalai Lama.”

Whilst acknowledging India’s huge support to the Tibetan refugees and their freedom struggle, the Tibetan activist urged the Government of India to repeal the “One-China Policy” and work with “like-minded countries to challenge the Chinese regime”.

After passing through Greenwich Park, Tower of London and St. Paul’s Cathedral in the city, the peace marchers made a stopover outside the Indian High Commission. Passang stated that their stopover at the Indian High Commission was not a protest to India.

The group then headed towards the Chinese Embassy via the Whitehall, the heart of the British Government. When the group reached the White Hall, the police stopped them stating they were “caught on cameras”. England is currently under national lockdown due to Coronavirus pandemic. After the group’s explanation, the police advised them to go home to avoid fines, instead of heading to their destination – the Chinese Embassy. So, the group could not continue their walk to the Chinese Embassy. They had to cut short their commemoration event this year.

However, several Tibetan groups successfully staged protests outside the Chinese Embassy in London to observe the 62nd anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day. The Tibetan Community in Britain and Tibet support groups held virtual commemoration events to mark this poignant anniversary in Tibetan history.

The 14-mile peace march kicked off from Woolwich Town Hall, the headquarters of Royal Borough of Greenwich (RBG), after the Tibetan National Flag was hoisted at the Town Hall again this year, to mark the 62nd Anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising. The simple ceremony was attended by Cllr. Linda Bird, The Mayor, Cllr. Danny Thorpe, The Leader of RBG and Representative Sonam Frasi from The Office of Tibet. Local residents and the Tibetan marchers witnessed the ceremony from a distance whilst observing the social distancing rules.

Cllr. David Gardner, former Deputy Leader of RBG, who helped to organise the flag hoisting ceremony, said, “The Tibetan community in exile has had a long association with our Royal Borough of Greenwich, and in my Woolwich Common ward in particular. I was delighted to help hoist the flag last year on Tibetan Uprising Day and that it can go ahead in a more limited form in a Covid-19 safe manner in 2021, now 62 years since the Tibetan rebellion and altogether seven decades of oppression, victimisation and total subjugation to the Chines Communist Party since their occupation in 1950. 

“Now the Uighur community are also suffering as are democrats in Hong Kong as free speech, freedom of expression and universal human rights are trampled on across China. But this day is about Tibetans who are a peaceful people seeking merely the universal rights we all take for granted in Europe and to be able to freely visit their families back in Tibet without reprisals. I wish the Tibetan community a successful and safe commemoration of this important anniversary.”

Author: Tsering Passang (Tsamtruk)

Tsering Passang is passionate about Tibet and the Tibetan issue. He was born in a Tibetan refugee camp in western Nepal. An NGO professional with nearly 20 years of experience in international development charities, Tsering has led Tibetan Community UK from 2014 to 2016 as its Chairman. Amongst his pioneering initiatives as the Community Leader, Tsering spearheaded "Tibetans Helping Tibetans" initiative and within months, it resulted in securing the sponsorship of 30 Tibetan refugee children for their education in India from 25 UK-based Tibetan families. Prior to his current appointment as the Director of Tibet Foundation, Tsering served as Special Adviser to the Tibet Society, the world's oldest Tibet support group. He also worked for Tibet Relief Fund for over eight years, raising vital funds for Tibetan children’s education in India and Nepal. From 2001 to 2007, he worked for Tibet Foundation as Art & Culture Programme Manager. Tsering has conducted multiple field trips to India and Nepal over the past two decades. After returning from his 2008 personal trip to Mustang, Tsering saw a need to provide training to those Tibetan teachers working in rural areas. Within a year, with the support of western teaching professionals, Tsering initiated the vital training programme for the teachers. Over 50 Tibetan refugees and ethnic Tibetan teachers from Mustang, Manang, Dhorpatan, Pokhara and Kathmandu attended the trainings delivered in Mustang, Kathmandu and Pokhara. He developed partnerships with the local NGOs and schools in Nepal. From 2014 to 2016, Tsering served on the boards of Tibet Society and Tibet House Trust. He also served as the Chairman and a Trustee of the Tibetan Refugee Charitable Trust. Tsering continues his advocacy work on Tibet. He has attended and engaged with parliamentarians, special advisers and officials from the UK, UN, the US and EU. Tsering has also spoken at important public and closed forums – audience included governments representatives, policymakers, rights advocates, lawyers, journalists, NGO professionals, university students and researchers. In addition to his writings on the Tibetan affairs, published in the British, Nepalese and Tibetan media, Tsering was interviewed by the BBC, Sky News and Reuters. He is also frequently interviewed by the Voice of America, Radio Free Asia and Voice of Tibet. Tsering has conducted special interviews with leading Tibetan political figures - President of the Tibetan Government-in-exile (Central Tibetan Administration based in Dharamsala) and His Holiness the Dalai Lama's former Special Envoy (Washington-based) and former Representative (London-based) for a Tibetan YouTube channel – LondonNey Production. Tsering’s personal blog: www.tsamtruk.com Tsering's latest initiative is the creation of the Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities (GATPM) - an advocacy group with the object of highlighting the issues affecting the Tibetans, Uyghur Muslims as well as other peoples persecuted by the Chinese regime.

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