As a show of solidarity and support to the people of Tibet, Cllr. Denise Hyland, the Mayor, on Thursday 10th March raised the Tibet Flag at the Town Hall, Woolwich with HE Sonam Tsering Frasi, London-based Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Woolwich is the headquarters of the London Royal Borough of Greenwich. This ceremony was attended by Cllr. Danny Thorpe, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich and a small contingent of local Tibetan Community.
Tibetans recited Buddhist prayers for World Peace and the Long Life of the Dalai Lama. They also sang the Tibetan National Anthem whilst the Mayor and the Dalai Lama’s Representative hoisted the Tibet Flag.
This annual Tibet Flag raising was organised by the Mayor’s Office, Royal Borough of Greenwich (RBG) and the local Greenwich Tibetan Association (GTA), of the Tibetan Community UK. The RBG is home to over 100 Tibetans, which is the single largest concentration of Tibetans in one borough in the whole of the UK.
Tsering Passang, Founder and Chairman of the Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities, who is also a former Chairman of the Tibetan Community UK, coordinated the Tibet Flag raising ceremony on behalf of the Greenwich Tibetan Association. At the reception, whilst thanking the Leaders of the Royal Borough of Greenwich for their continued support and solidarity, Passang urged them to confer “Champion of Peace” Award to the Dalai Lama to increase the Council’s support for the Tibetan people’s non-violent freedom struggle.
The Tibet Flag was first raised at this English Town Hall in September 2015 to honour and welcome His Holiness the Dalai Lama to The O2 Centre, which falls within the boundaries of the RBG. The Tibetan spiritual leader was giving public talks and Buddhist teachings to over 10,000 people at this big venue in 2015.
On 10th March, Tibetans worldwide observed the 63rd anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising of 1959, when tens of thousands of Tibetans rose up against the invading Chinese forces in Lhasa. China’s invasion of Tibet forced the Dalai Lama into exile in India where he set up the Central Tibetan Administration (de facto Tibetan Government-in-exile).
Read more on Why Tibetans commemorate March 10th?
After the Tibet Flag raising ceremony, Tibetans joined the annual march and protest in central London, organised by the Tibetan Community UK and Free Tibet.