‘Don’t forget Tibet’

Australia’s Tibetan community marks 61 years of resistance against China’s rule

9 March 2020

On Tuesday 10 March, Tibetans and supporters will commemorate the 61st Tibetan Uprising Day with rallies in cities across Australia (see below for full details). They are reminding Australia to not forget Tibet as China’s influence threatens our free, democratic society.

Many of the roughly 3,000 Tibetans living in Australia are former political prisoners from Tibet, some of whom had participated in the 1959 uprising in capital Lhasa against the Chinese invasion of their homeland.

Sixty decades on, inside Tibet and outside its borders the Tibetan spirit of resistance has remained strong in the face of China’s increasing oppression. With each passing year, the Tibetan Uprising Day carries an added sense of urgency as the situation in Tibet continues to worsen. Tibet is ranked the second-least free region in the world, behind only Syria. Tibetans live in a surveillance state where all aspects of public and private lives are closely monitored. As millions of Chinese tourists and business people flood Tibet every year, the Tibetan culture and environment comes under severe attack. Tibetans are imprisoned for advocating for their basic rights that are guaranteed under Chinese law.

Kalsang Yonten, President of Australian Tibetan Community Association, said, “Under the leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tibetans have demonstrated great courage and tenacity in seeking a peaceful resolution with China.”

“A victory for Tibet is not just for Tibetans, but for all humanity. Our culture, based on non-violence and compassion, has much to offer to the world. We are asking Australia and the international community to speak up against the injustices faced by our people and support an end to China’s occupation of Tibet.”

Kyinzom Dhongdue, Executive Officer of Australia Tibet Council, said, “With events in China and its occupied territories today, the hope of the free world 30 years ago that the opening of China’s market would lead to a more open society has been dashed to the ground. It is time for Australia and world governments to have clear-eyed policies on China.” 

“The Chinese government’s influence over Australian politics, academia and media has eroded the integrity of our democratic institutions. We are asking Australia to lift its game on Tibet and protect its cherished values.”




9.30 am: Rally at Martin Place
11.30 am to 2 pm: Peace march to the Chinese consulate
5 pm to 8 pm: Candle light vigil and prayer at Martin Place

Media spokespersons:
1) Nigan Gotsang (President, Tibetan Community of NSW – Sydney)
0407 455 388
2) Kyinzom Dhongdue (Executive Officer, Australia Tibet Council)
0416 695 590
3) Phurbu Tsering (Secretary, South Coast Tibetan Community)
0402 491 366


9:30 am: Rally at State Library of Victoria, followed by march to Police Memorial on St Kilda Road
1 pm to 3 pm: Protest at the Chinese consulate

Media spokesperson:
Rinchen Norbu (President, Tibetan Community of Victoria)
0420 251 895


9.30 am: Rally at King George Square, followed by march to New Farm Park

Media spokesperson:
Tenzin Phuntsok Doring (President, Queensland Tibetan Community)
0422 589 480


10 am to 11.30 am: Protest rally at the Chinese embassy

Media spokesperson:
Kalsang Yonten (President, ACT Tibetan Community)
0408 596 497


10 am: Rally and photo exhibition at Civic Park, Newcastle

Media spokesperson:
Phuntsok (President, Newcastle Tibetan Community)
0403 660 998