Australia’s Tibetan community marks 62 years of resistance against China’s rule

9 March 2021

On Wednesday 10 March, Tibetans and supporters will commemorate the 62nd Tibetan Uprising Day with rallies in cities across Australia and globally. See details for rallies happening in Australia here.

With each passing year, the Tibetan Uprising Day carries an added sense of urgency as the human rights situation in Chinese-occupied Tibet continues to worsen. According to Freedom House, Tibet is tied with Syria as the least-free country in the world in 2021.

“We hope this ranking will serve as a reminder to the world about the urgent need to take action for Tibet. We call on the Australian government to pay attention to the situation in Tibet and speak up against the injustices faced by our people,” said Nigan Gotsang, president of the Tibetan Community of NSW – Sydney, whose members are mostly former political prisoners from Tibet.

While Tibetans welcome the international community’s growing support for the freedoms of Uyghurs in East Turkestan (Chinese: Xinjiang) and the people of Hong Kong, they fear the atrocities committed by the Chinese government in Tibet does not receive enough attention.

China has shut Tibet off from the rest of the world for more than a decade during which over 150 Tibetans have self-immolated in defiance of China’s rule and the systematic attacks on their culture, environment and way of life.

On 10 March 1959, almost a decade after the Chinese invasion, Tibetans took to the streets of capital Lhasa to protect their leader, the Dalai Lama and their nation’s future. China’s brutal crackdown led to the loss of thousands of Tibetan lives and forced the Dalai Lama to flee into exile to India. Six decades on, inside Tibet and outside its borders, the Tibetan spirit of resistance has remained strong in the face of China’s increasing oppression. That spirit will be on display at rallies tomorrow as Tibetans – young and old – commemorate this significant political anniversary.

Media spokespersons

Nigan Gotsang
President, NSW Tibetan Community
0407 455 388

Dr Zoë Bedford
Executive Officer, Australia Tibet Council
0408 262 576

Kalsang Yonten
President, ACT Tibetan Community
0408 596 497

Tsering Deki
Media Liaison Officer
0422 302 648