Speech at the Rally Commemorating the 64th Anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising
March 10, 2023
In Front of the Chinese Embassy in Washington, DC
By: Dr. Jianli Yang
Today, Tibetans and supporters for a free Tibet around the world are gathered to mark the 64th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising against Chinese rule, the moment when many Tibetans lost their lives and His Holiness the Dalai Lama and thousands of his followers were forced to flee their homeland.
It is with sadness that we commemorate the 64 years since the uprising. We remember those more than a million peaceful, peace-loving Tibetans who have lost their lives at the hands of Chinese oppression over all those years. The unwavering struggle of Tibetans under the leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama for a free Tibet has won worldwide respect. Today we refuse to give up because of the courage and perseverance of Tibetans in Tibet and around the world.
Today China continues to occupy Tibet. We know why Beijing won’t call Putin’s war an invasion: Its own unprovoked invasion of Tibet in the 1950s also relied on a heavily distorted historical narrative designed to confuse Chinese citizens and the world. The Chinese Communist Party (the CCP) regime has been trying to wipe out the Tibetan ethnicity from earth and will continue to determinedly impose assimilation policies on the Tibetan people. That is a cultural genocide.
Today I want to particularly speak to my Chinese compatriots in China. Just as we must not stand with Putin over his invasion of Ukraine, we must also not stand with the CCP regime over its colonization of Tibet. When governments take illegal atrocious actions, the people always lose.
One way we all can commemorate this 64th anniversary is to urge the world to continue to call out and condemn the CCP’s cultural genocide against the Tibetan people. We must continue to stand with our Tibetan brothers and sisters all around the world in their struggle to ensure that Tibetans in Tibet can exercise their basic human rights — to speak and teach their language, protect their culture, control their land and water, travel within and outside their country, select their religious leaders and practice their religion as they choose.
We will continue to stand with our Tibetan brothers and sisters in their struggle for a free Tibet. None of us should rest until all Tibetans are free.