Busloads from U.S. expected
rafe arnott/metro vancouver
Busloads of pro-Tibet demonstrators from Washington and Oregon are expected here this weekend for a rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery, local organizers say.
Shenpenn Khemsar, a member of the Vancouver Tibetan community, said the rally is spurred by last weekend’s mob protests in Tibet that left up to 80 people dead.
"It’s so horrific and inhumane for China to take such measures against innocent Tibetan people," Khemsar said.
Last Friday, on the 49th anniversary of a failed uprising against Chinese occupation, peaceful demonstrations in Lhasa turned ugly when Tibetans lynched several Chinese in their city. China’s reaction was heavy-handed.
Hayfa Abichahine, a University of B.C. student who has been protesting the occupation for years, said China’s banning of all foreign media from Tibet and the sealing of its borders could lead to a cultural genocide.
"I urge everyone to stand up for the Tibetan people at a time when their voices are being violently silenced," Abichahine said.
The rally begins at noon on Saturday.