New SFT chapter founded in Warsaw, first ever Tibet event held

Dharamshala, May 11: Students for a Free Tibet, a global network of young students working for the independence of Tibet from China’s rule, formally launched a new Chapter in Poland and held its first ever Tibet awareness campaign on Monday. 

 More than 60 people including Tibetans attended the event that was aimed to create awareness and educate about Tibet and the people’s struggle for freedom from China’s rule, according to Kunchok Sangpo, a student in Warsaw University, who co-ordinated the event said in an e-mail.

 The awareness event titled ‘Glimpses of Tibet’ is the first to be held by the new SFT Chapter since its inception in March this year.

SFT said the speakers briefed the audience about major topics such as Tibet as an independent nation, China’s violation of Human rights and religious freedom especially covering the Ngaba situation, importance of Tibetan language and china’s policy towards it, progress of Tibetan democracy and the Dalai Lama’s recent decision to relinquish power and its bearing on the democratisation process.

 The event also treated the audience to a Tibetan song, dance performance, display of Tibetan traditional dresses, Tibetan step dance workshop, the new SFT chapter said.

 “The main aim of this event is to give brief picture of Tibet’s history and its current situation which needs support from world citizen,” said Kunchok, who was earlier an active member of SFT in Delhi before moving to Poland under a government-funded further studies program.

 The newly-established regional Chapter known as SFT Warsaw is the only regional chapter of the students group in Poland.

 Executive director of SFT Tendor said the launch of regional chapter in Poland is “significant” given the country’s experience of hardships and struggle against Communist’s rule in its history similar to the current situation in Tibet which is ruled by Communist China since being occupied in 1959.

 Besides the awareness campaign, Monday’s Tibet event has also attracted a few new members.

 “The event was mainly targeted to Polish students who are studying in Warsaw University. Ten new Polish students registered with SFT Warsaw. Currently, we have 25 members,” Kunchok said.

 The new SFT chapter said it later collected signatures of participants at the event to urge the polish parliament to raise its voice against the continuing Chinese crackdown and lockdown imposed on the monks in Kirti Monastery in Ngaba where a monk self-immolated on March 16 and two elderly Tibetans were beaten to death last month by Chinese police while trying to protect the monks.

 Students for Free Tibet, an active non-violent group working in solidarity with Tibetan people in their struggle for freedom and independence, claims it has 650 chapters worldwide at universities, high schools and elementary schools, in more than 30 countries around the world.

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