310 Tibetan Demonstration Statement
Author: Hideaki KOJIMA (Researcher, Covenants Watch Taiwan)
Dear all the supporters of Tibet who are present today, ladies and gentlemen,
It is my great honor to have this opportunity to speak up for all the Tibetans inside and outside of Tibet and for their innate freedom.
People are free only when they can make decisions by themselves and when they have fundamental human rights. And the history tells us that people cannot truly enjoy their freedom and rights under an authority which does not represent their standpoints or interests.
After being a part of human rights defenders in Taiwan, I am impressed by how self-directive Taiwanese society is. Taiwanese people cherish the value of democracy and fundamental human rights, and are struggling to maintain and improve these values as a member of the international society. I am convinced that the referendum carried out last November clearly showed to the world that the democracy has firmly taken root in this country. At the meantime, efforts in human rights protection and promotion need to be strengthened.
Coming to think of Tibet, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama mentioned during his visit to Japan in 2016 that he and Tibetan society strongly support the value of democracy and human rights, especially the freedom of thought and the freedom of expression. His strong support towards the democracy made it possible to bear the first-ever Tibetan Prime Minister Lobsang Sangay in 2011. Tibetan society is flexibly adopting new values, while preserving its core traditional values.
This year marks the 60th year of the Tibet uprising in 1959 when Tibetans fought against the groundless invasion and oppression of China. But we should make a mental note that this calamity is not only a concern of Tibetans. A sovereign country was invaded with no reason, and this injustice remains unsolved for more than 60 years. The similar things can happen everywhere, and are actually happening now in another corner of the world. We can see the horrifying concentration camp in Xinjiang by China, the illegal occupation and relentless genocide in Palestine by Israel, or the barbarous treatment of Rohingya by Myanmar. Examples are too numerous to mention.
All these injustices can never be solved only by one, and we, as supporters of these indispensable values, regardless of ethnicity or nationality, need to stand up all together to cry against and gradually change the situations. The dignity of these oppressed people will be respected by being paid attention and being remembered by the world. Today, many Taiwanese people and supporters from some other countries, like me, are gathering here to fight for the freedom of Tibetans. I believe that, by doing this, we are practicing the ideal way of fighting towards the fundamental values.
All the countries which are always proud of themselves as a strong believer of democracy and human rights, namely European Union or the United States or my country, Japan, cannot stay silent on incidents undermining these values. I very much hope that the world will continue being united and solid for all the people in the world fighting for their rights.
Free Taiwan, and Free Tibet.
Thank you very much for the attention.
(Photo Credit: Yu-Hsuan HO)