To commemorate the yearly anniversaries of Tibetan National Uprising Day, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet, UK organises a wreath laying ceremony every year in March in front of the Innocent Victims’ Memorial at the historic Westminster Abbey London.
On Wednesday, 16 March, Tim Loughton Conservative MP, Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet, along with Vice-Chairs: Lord David Alton of Liverpool, Kerry McCarthy Labour MP and Navendu Mishra MP; and Virendra Sharma Labour MP gathered at the Westminster Abbey to commemorate the 63rd anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day.
The faith service was led by The Right Reverend Anthony Ball, Canon in Residence, who began the ceremony by welcoming all to ‘‘remember so many who have suffered as a result of oppression and violence. In particular today, as we commemorate the 63rd anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising, we remember those Tibetans who have died recently in Tibet, and those who suffer there today.’’
Image of the wreath at Westminster Abbey
The wreath laying ceremony is made possible every year through the cooperation of the Canon’s office.
Minyak Rinpoche, currently on a study visit to Oxford, along with representatives from the Office of Tibet, London, Tibetan Community in Britain and Free Tibet – the Secretariat of the APPGT – joined Reverend Ball and the parliamentarians for this solemn occasion.
A moment’s silence was observed to remember all those Tibetans who laid down their lives under the Chinese repression over the past decades and to pay homage to them.
Tim Loughton MP, speaking on behalf of the APPGT, expressed his concern that this was the 63rd anniversary and that Tibetans have been resisting the Chinese occupation for that long.
‘‘Today we come together, again, to remember more than a million who lost their lives since 1950s at the hands of the Chinese regime. To remember those who continue to live in fear and curtailment of their rights, in Tibet as well as those outside of China who still are affected by the long arm of the Chinese authorities. We show them solidarity, just as we show solidarity to the people of Ukraine, to the Uyghurs and to Hong Kongers.’’
He called on those gathered to reflect on these and to commit to strengthen the resolve to work harder towards restoring freedom to all oppressed peoples.
Minyak Rinpoche said a Tibetan Buddhist prayer to alleviate the suffering of all sentient beings.
Following this, the parliamentarians joined Minyak Rinpoche in laying the wreath at the memorial.