A Tibetan activist who claims to have been shot at and tortured in his homeland protested for a free Tibet in Brisbane today ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s arrival tonight.
A banner that read “China fails human rights, G20 Unite for Tibet” was released into the sky near the Story Bridge, lifted by two large black balloons.
In conjunction with the Australian Tibet Council, Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) are urging the world’s leaders to engage in a multilateral forum to discuss what they describe as the current occupation of Tibet.
Protestors from Students for a Free Tibet are in Australia, some for the first time, rallying the world’s governments through the World Leaders Unite for Tibet campaign.
Tibetan Australian activist Lothon said even peaceful protests have been scrutinised by the Chinese government.
“When the Tibetans do simple demonstrations, peaceful demonstrations, [about] culture and religion and environment issues, they have been shot at in Tibet,” he said.
“I’ve been shot at. Therefore I am here to send a message to the G20 leaders and my message is if the G20 leaders really care about the China trade and economic growth, it is imperative for them to raise the Tibetan crisis in Tibet with the Chinese government… before the situation gets out of control.
SFT activist Dorjee Tseten said there is growing concern about Tibet as China continues to ‘suppress the nation’.
“Tibet is an illegally acquired nation by Chinese communists,” he said.
“For the past 60 years Tibetans are fighting for their freedom… inside Tibet, even now the situation is so worse, Tibetans can’t even hold a picture of His Holiness Dalai Lama. It might lead you to prison for many years (sic).”
Non-violent protests are common in Tibet and that includes the self-immolations of over 130 Tibetans in four years.
Activists will continue to apply pressure on the Summit tomorrow with a rally at Reddacliffe Place, 266 George St, Brisbane from 9.30am.
Twitter update from Josh Wells at Tibetan protest Saturday, November 15: