Tibetans in Australia sets off on 5-day march to protest Beijing winter Olympics

Tibetan marchers with Ms Sharon Claydon, a member of the Australian parliament. Image: Australia Tibet Council Facebook.

DHARAMSALA, 1 Feb: A group of Tibetans in Australia have taken on a five-day peace march to protest against the soon to be held 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, in China. 

Days ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics opening in Beijing, the Tibetan activists have set on a 5-day peace march from Newcastle to Sydney in Australia to protest the “genocide games” while calling for an end to human rights violations in Tibet. 

The marchers found support from Ms Sharon Claydon, a member of the Australian parliament as they began their march from 31 Jan- 4 Feb on Monday from Newcastle.

”It was an honour to farewell our Tibetan community ahead of their 5-day journey to Sydney,” Ms Claydon has said in her Facebook post.

While the ultimate goals of the Olympic Games, an international sports festival, held every four years are to cultivate human beings, through sport, and contribute to world peace, with China’s ongoing atrocities and human rights violations of Tibetans, the Beijing Winter Olympics “cannot be about peace,” Australia based former Tibetan political prisoner Ven. Bagdro who is among the marchers has said.

Ven. Bagdro and Tibetan marchers en route their 5-day peace march from 31 Jan- 4 Feb. Image: Australia Tibet Council Facebook.

“This Olympics Games cannot be about peace when there is a crackdown on Tibetans and China is actively destroying monasteries and religious statues in Tibet,” the Australia Tibet Council quoted Ven. Bagdro as saying in a Facebook post.

The former Tibetan political prisoner has further urged “athletes, organisers and those who tune in to cheer on their home nation on TV shouldn’t believe Beijing’s propaganda.”

The Tibetan activist will conclude their little over 160 Km march on 4 Feb, the day the games will open in Beijing by joining Uyghurs, and Chinese democracy activists protesting China’s appalling human rights abuses in front of Channel 7 in Sydney’s Martin Place, which will broadcast the games. 

The Games are scheduled to be held over 4 -20 Feb, but calls to boycott it continue to get steam over China’s crimes against humanity and genocide.

So far, the US, the UK, Lithuanian, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Scotland, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Kosovo, and Taiwan have all announced the diplomatic boycott of the winter games.

Besides,  the Olympic and Paralympic Committee of countries such as the US, UK, Canada, Dutch, and Australia have all reportedly issued similar advice to their  “athletes, coaches and staff to refrain from using their personal electronic devices while in China due to surveillance concerns, and use ‘burner’ phones rather than their cellphones.”

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