31 March, 2008

Freedom for Tibet

A decent turnout of a couple of hundred people headed out from the Spire on O'Connell Street at lunchtime today, and paused at the European Commission Offices on Molesworth Street, and outside Dáil Éireann before heading up to the Department of Foreign Affairs on Stephen's Green.

I heard someone mention that there was only two dozen Tibetans living in Ireland, but clearly they had got the word out! The group was very mixed, with parents and children, but no great political or religious presence. Dean Robert MacCarthy from St. Patrick’s Cathedral was there and I told him I had met his colleague David Frazier up at Mosney last Friday. It was great to see the Church of Ireland involved with both asylum seekers and worthy causes abroad.

Dermot Ahern’s statement this morning said that he deplores the loss of life that has occurred in Tibet and neighbouring Provinces in China, and calls for maximum restraint on all sides and for the release of imprisoned peaceful protesters.

I wrote to Chinese Ambassador Liu Biwei today to express my grave concern at the treatment of protesters seeking recognition of Tibet, and stated that the treatment of protesters in recent days has cast a dark cloud over the preparations for this summer’s Olympic Games in Beijing.

It felt good to be out on the street again. We’ve all spent far too much time listening to the radio and reading the papers over the last few weeks.

Well done to the Tibetan Community in Ireland and Jampa Ling the Tibetan Buddhist Centre in Cavan for highlighting the outrageous crimes in Tibet.

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