Over 1,000 Tibetans Hold Protest March In Toronto

by Vittorio Hernandez, AHN News, March 24, 2008

Toronto, Canada -- Over a thousand people, led by Buddhist monks, held a rally at Canada's capital city Monday to call for freedom for Tibet. To express their strong emotions over the killing of hundreds of their countrymen back home, the Toronto-based Tibetans laid down on the streets, waved Tibetan flags and photos of victims of violence in Lhasa and wore Free Tibet sweaters.

The rally passed through Queen Street, turned north on Yonge Street, west on Wellesly St. W., then meet at Queen's Park. Canadian police rerouted vehicles as the protesters marched around the city's major streets.

According to the organizers, their aim was to pressure the United Nations to create an international fact-finding mission to investigate the real situation in Tibet. They also want Tibet stricken off the route of the Olympic torch relay on its way atop Mount Everest.

Bhutila Karpoche, one of the rally organizers, told the Toronto Star, "The torch passing through Tibet is China's way of legitimizing its illegal occupation of Tibet."

Canada has the third largest Tibetan community living outside Tibet, next to Nepal and India.