At Friday noon, a few dozen of supporters of Tibetan freedom held a protest outside the embassy, with a meeting and screenings of movies about Tibet scheduled to take place at Vilnius Teachers House in the evening.
The protesters said the Tibet situation was similar to Lithuania's 1940-1990 occupation by the Soviet Union, they held flags of Tibet and Lithuania along with slogans: “Lithuanian occupation 1940-1990. Tibet 1949-?," "Tibet, I am with you," "Open Your Eyes" and "Burning Tibet - Our Shame."
10 March marks 53 years since the 1959 national uprising. The occasion has been celebrated in Vilnius for a decade now.
In 1959, thousands of peaceful civilians gathered in Tibet's capital Lhasa to demand withdrawal of China's Armed Forces from Tibet. The uprising was violently suppressed, with more than 1 million Tibetans killed since then.
Human rights organizations say more than 20 people have set themselves on fire in Chinese districts with Tibetan populations, mainly Sichuan, over the past year in protest of the Beijing rule.
China has been denying the accusations of repressions, saying that Tibetan people were now living better than ever before due to huge investment in infrastructure, schools and housing.
Lithuania officially considers Tibet, a region in the Himalaya mountains, as part of China. However, it has joined the European Union's (EU) call for peaceful regulation of relations between the Chinese administration and Tibet's spiritual leader Dalai Lama and his supporters.
|Juliaus Kalinsko/„15 minučių“ nuotr./Picket in support of Tibet|