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Published: 8 october 2012 18:06

Vilnius to join in world-wide commemoration of Tibetans who set themselves on fire

Tibeto vėliavos
Juliaus Kalinsko / 15min nuotr. / Tibetan flags

Vilnius plans a number of events on Thursday aimed at drawing attention to the situation in Tibet, where several dozen people have self-immolated in recent years.

The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile initiated a string of world-wide events, called The Torch of Truth, on 6 July, aimed at attracting the attention of the United Nation and the global community to the Tibetan issue.

The symbolic Torch of Truth is travelling around the world inviting people to express solidarity with the Tibetan nation, organizers say.

On Thursday, the Torch of Truth will arrive in Vilnius, accompanied by representatives of the Tibet Government-in-Exile, a Tibetan monk from Riga. The guests will be welcomed by Vilnius Mayor Artūras Zuokas and members of the Seimas Committee on Human Rights.

Several related events will also take place in Vilnius.

A special pavilion will be set up in the Town Hall Square, where people will be able to get acquainted with the existing situation in Tibet and sign a petition initiated by the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile and calling on the UN to take active action in solving the issue of survival of the Tibetan nation.

53 Tibetans who have self-immolated will be also honored at around 5 PM.

The string of global events will end on the international Human Rights Day on 10 December. On this day, the petition will be presented to the UN leadership.

Self-immolation is used by Tibetans to protest against Chinese repressions in the Tibetan region occupied by China 60 years ago. Tibetans say that not only human rights are violated but people are also tortured and murdered in Tibet.

Around 50 people have set themselves on fire in Tibet over the last three years.

Lithuania officially considers Tibet, a region in the Himalaya Mountains, as part of China. However, it has joined the European Union in calling for peaceful regulation of relations between the Chinese administration and Tibet's spiritual leader Dalai Lama and his supporters.

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