A candlelight vigil for Tibet was held at Freedom Square (自由廣場) in Taipei tonight. The event was organised by the Taiwan Friends of Tibet and the Tibet Religious Foundation of HH the Dalai Lama (representative office of the Tibetan Government-in-exile in Taipei).
I only found out about the event in the afternoon, but was able to get there before the six o’clock start. There were many Tibetan and Taiwanese monks and nuns who came to join the vigil.
I wondered if the nuns from Hongshi College (佛教弘誓學院) would come. It wasn’t long before a small group of them appeared. It was wonderful to see them there.
Hundreds of candles were laid out on the ground spelling out the words “Free Tibet”. They were lit as dusk approached and looked quite wonderful as night fell. As well as the monks and nuns, members of Taiwan’s Tibetan community, supporters of Tibet and a media contigent were all present.
The first speech was given by Mr Tsegyam, the official representative of the Tibetan Government-in-exile in Taiwan.
Later DPP Presidential candidate Frank Hsieh arrived. He did not speak at the event. Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) spoke on behalf of the DPP, expressing her concern about the situation in Tibet. Hsieh stood solemnly as a Christian prayer was said and then joined the monks and nuns and the public in walking three circuits around the “Free Tibet” candles.
Hsiao Bi-khim being interviewed by Voice of America
Other speakers included Chou Mei-li (周美里), President of the Taiwan Friends of Tibet, and Khedroob Thondup, nephew of the Dalai Lama who spoke at the breakfast meeting in November last year. (He is also married to Chou Mei-li). There were several other speakers whose names I don’t know.
After the speeches and cirumambulating the monks and nuns began leading the chanting of “Om Mani Padme Hum”. It is the most popular Tibetan prayer which is the mantra of Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. Everyone in Tibet certainly needs our compassion now.
*more photos at flickr.