The thief left it behind: the moon at my window - Ryokan

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Invitation to South Africans: Peace and Compassion March

Please circulate to your South African mailing lists...
... and those in other countries: Perhaps you'd like to organise a Peace and Compassion March too?


DATE: Sunday, 17 May 2009

TIME: 10h00

STARTING POINT: Gandhi Square (Cnr Rissik St & Fox St Johannesburg)

ROUTE: Gandhi Square to Mandela Bridge and back to Gandhi Square (approximately 4km. See map below): Ghandi Square, Rissik St, left into Jeppe St, right into West and onto Mandela Bridge.

Sonam Tenzing; Office of Tibet, South Africa
An invitation has also been extended to a human rights speaker and to The Honourable Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu to address the Peace and Compassion Marchers. If unable to to address the marchers in person, he will hopefully forward us a letter which can be read on the day.

WHO IS INVITED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PEACE AND COMPASSION MARCH: Everyone who wishes to uphold and undertake the march’s theme of Peace and Compassion! Including human rights organisations - all individuals, groups and organisations who support the theme of Peace and Compassion will be welcomed.

MEMORANDUM: Organisations are welcome to send in their own memorandums to be attached to the general memorandum of the Peace and Compassion March. Memorandums should be in keeping with the spirit of the theme of the Peace and Compassion March. Deadline for submitting memorandums: 5 May 2009. Please make arrangements by calling Anna: 072 387 3900 or Elizabeth: 031 7014307.

On the 17 March 2009 we are marching in the spirit of Peace and Compassion.
We are members of the general public and also specific groups and organisations.
We uphold and practice the principle of Peace and Compassion and undertake to do all we can to foster this principle within our immediate society and the world at large.
This march is our statement of our commitment to the practice of Peace and Compassion.
We are aware that as long as there is suffering in the heart of even one individual, there will be no peace on earth.
In many countries around the world, such as Tibet, Burma, most countries in Africa and many others, we see great strife either from natural disasters or from violence and warfare implemented by our fellow human beings.
We call on South Africa to:
  • take steps toward demilitarisation and set an example of non violence to the rest of the world.
  • take steps to end violence, strife and suffering where it is found, in our country, continent and the world.
  • ensure there are no children to be found on our streets and all homeless children be cared for in a place of safety.
  • take every step possible to take care of the sick and aged.
  • ensure those without employment receive food and shelter.

  • Please being water to drink and if necessary, a snack for sustenance while walking (please do not litter).
  • comfortable walking shoes
  • comfortable clothing. It may be cold so please ensure you will be warm enough
  • Peace and Compassion marchers may carry banners, etc appropriate to the theme of Peace and Compassion. Banners can be related to any points in the memorandum and human rights issues and if deemed necessary, can express disappointment at SA government's recent decision of not issuing visa to His Holiness the Dalai Lama to travel to SA to attend the 'postponed' Peace Conference. Those representing organisations may carry their own organisational banners and further can express anything pertaining the Peace and Compassion theme. All banners, etc must worded in language appropriate to the theme of the march ie; NO aggressive, abusive, angry language or tone. We reserve the right to remove banners that are seen as inappropriate to the theme of the march.
  • This march is our statement of commitment to the practice of Peace and Compassion. Marchers are requested to come prepared with an inspirational quotation, piece of writing or picture relating to the theme of Peace and Compassion, in a letter or on a card. On the day of the march everyone will exchange their letter or card with a stranger who is also participating in the march. This exchange will be a gift and also a bonding with someone we do not know but who shares our vision in their unique way.


  • The march has been organised under the auspices of the TSSA (Tibet Society of South Africa) but is not an event exclusive to this organisation and is open to ALL who wish to uphold the principles of Peace and Compassion to march in their own right as individuals or to represent their organisation.
  • Generally, May 17 can be seen as a symbolic day where we can bring to our awareness, the suffering of others and set the intention to bring about change by firmly committing to uphold the attitude and practice of Peace and Compassion in our lives. This was the date when Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima was abducted by the Communist Chinese Government in 1995. Aged six years old at the time, he was effectively the world’s youngest political prisoner. Panchen Lama, now a young man, is still under arrest and little if anything is known about him and his well being.
  • TSSA ‘Peace in Tibet’ t-shirts can be ordered by those who wish to wear these on the day of the march. Please see t-shirt order details below
  • Due to the march taking place on a Sunday, our memorandum’s will faxed by the march organisers, (rather than handed over): To His Excellency the President Kgalema Motlanthe (this mail has been compiled before the upcoming elections – memorandums will address the current president of South Africa) and copied to: UN Secretary-General Banki-Moon and the European Union Representative in Pretoria and the Chinese Embassy in Pretoria.


Memorandums of individual human rights and other organisations will be attached to the Peace and Compassion March’s memorandum.

Memorandum submitted by TSSA:
Tibet Society of South Africa (TSSA), calls for:
a) the unconditional release of Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and his immediate family members, who have been under house arrest/captivity for more than 13 years, and calling on the PRC government to allow access to Panchen Lama by UN representatives;
b) the release of Tibetan political prisoners, who participated in peaceful protests/demonstrations;
c) independent international bodies/organizations to investigate the real conditions and situation inside Tibet;
d) the PRC government to allow foreign media to travel to Tibet for an 'unbiased' reporting of the actual situation; African leaders, including South Africa to urge PRC government to allow foreign journalists access to all parts of Tibet, without fear and conditions;
e) African leaders, including South African leaders, to urge PRC leadership to resolve the issue of Tibet through dialogue. To this end, the African leaders can urge the PRC leadership to discuss the recent proposal submitted by His Holiness' Envoys entitled : "Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan People" with sincerity (proposal submitted to the Chinese leaders on October 31, 2008 in Beijing)


Kindly complete the following form & return it to before 5 May, 2009 so that the t-shirts can be ordered on-time. T-shirts will be issued on the morning of the march. Kindly bring correct payment.

NAME: ...................................
CONTACT TEL NR: ....................................
Quantity / Size:

............. small

............. medium

.............. large

............... XL

............... XXL

Cost of the t-shirt R55.00 X ............... = TOTAL: ...............................

NB: If for some reason you cannot attend on the day and we have ordered you a t-shirt, won’t you please commit to paying for it so that we are not left with a large account to pay. Thank you!

Kindest regards
Peace and Compassion March organisers

If you have enquiries please contact:
Chris Kudla, Chairperson Tibet Society of SA; 031 2668 182 - office hours
Elizabeth Gaywood, Co-ordinator TSSA; 031 7014 307 - after hours
Or Anna Varney-Wong, on behalf of Peace and Compassion March organisers;

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