Tutu fights for Tibet in freedom march

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu on Sunday called for compassion and action on Tibet as well as Zimbabwe, and said that South Africa's own freedom "would not have happened without the support of millions of people around the world".

He was speaking at the V&A Waterfront at a Freedom Day meeting, dubbed the Ubuntu Tibet Freedom Day, organised by the South African Friends of Tibet. The event kicked off at St George's Cathedral and hosted speakers, from traditional healers to members of the Jewish community.

A peace walk followed and home-made signs flashed "free Tibet" as the procession wound through the city. It ended at the waterfront, where there was live music, poetry, yoga and a guest appearance by Tutu.

'If one is not free, we are all not free'

The Nobel Laureate spoke of Tibet's spiritual leader, the exiled Dalai Lama, as a mischievous man and recalled a time when he had to tell him to "behave like a holy man" because the television cameras were on him.

Tutu then lit a symbolic Tibetan Olympic peace torch, an alternative to the existing Olympic torch and which symbolises "one world, many dreams".

One of the participants, Marlei Martin, said she hoped the event would give the Tibetan issue public prominence.

"In my family, we have Buddhist, pagan and witchcraft, sangoma and Jewish. All of the messages are universal. If one is not free, we are all not free."

Ian Macfarlane, South African Friends of Tibet director, said the day had been "outstanding" and that he hoped to make the programme into a "sustainable and annual event."

Macfarlane hoped to push the South African government from a "non-position to a position" on Tibet.

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