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Tibet support torch on
Suur Munamägi, Estonia

May 17th, 2008

On Saturday, May 17th, 2008 over a hundred people gathered to Suur Munamägi hill, the highest point in the Baltics, where a red smoke signal lit at the top of the viewing tower expressed solidarity with Tibet. The event formed a part of an international ten day campaign that commenced on May 11th, when mountaineers over the world ignited red smoke torches on numerous mountain tops in protest against the violation of human rights and Chinese repression in Tibet. More than 150 summits were involved: in the Alps, Pyrenees, Norway, USA, Mexico, etc.

At noon the Tibet support flame was ignited at the foot of Suur Munamägi. Mr. Alar Sikk, the first Estonian to climb Mt. Everest, carried the torch up to the hill. On the summit in front of the tower the meeting began with a moment of silence commemorating the victims of the recent Sichuan earthquake as well as those who lost their lives in the protests and riots in Tibet. Mr. Laur Järv (Estonian-Tibetan Cultural Society) described the current situation in Tibet after the brutal clampdown of protests in March and conveyed thanks from Mr. Lodi Gyari (the Special Envoy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama) for Estonian support. Then Mr. Valdur Lahtvee (Tibet support group in the Parliament of Estonia), Mr. Märt Läänemets (Estonian Institute of Buddhism), and Mr. Jüvä Sullõv (Võrumaa) delivered short speeches. One of the main ideas expressed was that due to similar recent history we can understand the situation of Tibet well, and also that when Tibet is free, the world will be free.

While Seto male voices were singing in front of the tower, a young Estonian mountaineer, accompanied by a member of the Tibetan cultural society, took the flame up to the tower where they ignited the red smoke signal. Those around the tower chanted together "Free Tibet!" successively in Estonian, Võro (South Estonian), Seto (South East Estonian), Latvian, Russian, English, Maltese, Polish, Tibetan, and Chinese. The resounding wish drove away the sudden gust of rain and soon the sun came out bright. The second half of the event began with the speech by Roy Strider (Freedom for Tibet! activist and The Flowers of Romance guitar player). A concert by the rock group The Flowers of Romance followed. The group will be also performing in Dharamsala, India on May 25th at the Tibetan Olympics.

After the event when participants headed back home an auspicious play of rainbows appeared, a good omen for the effort.

In addition:

  • Estonian support torch for Tibet in international press: Gulf Times, Novaya Gazeta, LETA, Meyul.

  • Video: ETV, or Postimees, or Delfi.

  • Picture galleries: Photos 1, Photos 2, Postimees, Kirikiri.

  • International campaign The Sad Smoky Mountains.

  • Rock band The Flowers of Romance will perform at the concluding concert of Tibetan Olympics in Dharamsala on May 25th, 2008.

  • Suur Munamägi is the highest peak in the Baltics (Google Maps, Regio Atlas).

  • Estonian-Tibetan Cultural Society.

  • Tibet support group in the Parliament of Estonia.

  • Estonian Institute of Buddhism.

  • Freedom for Tibet! movement.

  • Alar Sikk hiking club.
     

    Contact:

  • Laur Järv (Estonian-Tibetan Cultural Society) +37253416324, laur.jarv@tibet.ee.
  • Roy Strider (Freedom for Tibet!) +3725524138.
     
    May 21th, 2008.