Tibet to be freed following protest in the link

Fudan University’s open day was interrupted by a protest from Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) on May 11. The silent protest began during the opening ceremony when seven SFT protestors displayed a banner reading “Save Tibet Now” and featuring the Chinese, Tibetan and SFT flags. The protestors then operated a stall in the link, where Fudan’s delegation was situated, for the remainder of the day.

Fudan University, which was last year ranked the second top Asian university by the New York Times, is situated in Dunedin’s sister city Shanghai and is one of three Chinese universities to have signed a memorandum of understanding with Otago University in 2010. Representatives of Fudan were at Otago to emphasise the close relationship between the two universities and to stage an educational presentation to inform students of exchange options to Fudan University.

SFT is an international student-run organisation that supports the Tibetan people in their struggle for independence, following the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1950. Dan Benson-Guiu, the President of the Dunedin Chapter of SFT, said the group had protested to highlight the contrast in access to quality education levels between Tibet and China. Benson-Guiu said that 55% of Tibetans are illiterate in comparison to 20% of Chinese, according to the United Nations Human Rights Development report in 2004.

SFT used the protest to launch a petition for a “free Tibet”, which received 187 signatures. Benson-Guiu described the petitions as the beginning of “a big campaign that we are going to build around in the long-run”.
This article first appeared in Issue 12, 2012.
Posted 7:58pm Sunday 20th May 2012 by Bella Macdonald.