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More than 2,000 Tibetans demonstrate in Bern

To mark the 50th anniversary of the failed uprising in Tibet, more than 2,000 Tibetans from all across Switzerland gathered in the Swiss capital on Tuesday.

After carrying flags and 50 coffins to the Chinese embassy, where they sang the Tibetan national anthem and then held a minute’s silence, they headed towards Parliament Square where they renewed calls for a free Tibet.

Tibet was a deeply isolated theocracy until 1951, when Chinese troops invaded Lhasa, the regional capital. Tuesday’s anniversary marked riots on March 10, 1959, inside Tibet against Chinese rule which lead to a crackdown and, later that month, the Dalai Lama’s dramatic flight across the Himalayas and into exile.

Switzerland is home to an estimated 3,500 Tibetans. They are said to form the biggest Tibetan community in Europe, and the third largest in the world.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR