En raison du succès de cet événement et pour nos lecteurs tibétains, anglophones, hollandais et … en dernière minute chinois…, nous laissons exceptionnellement ces informations, dans ces différentes langues.
The Tibet hot air balloon named Tashi Gyaltsen soared high in the sky at the ongoing Balloon Fiesta in Barneveld, Netherlands as hundreds of Tibetans and supporters witnessed the balloon fly for the first time into Dutch sky. “It is a very emotional experience for all the Tibetans seeing the Tibetan flag rise over the Dutch landscape. It fills me with pride that I live in a country where there is freedom of expression,” said Tsering Jampa, Executive Director of the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT), Europe at the four-day event from August 17 to 20.The hot balloon designed as the Tibetan National flag, standing nearly 100 feet high was first launched on July 11, 2015 during the European Balloon Festival in Igualada in Catalonia, Spain, despite several attempts by China to ban it.
She thanked the organizers and conveyed a special acknowledgement to the couple, Heaven Crawley and Paul Dopson, who pilots Tashi, the Tibet balloon.
“This presents us with a unique opportunity to put the spotlight on the issue of human rights, severe endangerment of Tibet’s culture and identity at the hands of China,” she said.
The balloon’s flight has always been monitored closely by the Chinese Embassies who have repeatedly emailed, phoned the organizers against allowing it to participate. Men claiming to be from the Chinese Embassy reportedly visited the festival venues as well to enforce the ban.
The privately sponsored balloon with the Tibetan national flag, which is banned inside Tibet, is seen by China as the symbol of Tibet’s freedom struggle and splittism.
The pilots have always maintained that the balloon is just a Tibetan flag with no political message.