DHARAMSHALA: Tibetans living across world marked 17 May as the international solidarity for Tibet, with the Central Tibetan Administration urging the Tibetans in the free world to reinvigorate their efforts to fulfil the aspirations of their brethren for freedom in Tibet.
The Central Tibetan Administration and the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile have jointly decided to observe International Solidarity Day on 17 May every year. It symbolises international community’s solidarity with the aspirations of the Tibetan people inside Tibet who yearn for freedom and continue to stand strong in the face of great adversity. The day also marks the day when 11th Panchen Lama Gendhun Choekyi Nyima disappeared suspiciously in 1995 at the age of 6 after His Holiness the Dalai Lama recognised him as the reincarnation of his predecessor on 14 May.
Thousands of Tibetans, Indians and foreigners joined the campaign organized by the Central Tibetan Administration in Dharamsala.
A day-long exhibition organized by the Tibet Museum entitled ‘History of Tibet’, ‘A Long Look Homeward’ and the self-immolation protests by Tibetans In Tibet against the Chinese rule drew a stream of visitors, including foreigners, Indians and a posse of journalists who are in Dharamsala to cover the Indian Premier League extravaganza.
A grand prayer service was held at Thekchen Choeling Tsuglagkhang, the main temple, to express solidarity with Tibetans inside Tibet and pray for all those who have sacrificed their lives for the cause of Tibet.
Following the prayer service, Kalon Pema Chhinjor and Tibetan Parliament Deputy Speaker addressed thousands of Tibetans.
In his address, Kalon Pema Chhinjor said the self-immolation protests by Tibetans inside Tibet symbolizes the failure of Chinese government to win the hearts and minds of Tibetans after more than fifty years of its invasion and rule over Tibet.
Over 117 Tibetans have set themselves on fire in Tibet demanding the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet and freedom for Tibetans.
He said Tibetans living in Tibet, especially writers and singers, put their lives at grave danger to express their deep resentment against the Chinese government’s policies to annihilate the Tibetan identity.
Kalon Pema Chhinjor said His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s decision to devolve his political responsibility to the democratically-elected Tibetan leadership has won the great appreciation of the international community.
He said that the Middle-Way policy to resolve the issue of Tibet through dialogue with the Chinese government is supported by the Chinese people.
Kalon Pema Chhinjor strongly called on the Tibetans to remember that the international support to the issue of Tibet is solely due to His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s visionary leadership. He urged the Tibetans to be responsible in their actions to ensure that these do not disturb the visions of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
He also said in strongest possible that the Tibetan writers have the freedom of speech, adding that they should also take the responsibility to ensure that their writings don’t harm the cause of Tibet.
He called on the Tibetans to make constructive contributions to the efforts made by the Central Tibetan Administration.
Addressing the gathering, Deputy Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel said there is a continuing and the best possible support from the international community to the Central Tibetan Administration’s Middle-Way policy and their resolute adherence to a non-violent and democratic approach to resolve the problem of Tibet.
He said the disappearance of 11th Panchen Lama and his fate symbolises the continuing tragic situation in Tibet and the repression faced by Tibetans under the Chinese rule.