Thousands gather in McLeod Ganj for Tibetan Uprising Day

By Lobsang Wangyal

MCLEOD GANJ, India, 10 March 2013

Thousands of exile Tibetans and supporters gathered at Tsuglakhang Temple in McLeod Ganj to mark the 54th Tibetan National Uprising Day.

Tibetans observe the anniversary of the 10 March 1959 revolt in Tibet against Chinese rule with various events around the world.

The political leader of the Tibetan exile administraton, Sikyong (Prime Minister) Lobsang Sangay, delivered his annual speech, in which he censured China for assaulting Tibetan Buddhist civilisation and the very identity and dignity of Tibetans.

“The continuing vicious cycle of repression and resentment in Tibet is manifested in the devastating number of Tibetans setting themselves on fire.”

Since 2009, 107 Tibetans have self-immolated in Tibet. Many have died.

“The occupation and repression in Tibet by the government of the People’s Republic of China are the primary conditions driving Tibetans to self-immolation.”

Sangay said his administration is fully committed to the “Middle Way” approach, which seeks genuine autonomy for Tibetans, to solve the issue of Tibet.

“At this time, the Kashag [cabinet] hopes that the new Chinese leadership will view this pragmatic political approach, which bridges both Tibetan and Chinese interests, as a win-win solution.”

The assembly of Tibetans and supporters later marched down the hill to Dharamshala, waving Tibetan flags and banners. There a 30-year-old man tried to light himself on fire. According to sources, Dawa Dhondup consumed petrol and poured it over himself, but was prevented from setting himself on fire by fellow Tibetans. Police intervened soon afterwards and took him to hospital.


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