Exile Tibetans commemorate 55th uprising anniversary

Sikyong Lobsang Sangay speaks on the occasion of the 55th anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising

Sikyong Lobsang Sangay speaks on the occasion of the 55th anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising against the Chinese invasion of Tibet, in McLeod Ganj, India, on 10 March 2014. Tibet Sun/Lobsang Wangyal

By Lobsang Wangyal

MCLEOD GANJ, India, 11 March 2014

Tibetans around the world commemorated the 55th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule on Monday.

Tibetans and their supporters gathered at Tsuglakhang temple in McLeod Ganj to listen to the annual public statement of the Central Tibetan Administration led by Sikyong (Prime Minister) Lobsang Sangay and the Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile Penpa Tsering.

Sangay in his speech welcomed the recent meeting between the Dalai Lama and the US President Barack Obama.

“I appreciate President Obama’s strong endorsement of the Middle-Way Approach. A genuine autonomy for Tibet through the Middle-Way Approach aspires to replace political repression with basic freedom, economic marginalization with economic empowerment, social discrimination with social equality, cultural assimilation with cultural promotion, and environmental destruction with environmental protection.”

Sangay said that his administration is committed to the Middle-Way policy as the most effective approach to end the suffering in Tibet.

“It is our hope that the new Chinese leadership led by President Xi Jinping will pay heed and adopt this pragmatic and moderate stand.”

Sangay added that the Tibetan self-immolations and protests against the Chinese government unambiguously refute the Chinese propaganda that, “except for a few, Tibetans are happy in Tibet.”

Since 2009, there have been 126 self-immolations all across Tibet. Sangay has appealed to Tibetans in Tibet not to engage in such drastic actions, but the fiery protests have continued.

The Tibetan administration expressed its respect to all the men and women in Tibet who have laid down their lives for the Tibetan cause.

Sangay said that the Tibetan administration is listening to the calls for the end of repression and suffering of Tibetans inside Tibet.

“It is for this reason that its primary and immediate objective is to peacefully resolve the issue of Tibet through dialogue, as soon as possible.”

The President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) of the European Union, Mr Henri Malosse, was among the guests on the occasion. Mr Malosse expressed EESC’s support for the Tibetan people’s quest for autonomy through the “Middle Way” approach.

He said that the European Union will urge the Chinese President Xi Jinping to engage in dialogue with the Tibetan leadership to resolve the issue of Tibet.

Chinese American sculptor Weiming Chen unveiled his third sculpture dedicated to Tibetans. The sculpture was on the theme of the Tibetan self-immolations.

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