By Lobsang Wangyal
MCLEOD GANJ, India, 10 March 2017
Tibetans on Friday marked the 58th anniversary of the failed Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule in 1959 in Lhasa, Tibet.
In McLeod Ganj, India, the capital of the Tibetan Diaspora, the Sikyong (Tibetan political leader) unfurled the Tibetan flag to mark the day as hundreds of exiles sang their national anthem with a school band playing the melody.
Sangay accused the Chinese government of widespread human rights violations in Tibet, and called on the Chinese government to review their wrong policies that result in increased repression in Tibet.
He condemned the deployment of a major military presence in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, earlier this month with a 5000-strong army and a convoy of 1,000 military vehicles conducting a massive military drill in Lhasa, to intimidate the Tibetans ahead of the uprising anniversary.
He said that the Tibetan issue can best be resolved by adhering to the win-win proposition of the Middle Way Approach, and by resuming dialogue with the envoys of the Dalai Lama.
Nine rounds of talks between the two sides since 2002 have failed to produce any breakthrough. The talks stalled after the last meeting of Chinese officials and the envoys of the Dalai Lama in 2010. Sangay became head of the exile Tibetan administration in 2011.
“Despite the increased repression and intensified crackdown, [Tibetans] have made clear their genuine aspirations, as reflected in the case of 145 self-immolations that called for ‘Freedom for Tibetans’ and ‘Return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet’,” Sangay said.
In a show of support from the international community, the President of the autonomous region of South Tyrol within Italy, parliamentarians from France, and a former parliamentarian from Canada were guests on the occasion.
Arno Kompatscher, President of South Tyrol, expressed his government’s support and solidarity with the Tibetans for their cause, saying, “You are not alone.”
South Tyrol’s model of autonomy within Italy is an example of what the Central Tibetan Administration is trying to achieve for Tibet within China.
Senator Michel Raison and Senator André Gattolin from France were among the other speakers expressing their support for the Tibetan cause.
After the official ceremony in the Tsuglakhang temple courtyard, hundreds of Tibetans and supporters marched down to Dharamshala shouting various pro-Tibet slogans in a peaceful protest.