By Lobsang Wangyal
McLEOD GANJ, India, 9 March 2020
Exile Tibetans are marking the 10 March anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule at their base in McLeod Ganj despite the coronavirus scare.
The official function will begin with a singing of the Tibetan national anthem while the President of the Central Tibetan Administration Lobsang Sangay raises the Tibetan flag. He will also deliver his annual public statement.
Frantisek Kopriva, founding member and co-chairperson of the Czech Parliamentary group for Tibet, will attend the function as the chief guest. All the exile Tibetan administration officials will take part in the event with the Tibetan residents of McLeod Ganj and surrounding areas. Local Indian and foreign supporters are also expected to participate in the event as well as in the march down the hill to Dharamshala.
School children are not expected to take part due to the concerns of coronavirus.
The march after the official function at Tsuglakhang Temple in McLeod Ganj is organised by five Tibetan NGOs.
Unlike the usual route of the march in the past, ending at Kacheri (the court) in lower Dharamshala, the route has been changed to grounds near the Lower TCV School in Dharamshala, a source told Tibet Sun.
In preparation for the anniversary event, posters have been put up around town, and Tibetans in McLeod Ganj have been seen getting their Tibetan flags to participate in the event.
The chief representative of the Tibetan community in Nepal has asked Tibetans there not to observe the anniversary due to the restrictions put on the event in the past by the Nepalese government. Nepal has been increasingly warming up to the Chinese government and has restricted Tibetans from organising any political and social events that highlight their Tibetan identity and the plight of the Tibetan people under Chinese rule.