By Tenzin Rabga | TSO
CHAUNTRA, India, 10 March 2013
The 54th anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day was observed in Chauntra, attended by many Indian officials as well as Tibetan exiles. On this day in 1959, thousands of Tibetans protested the Chinese invasion and occupation of Tibet. Today we pay tribute to all those Tibetans who have sacrificed their lives for Tibet.
Since 2009, 107 Tibetans have self-immolated, including 28 in November 2012 just before 18th Party Congress of The Chinese Communist Party. Sadly, 90 of them have died. We dedicate this day to all the self-immolators and those who have died for Tibet.
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. Tibetans respond to these violations where even the slightest show of dissent results in prolonged imprisonment, torture, public humiliation, and disappearance at the hands of security forces. The prohibition of peaceful protest and the harsh punishments compel Tibetans to resort to self-immolation. They choose death rather than silence and submission to the Chinese authorities.
Through various media, the Kashag has consistently appealed and categorically discouraged Tibetans in Tibet from self-immolating as a form of protest. Life is precious and as human beings we do not want anyone to die in such a manner. As Buddhists, we pray for the soul of the deceased. As Tibetans, it is our sacred duty to support the aspirations of Tibetans in Tibet: the return of His Holiness the great 14th Dalai Lama to Tibet, freedom for the Tibetan people, and unity among Tibetans. The only way to end this brutal and grave situation is for China to change its current hard-line Tibet policy by respecting the aspirations of the Tibetan people.
We extend our deepest gratitude to the great people and Government of India for their unflinching and generous support. At the same time, we urge you to press the Chinese government to enter into meaningful dialogue with the Tibetan leadership.
We call on the International community to put pressure on the Chinese government to allow the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights entry to Tibet and also to give access to diplomats and the International media. Only in this way can the truth be known.
To commemorate 54th Tibetan National Uprising Day, about 1000 Tibetans living in Bir, Chauntra, and Tashi Jong held a peaceful public gathering in Chauntra. Shri Gulab Singh, MLA HP, was invited as Chief Guest. Ms Juchen Kunchok Chodon, Mr Tsultrim Tenzin, Tibetan parliamentarians, and all the representatives of monasteries, schools, and settlements were there.
Thereafter a peaceful (Path Yatra) street procession was held in Palampur, which ended at the Basketball Court near the SDM office.
Shri Trilok Kapoor, Chairman, HPWFL and National General Secretary of BJP for SC/ST, was invited as Chief Guest. Shri Ajay Dharwal, Vice Chairman of Nagar Panchayat, Jogindernagar, along with all the Pradhan of Tashi Jong, Battu, Chauntra, Bir, Kyori, Suja, Chowgun, and all the Tibetans gathered for the event.
Afterwards a press conference was held at Press Club, Palampur.