Tibetans in Dharamsala mark 56th anniversary of the Tibetan National uprising day
DHARAMSALA, Mar 10: Thousands of Tibetans and supporters in Dharamsala today gathered at the courtyard of Tsug-lag-khang, the main temple to observe the 56th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising of 1959 and pay tribute to those who lost their lives when Chinese troops crushed that uprising in Lhasa, the Tibetan capital as well as all those Tibetans who had sacrificed their lives for the cause of Tibet.
This year’s official anniversary function was attended by among others Ms Claudia Roth, the Vice President of the German Parliament as the Chief Guest, representatives of the three pillars of the Tibetan democracy-in exile as well as members of Tibetan parliament-in-exile and officials of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA).
Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, the elected head of the Tibetan people in his address said the Tibetan administration remains committed to the Middle Way Approach and urged the Chinese leadership to engage in dialogue with the representatives of His holiness the Dalai Lama, who are willing to meet the Chinese counterparts without pre-conditions.
“On the part of the Kashag, we remain fully committed to the Middle Way Approach of not seeking separation from China but genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people. In order to realize genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people, the Task Force, an advisory body to the Kashag, held a conclave in the first week of January to undertake an in-depth discussion on the political developments in Tibet, on issues relating to the future of dialogue with the Chinese leadership and on developments in the larger international political landscape. The Tibetan leadership strongly believes that the only way to resolve the issue of Tibet is through dialogue between the Envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the representatives of the Chinese leadership. The Envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama are ready to engage in dialogue with their Chinese counterpart any time and any place,” Sikyong Sangay said.
Penpa Tsering, the Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile in his address relayed the same sentiment and urged the Chinese government to enter into a peaceful Sino-Tibetan negotiation on the issue of Tibet.
“There is absolutely no change in our resolve to seek a negotiated solution through the middle way approach, which is mutually beneficial to China and Tibet, as a part of our efforts to resolve the current critical situation in Tibet and the wider issue of Tibet. We would therefore like to reiterate our call on the leadership of the People’s Republic of China to give up engaging in a blame game and, instead, make use of the opportune moment today to enter into a peaceful Sino-Tibetan negotiation with the urgency the issue deserves,” Speaker Tsering said.
Ms Claudia Roth, the Vice President of the German Parliament and Chief Guest at the function expressed her support and confidence in the Middle Way Policy, proposed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and adopted by the CTA that seeks a genuine autonomy rather than independence for Tibetans, which is compatible with Chinese laws.
“The Middle Way approach pursued by the Tibetans is a genuine exercise and a diplomatic balancing act. It is underpinned by the Dalai Lama’s philosophy that all conflicts can be resolved through sincere dialogue if conducted in a spirit of openness and willingness to move towards reconciliation,” she said and added, “It is up to China to make use of the Tibetans’ openness and willingness for dialogue in order to move towards a peaceful partnership based on solution for the Tibet question.”
Ms Roth noted that Mar 10 is a day against forgetting, silence and indifference, and urged the international community not to forget the Tibetans and their just cause.
“10th March is a day of immense significance as it is a warning from history to commemorate the past and a day of being mindful of our responsibility for the present and a day of remembrance for a better future. Today is a day against forgetting and I am worried that the Tibetan people’s struggle which has justice on its side might be forgotten by the world community. So today is a day against silence and indifference,” she said.
“My message to the international community is that don’t forget the Tibetans as forgetting kills,” she said, quoting Nobel laureate Elie Weasel.
She also urged the Chinese government to release all the Tibetan political prisoners.
“My message to the Chinese leadership is to find a way reaching an agreement with the Tibetans and other ethnic minorities to end the repression and release all the political prisoners from your jails. This will send a message of peace and understanding and raise China’s status as an emerging power, instead of pursuing oppressive policies reminiscent of the 18th century,” Ms Claudia said and added “Our message is let the Tibetan people in Tibet live in freedom and give them power to decide their own destiny and give Tibetan culture the opportunity to thrive and flourish.”