DHARAMSALA, 13 Feb: Tibetans and Tibet supporters in Dharamsala marked the 107th anniversary of the declaration of Tibetan independence with a street showcase “Majestic Walk”.
The event organized by Students for a Free Tibet (SFT)-India saw Tibetan activists in their distinctive traditional attires during the ‘Majestic Walk’ from the Martyr’s Pillar at Tsug-lag-Khang to the main square in Mcleod Ganj to showcase the unique Tibetan culture and to celebrate and experience the sensation of Tibet’s Independence.
The SFT maintained that the ‘Majestic Walk’ is very popular in traditional Tibetan province of Amdo normally celebrated on the 16th day of the Monlam(prayer) festival by local Tibetans as a ‘Cultural Resistance’.
At its core, it is a way of reclaiming our community and national identity and celebrating the unique inheritance of our proud ancestors, SFT stated in its press release.
Hence the theme for the celebration of the 107th anniversary of the declaration of Tibetan independence by His Holiness the 13th Dalai lama on 13 Feb 1913 was to highlight the Tibetan Cultural Resistance.
While Tibetans inside Tibet carry Buddhist flags as the Tibetan national flag has been banned in occupied Tibet by the Chinese as they see it as a symbol of protest and unity for Tibetans, the procession of the SFT activists here in the exile headquarters of the Tibetan people saw them carry Tibetan National flag, a large banner inscribed with “Tibetan Proclamation of Independence” issued by the 13th Dalai Lama as well as treatise and agreements signed between Independent Tibet and China.
“China claims its ownership and control over Tibet, but both the present circumstances and the past history negate all their claims. They manipulate and distort Tibetan history through every means yet their efforts remain futile,” said Rinzin Choedon, National Director of Students for a Free Tibet-India.
“With this critical work of securing our past history, we are paving the path for freedom in Tibet, and shaping our future,” she added.
“The hope of independence is vital for Tibetan people to preserve our identity, culture and religion thus the hope of a free Tibet must always be preserved. By commemorating Tibetan Independence day – a history that the Chinese government has spent 60 years trying to erase from the global consciousness – we are reclaiming our past for future generations while strengthening our struggle so that His Holiness the Dalai Lama and all Tibetans can one day reunite in a free Tibet,” said Gvaltsen, Campaigns Director of Students For a Free Tibet India.
SFT has further organised a public talk on Simla Accord, a convention signed between Great Britain, China, and Tibet in Shimla in 1914.
“Today marks a significant day in Tibet’s history. After the great 13th Dalai Lama’s proclamation of Tibetan independence, the Chinese troops stationed in Tibet were driven out and it gave the idea of the modern nation-state to the Tibetans. Its been 107 years now, so I am here to take part in this commemoration of historical significance,” said Tenzin Lhadon from TPI.
Since 13 Feb 2013, which marked the centennial of the proclamation of Tibetan independence made by the great thirteenth Dalai Lama, Tibetans and supporters have been commemorating Feb 13 as Tibetan Independence Day to counter China’s claim that Tibet was historically a part of China.