DHARAMSALA, Feb 14: Tibetans and Tibet supporters in Dharamsala marked the 108th anniversary of the declaration of Tibetan independence by highlighting the Tibetan National flag as a symbol of Tibet’s independent past and national identity at an event organized by the Students for a Free Tibet (SFT)-India here in the exile headquarters.
“Hundreds and thousands of Tibetans and supporters around the world are proudly raising the Tibetan National flags to celebrate Tibet’s Independent past and to challenge China’s propaganda about Tibet’s history,” said Rinzin Choedon, National Director of SFT-India.
SFT has organized an event, ‘Raise Tibetan Nation Flag’ at the main square of Mcleod to mark the 108th anniversary of the proclamation of Tibetan independence by the great thirteenth Dalai Lama.
“For occupied countries, observing an independence day is a powerful expression of the people’s desire for freedom. On February 13, 1913, the great 13th Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people restored Tibet as a sovereign nation and proclaimed Tibetan independence after the failed invasion of the Manchu army,” SFT said in its statement.
On the significance of observing the day, the SFT stated that “by publicly commemorating our proud history as an independent nation – 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.”
“Regardless of Tibet’s current political status, the day is marked to commemorate Tibet’s independent past, while looking forward toward a future of regaining freedom once again,” she said and added that China has miserably failed at its systematic attempt to erase Tibet’s Independence history over the last six decades as a new generation of Tibetans in Tibet are taking courageous and creative actions to reassert Tibetan nationhood
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.
As the 108th commemoration day coincided with the second day of Losar, the Tibetan New Year, SFT has organized gorshey (Tibetan circle dance) and offered chang kol at the event as well.