DHARAMSALA, 29 Dec: Tibetans and Tibet supporters held a candlelight vigil in Dharamsala yesterday to express solidarity with the critical situation in Kham Drago after the Chinese authorities have destroyed a 99 feet high Buddha statue.
A 99-foot statue of Buddha, built with a financial contribution of 4,000,000 Yuan from local Tibetans in Drago, in the Kardze region in the traditional Tibetan province of Kham along with 45 huge prayer wheels erected near Drago Monastery were also destroyed by the Chinese authorities on 12 December.
This coupled with the demolition of the Drago Monastery’s Gaden Namgyal Monastic school in November, the Two Dharamsala-based Tibetan NGOs, Regional Tibetan Youth Congress (RTYC), Dharamsala and Student’s for a Free Tibet (SFT)-India who have jointly organized the candlelight vigil made a strong case of China’s “continued disregard and desecration of the religion of the Tibetan people, their culture and their custom.”
“Severe restrictions of basic human freedoms, arbitrary arrests, incommunicado detentions, torture and unnatural deaths have all become the traits of Chinese rule in Tibet,” the group stated in its press release.
The Tibetan NGOs stated that “China’s policy of Sinicization has caused the assault on all the Tibetan national identity, most notably their language, religion, and culture” and that the “Chinese government accelerated policies that reduce Tibetans as a proportion of the population and undermine their cultural and religious identity in 2020.”
The statement further added that the implementation of China’s “2019-2020 Farmer and Pastoralist Training and Labor Transfer Action Plan continued, forcing tens of thousands of additional Tibetan farmers and nomads to give up their land rights, become wage labourers, and move to urban areas where they are crowded into large apartment blocks.”
Calls were also made for the governments around the world for strong, collective and immediate action to send a clear message to China and boycott the Beijing winter Olympic 2022 games.
“The CCP crackdown against freedom, democracy, and human rights has intensified beyond belief and international governments must come together to take strong, joint, immediate action to send a clear message to China and boycott the Beijing winter Olympic 2022 games.”