DHARAMSALA, May 5: Thousands of Tibetans and supporters in Dharamsala gathered at Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) in Mcleod Ganj for a music concert held on May 3 to mark “World Press Freedom Day”.
The music concert was part of “Fight the Blackout” campaign initiated by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD), with TIPA as its campaign partner to draw the attention of international civil society towards the information blackout in Tibet and press the Chinese government to allow journalists and independent human rights monitors to visit Tibet.
Addressing the crowd, Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile and Chief Guest for the event, Mr Penpa Tsering said: “These days evidence is required to understand and address issues and by denying access to journalists in Tibet, the Chinese government engages in destruction of evidence. Though China claims that there is freedom and happiness in Tibet, they do not allow media, representatives of other countries and independent monitors in Tibet because they have a lot of things to hide. According to a press freedom index report released by Reporters Without Borders, China is ranked among the lowest in the world. For the sake of both the Chinese nation and Tibet, I urge Chinese leaders to respect press freedom.”
Traditional and contemporary Tibetan songs performed by artists from TIPA drew thunderous cheers and applause from the crowd.
Big Bang Blues, a Delhi-based blues band who were the star attraction of the concert belted out their own electrifying compositions and covers of popular blues numbers that kept the crowd dancing and asking for more.