By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, August 11: Tibetans and Tibet supporters held a candle light vigil in Dharamsala yesterday to express solidarity with the Tibetans suffering from the ongoing forced demolition of their residences at Larung Gar in Tibet.
Two Dharamsala-based Tibetan NGOs, Regional Tibetan Youth Congress (RTYC), Dharamsala and Student’s for a Free Tibet (SFT)-India jointly organized the candle light vigil. Chanting prayers, the crowd peacefully marched on the narrow streets of Mcleod Ganj.
Since July 20, worlds largest Tibetan Buddhist academy, Larung Gar has been undergoing forced demolition of residences ordered by Chinese officials, displacing many nuns and monks and driving Rinzin Dolma, a Tibetan nun to commit suicide.
Dismissing the Chinese claim of Larung Gar being overcrowded and downsizing a necessity, Wangden Kyap, president of RTYC Dharamsala said “the demolition of Larung Gar and the eviction of its residents is only a ploy to ensure control over an influential Tibetan Buddhist institution.”
The demolition of Larung Gar, an iconic and influential Buddhist academy is a blatant attack on Tibet’s religion and culture and an attempt to control the Tibetan people,” said Tenzin Tselha, National Director of SFT-India.
Dharamsala-based Tibetan activist and poet, Tenzin Tsundue, who actively led the event, addressed the crowd at the end of the vigil and called for unity and sustenance in the campaign against China’s illeal occupation of Tibet.
In Toronto, SFT-Canada protested outside the Chinese consulate shouting slogans of Free Tibet and demanding China to stop the illegal demolition of Larung Gar.
A similar protest was also staged outside Chinese Mission for the United Nations in New York. The Protest was organized by SFT International and RTYC New York/Jersey.
“Let me make one thing clear. Not calling out an act of oppression has never helped anyone but the oppressor, and it certainly doesn’t help the oppressed,” Sonamtso, SFT’s USA Grassroots Director said in a facebook post.