By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, March 10: Thousands of Tibetans and supporters in Dharamsala today gathered at the courtyard of Tsug-lag-khang, the main temple in Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsala to observe the 59th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising of 1959 and pay tribute to those who lost their lives when Chinese troops crushed the uprising in Lhasa, the Tibetan capital as well as all those Tibetans who had sacrificed their lives for the cause of Tibet.
George Baker, a member of the Indian Parliament from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) attended the official anniversary function as the Chief Guest along with some dignitaries and representatives of the three pillars of the Tibetan democracy as well as members of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile and officials of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA).
President of CTA, Dr Lobsang Sangay and Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile, Khenpo Sonam Tenphel read statements of the Kashag and Tibetan parliament respectively. Both the Tibetan leaders reiterated the Tibetan administration’s firm stand and commitment to peacefully resolve the issue of Tibet through ‘Middle Way Approach’.
President Sangay, the elected head of the Tibetan people, highlighted the importance of unity amongst the Tibetan people and denounced regionalism and religionism by stating, “we are all Tibetans and we are one”.
George Baker, the Chief Guest, in his address applauded the Tibetan people’s resolve to achieve Tibet’s just cause through non-violence and highlighted the significance of the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his message to the world.
The BJP MP concluded by drawing parallels between China’s expansionist policies to circle India today and its policies in the 1950s, which lead to the occupation of Tibet.
Following the official anniversary function, five Tibetan NGOs – Tibetan Youth Congress, Tibetan Women’s Association, Gu-Chu-Sum Movement of Tibet, Students for a Free Tibet and National Democratic Party for Tibet jointly led a peace march from the main temple in McLeod Ganj to Kacheri in lower Dharamsala to commemorate the 59th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day.