By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, March 30: Tibetans in Dharamsala accorded a warm welcome to the leaders and participants of the Padayatra, March from Chutangmo in Tawang to Tezpur in Assam to commemorate the 60th year of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s journey from Tibet to India, as they arrived at the main square in Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsala today.
Central Tibetan Administration’s (CTA) Health Kalon, Choekyong Wangchuk, Secretary of the CTA’s Department of Information and International Relations, Sonam Norbu Dagpo along with leaders and representatives of various Tibetan NGOs and hundreds of Tibetans received the 41 participants of the padayatra as they arrived earlier today.
Padayatra from Chutangmo to Tezpur was organised by the Core Group for Tibetan Cause, the apex body of Tibet support groups in India along with the people of Tawang and West Kameng, the monasteries and NGOs from the region to commemorate the 60th year of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s journey from Tibet to India in March 1959.
“When we came to know that 2018 will be celebrated as ‘Thank You India’ year, we decided to relive His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s journey from Tibet to India in 1959 to commemorate the 60th year of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s journey from Tibet to India,” Rinchen Khandu Khrimey, National Convenor of Core Group for Tibetan Cause said.
“Since we can’t go inside Tibet, we chose Chuthangmo, the Indo-Tibetan border and the first place in India where His Holiness was officially received by the Indian officials and offered the guard of honour by the Assam Rifles to, and began our march on March 17, the day His Holiness left Norbulinga,” he added.
The National Convenor of Core Group for Tibetan Cause further stated that throughout their march from Chutangmo to Tezpur they received overwhelming support from the people in the region.
The Tibetan community in Delhi gave a warm reception to the leaders and participants of the padayatra yesterday at the Samyeling Tibetan settlement in Majnukatilla, New Delhi on their way to Dharamsala, the seat of the Dalai Lama and the exiled Tibetan administration.
The group will now attend the CTA’s ‘Thank You India 2018’ campaign that will kick off tomorrow with an official function at the courtyard of Tsug-lag-khang, the main temple in Mcleod Ganj and seek a meeting with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
The participants of the padayatra marched from Chutangmo and crossed Gorsum Chorten, Lumla, Tawang, Jang, Senge, Dirang, Bomdila, Rupa, Tenga, Chaku, Khelong and Doimara until they reached Tezpur in Assam on March 27, all the while praying for the long life of the Dalai Lama. The people of Arunachal and Assam jointly organised the concluding function of the Padayatra.