DHARAMSALA, Dec 12: Thousands of Tibetans and supporters today gathered at the courtyard of Tsug-lag-Khang, the main temple in Mcleod Ganj to commemorate 25th anniversary of the conferment of the Nobel Peace Prize to His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
The 79-yr-old Tibetan spiritual leader was awarded the coveted prize in 1989 for consistent opposition to the use of violence in his struggle for the liberation of Tibet and for advocating peaceful solutions based upon tolerance and mutual respect in order to preserve the historical and
cultural heritage of his people.
The Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, accompanied with some of his cabinet colleagues, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. The occasion was attended by among others, Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, Speaker Penpa Tsering and Members of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile.
The chief minister in his keynote address said his family has had a long relationship with the Tibetan people since the time of the 5th Dalai Lama. Referring to His Holiness as a symbol of true spiritual guru, he expressed his deep reverence to the Tibetan spiritual leader. He also said that the Tibetans residing the state of Himachal Pradesh are no different from other subjects of the state and assured that the state will provide all necessary assistance for the welfare of the Tibetan people. The Chief Minister also wished for a quick resolution of the Tibet issue.
Addressing the crowd, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay appreciated and welcomed the Nobel Peace Laureates summit now being held in Rome which will be attended by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Previously scheduled in South Africa, the summit was cancelled due to the boycott of the summit by other Laureates when visa was denied to His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Dr Sangay said His Holiness is the life and soul of Tibet and the Tibetan people, hence the 14th Kashag announced the observation of 2014 as the year of Gratitude to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Sikyong Sangay mentioned that the CTA takes pride in its democratic form of administration, a legacy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s leadership.
Sikyong Sangay also reiterated CTA’s official policy of finding a just solution to the issue of Tibet through the Middle Way Policy, initially proposed by His Holines the Dalai Lama.
“The Middle Way Approach, the official policy of the CTA to resolve the issue of Tibet is a win-win solution for both China and Tibet, and the best way to solve Tibet’s issue is to have dialogue with the envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama,” he said.
As December 10th is also commemorated all over the world as International Human Rights Day, on behalf of the CTA Sikyong Sangay prayed for all those Tibetans who have sacrificed their lives for basic freedom and human rights in Tibet and expressed hope for their speedy release.
“We remember the Tibetan political prisoners still suffering in Chinese prisons, including the 11th Kunzik Panchen Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, Chadrel Rinpoche, and many others. We hope for their speedy release and stand alongside them in their aspirations,” Sikyong Sangay said.
“We also urge Chinese authorities to release the 2010 Nobel Peace Laureate, Liu Xiaobo, and to finally, also after 25 years, to meet the aspirations of the tragic events at Tiananmen Square,” he added.
The political head of the Tibetan people urged China to end repression, change its hard line policy and respect the aspirations of the Tibetan people.
“Unfortunately, even 66 years after the proclamation, Tibetans have very little to celebrate. Instead, China consistently negates the provisions of the declaration, and human rights standards in Tibet continue to deteriorate. Tibet is still under occupation and the Tibetan people suffer political repression, economic marginalization, social discrimination, environmental destruction and cultural assimilation. A genuinely civilized democratic world cannot be achieved as long as injustice is inflicted in any corner of that world. The Kashag reiterates on this 66th Human Rights Day that the only way to end repression and the deteriorating situation of Tibet is for China to change its current hard line policy and respect the needs of the Tibetan people.”
Sikyong Sangay also expressed deep gratitude to the Indian people, the state governments, and the Government of India for the constant support towards the Tibetan community in India.
“On this occasion, we deeply thank the citizens and Government of India. All the achievements of Tibetan refugees in reconstructing a cohesive and strong community would not have been possible without the constant support of India. We especially value and give thanks for the recently announced Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy 2014. We also wish to thank all Indian state governments, especially the beautiful state of Himachal Pradesh, for hosting the Central Tibetan Administration,” he said.
The Silver Jubilee celebration also included release of several books on His Holiness the Dalai Lama and cultural dance performances by the Tibetan Institute for Performing Arts (TIPA) and also by the Tibetan students.