Low Turnout Marks Dharamsala’s 65th Anniversary Commemoration of Tibetan Women’s Uprising

By Tsering Choephel

DHARAMSALA, 12 March: In commemorating the 65th anniversary of the Tibetan Women’s Uprising Day on 12th March 1959, Tibetan women in Dharamsala gathered today in front of Pawo Doring at Tsuklagkhang complex and marched till the ground at Kacheri in lower Dharamsala.

Organised by the Central Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA), Dharamsala’s mayor Neenu Sharma was the chief guest of honour, and Tibetan women, including nuns and female students from TCV, participated in the ceremony and peace rally.

Tsering Dolma, the president of the TWA, expressed disappointment at the low turnout at the Women’s Uprising Day commemoration. Unlike the 10th March when the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) closes offices to commemorate the day with a large number of its civil servants joining the march, the 12th March, in stark contrast, receives no official ceremony and garners little participation from the general public, including women.

“Today, the Tibetan Women’s Association commemorates the 65th anniversary of National Tibetan Women’s Uprising Day. March 12, 1959, was a watershed moment in Tibetan women’s history when they united to protest the Chinese government’s ruthless repression in the capital city of Lhasa, outside Potala’s palace, on the Drebu Yulkhey grounds. A group of women, led by Pamo (martyr) Kunsang, took to the stage alongside hundreds of Tibetan women to oppose Communist China’s unlawful annexation of Tibet,” the statement read.

The statement further highlights the deteriorating situation inside Tibet with a large number of colonial boarding schools targeting young children to erode Tibetan identity. Moreover, it stresses the latest development of crisis in Derge in Tibet’s traditional province of Kham where two villages and at least six monasteries are currently under the process of forceful displacement by the Chinese authority to clear the area for its planned construction of a hydroelectric power dam project on the Drichu River.

Furthermore, TWC called on the international community “to unite against the global tyrant.” And that “Human rights situations in the states seized by China would deteriorate further if international pressure is not applied to hold China responsible.”

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