Tibetans in Dharamsala commemorate 62nd anniversary of National Uprising Day with Peace march

DHARAMSALA, 10 March: Tibetans and supporters today participated in a public march to commemorate the 62nd anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day here in the exile headquarter of the Tibetan people.

Carrying Tibetan national flags, pictures of the His Holiness the Dalai Lama and play cards with slogans such as ‘Free Tibet’, ‘China out of Tibet’,  ‘Tibet belongs to Tibetans’ and ’62 years of occupation, 62 years of resistance’,  Tibetans in hundreds from all walks of life and supporters marched from Mcleod Ganj to Kacheri in lower Dharamsala

The public march began after the official anniversary function to commemorate the 62nd anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day and it was collectively organised by five Tibetan NGOs – Tibetan Youth Congress, Tibetan Women’s Association, National Democratic Party of Tibet, Gu-Chu-Sum Movement of Tibet and Students for a Free Tibet-India.

Ajit Kumar Nehria, the President of the Indo-Tibet Friendship Association, Dharamsala who addressed the congregation ahead of the march stated in his address that “in Tibet’s independence resides India’s security.”

“It is very unfortunate that India and the world did not stand up and objected to China’s occupation of Tibet,” he said.

Calling out China’s constant border incursion in Indian territory, he stated that “historically, it is with Tibet that India shared its border with and not China,” and that India is now paying the price with its military spendings billions to counter and check Chinese incursion.

“Hence, my Indian brothers and sisters must understand that Tibet’s independence is in fact India’s security and that the New Delhi should review its China policy.”

Pema Jungney, the Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile in his address highlighted the gravity of the sufferings and repression Tibetans are subjected to inside Tibet under the Chinese occupation that still continues after more than six decades of occupation.

The climate of the cultural revolution is still ongoing in Tibet. “However greater the repression and sufferings we endure under the Chinese occupation, our spirit and resolve should match it in the same vein,” he said.

He further called for unity among Tibetans and collective efforts for the Tibetan freedom movement.

Gonpo Dhundup, the President of TYC said in his address that “we should always remember in our heart that we represent our Tibetan brothers and sisters languishing back home under China’s rule.”

“We have to be their voice as Tibetans inside Tibet are being suppressed and silenced by the Chinese regime.” 

A joint statement released by the NGO’s expressed grave concern over the communist regimes continued suppression, atrocities and violation of basic human rights of Tibetans inside Tibet.

The statement noted that even after 62 years of occupation, the Chinese authorities still continue to subject Tibetans to arbitrary detention, sentenced to long prison terms for a mere act of engaging in nonviolent acts like petitioning authorities over confiscated community land, sharing images of the Dalai Lama on social media and for “criticising” and calling out the Chinese authorities for their “discrimination.”

“Human rights experts including UN Special Rapporteurs, Chinese academics and writers have been calling out China’s illegal occupation of Tibet and the brutal treatment of Tibetans, and continue to appeal for a change in China’s current policies towards Tibet and to support initiating dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s representative to solve the Tibet-China issue.”

The Tibetan activist groups further stated that “currently there is a concerted effort from the Chinese leaders to restrict Tibetan’s cultural identity,” and that “Tibetan children are being denied the right to learn in their mother tongue as authorities made it compulsory to study Chinese communist history and political view in Chinese.”

Rights-think-tank Freedom House listed Tibet as the joint-leat free country in the world, the group said and added that “China’s assault on Tibetan people has reached an unprecedented scale and it is imperative that India joins with other governments to take a stand and demonstrate the political will to push back against China’s reprehensible human rights abuses and work to reverse the crisis.” 

“We call on the world leaders, parliamentarians and civil society groups to call out the Chinese communist government for the genocide in Tibet and release the 11th Panchen Lama Gendun Choekyi Nyima along with all other political prisoners unconditionally,” the statement concluded.

Protest and marches are also held across the world as Tibetans and supporters of the Tibetan cause commemorated the 62nd anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day with great fervour.

On March 10, 1959, sensing a Chinese plot to abduct His Holiness the Dalai Lama, more than 300,000 Tibetans surrounded his summer palace, Norbulingka to protect his life and to protest against the Chinese occupation.

Seven days later, His Holiness the Dalai Lama left Lhasa and fled to India followed by 80,000 Tibetans into exile.

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