By Tendar Tsering
TYC vice president Dhondup Lhadar (r) and general secretary Tenzin Chokey (l) at the press conference on November 14, 2011.
DHARAMSHALA, November 14: Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC), the largest pro-independence group in exile, has urged Tibetans not to celebrate the up coming Tibetan new year as a mark of honour and to pay tribute to the sacrifices being made by Tibetans inside Tibet.
Referring to the unending wave of self-immolations by Tibetans in eastern Tibet, TYC at a press conference Monday at their head office in Dharamshala, appealed to Tibetans in exile to forego celebrations during the upcoming Losar and instead contribute the expenditure usually incurred in celebrating the three-day event to the Central Tibetan Administration.
“We will refrain from celebrating Tibetan Losar in 2012 and instead initiate a Special Fund for future Free Tibet initiatives,” TYC vice-president Dhondup Lhadar told the press conference.
“Tibetans worldwide through our regional chapters will be asked to contribute all the expenses usually incurred in celebrating Losar to this fund. All proceeds will be handed over to the Tibetan Government-in-Exile,” Lhadar added.
While expressing sadness over the death of six Tibetans as a result of setting themselves on fire since March this year, TYC stated that it was “empowered by their courageous acts”.
“These extreme actions indicate a renewed grassroots pledge calling for all Tibetans to stand united to collectively end Beijing's draconian rule. For TYC this is a painful cry from across the mountains to accelerate our efforts to restore Tibet's independence,” the release noted.
Drawing attention to the timing of the self-immolation protests, TYC said that the current acts of resistance came in a year when China “celebrated” 60 years of their "peaceful liberation" of Tibet and the 90th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of China.
“These sacrifices mark those watersheds in our history and expose China's continuing lies that they "peacefully liberated" Tibet and thereby ended serfdom, poverty and misery,” TYC stated.