Thousands gathered at Tsug-la Khang, the main temple in Dharamshala on February 8, 2012 for a prayer service in solidarity with Tibetans inside Tibet. (Phayul photo/Norbu Wangyal)
DHARAMSHALA, February 8: Thousands of Tibetans and supporters in the Tibetan exile headquarters of Dharamshala attended a mass prayer service at Tsug-la Khang, the main temple yesterday.
Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay along with a battery of Tibetan leaders attended the prayer service as part of the global vigil in solidarity with Tibetans inside Tibet.
The exile Tibetan leadership had earlier urged Tibetans and supporters all over the world to take part in the global vigil on Wednesday, February 8 aimed at sending “a loud and clear message” to the Chinese government that “violence and killing of innocent Tibetans is unacceptable.”
Addressing the gathered public after the prayer service, Dr Sangay expressed his fear of more bloodshed and loss of lives in Tibet.
“Hundreds of convoys carrying Chinese military personnel with automatic machine guns are moving towards Tibet. We fear many Tibetans might face unfortunate experiences,” Tibet’s de facto
prime minister said.
“We feel the Chinese government is preparing for something really tragic. Hence it is critical that the international community must intervene now to show support for Tibet and Tibetan people.”
Candle light vigil on February 8, 2012 in Dharamshala, India. (Phayul photo/Norbu Wangyal)
Paying homage to the Tibetans who have self-immolated and have been shot and injured in recent protests in Tibet, Dr Sangay stated Tibetans are giving up their lives because of the continued occupation and repressive policies of the Chinese government.
“If the Chinese government thinks the Tibet issue can be solved through violence, force, and intimidation, then it’s not going to happen because the Tibetan spirit is strong. The Tibetan spirit will remain strong until freedom is restored in Tibet and His Holiness the Dalai Lama returns to Tibet,” Kalon Tripa said.
Dr Sangay also acknowledged the international community, especially US Senator and former presidential nominee John McCain for raising Tibet
in person with China's Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun on a panel at a high-level three-day security conference in Munich last Saturday.
Accusing China of discrimination against Tibetans, Kalon Tripa pointed at Beijing’s biased reaction to protests in Tibet as against the protests in the Chinese town of Wukan which were carried out in full glare of international media and went on for days.
“They (China’s leaders) even addressed the plight of the people in Wukan but not in Tibet, because they discriminate us," Dr Sangay said while stating that dialogue was the only way to solve the issue of Tibet.
Renewing his call for sustained activism in exile and fasting on the first day of Tibetan new year Kalon Tripa vowed to Tibetans in Tibet: “We will not let your voices go unheard, we will not let your sacrifices go unattended.”
Following the three-hour prayer service, the gathered crowd braved heavy snowfall and took out a candle light vigil.