DHARAMSHALA, March 9: Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama will not be issuing his March 10 National Uprising Day Statement, according to sources, but will attend the official function tomorrow in Dharamshala.
This is the first occasion since 1959 when Tibetans escaped into exile that the Dalai Lama will not issue an official statement.
His Holiness’ March 10 Statements have been received by Tibetans as the head of the state’s address to the nation.
Last year the 76-year old Tibetan leader went against popular sentiments and announced through the March 10 statement, the devolution of political authority to the elected Tibetan leadership, ending the centuries old system of the Dalai Lamas’ temporal duties.
In his National Uprising Day Statement last year, the Dalai Lama clarified that his decision to hand over political responsibilities was for the benefit of the Tibetan struggle in the long run.
“As early as the 1960s, I have repeatedly stressed that Tibetans need a leader, elected freely by the Tibetan people, to whom I can devolve power. Now, we have clearly reached the time to put this into effect,” the Dalai Lama said.
“Tibetans have placed such faith and trust in me that as one among them I am committed to playing my part in the just cause of Tibet. I trust that gradually people will come to understand my intention, will support my decision and accordingly let it take effect.”
Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, Penpa Tsering and Kalong Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay are scheduled to address tomorrow’s function commemorating the 53rd anniversary of the March 10, 1959 uprisings.
Foreign dignitaries including Gianni Vernetti, member of the Italian Parliament and editors of four oversea Chinese news websites (Boxun.com, Canyu.org, minzhuzhongguo.org and democraticchina.org) are scheduled to attend the function.
Since last year’s Uprising Day commemorations, 25 Tibetans have set their bodies on fire in Tibet demanding the return of the Dalai Lama from exile and freedom in Tibet. In the build up to tomorrow’s 53rd anniversary, three Tibetans set themselves ablaze earlier this week.