Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay addressing a mass prayer service for Tibetan self-immolators in Dharamshala on November 14, 2012. (Phayul photo/Norbu Wangyal)
DHARAMSHALA, November 14: The elected head of the Tibetan people, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay today called for a Global Solidarity Day to be observed on December 10 in solidarity with the ongoing wave of self-immolations and protests inside Tibet.
He made the appeal while addressing a special prayer service held in honour of Tibetan self-immolators Nyingkar Tashi and Nyingchag Bum, at the Tsug-la Khang, the main temple in Dharamshala today
“On December 10, Noble Peace Prize Day, which also coincides with the World Human Rights Day, we appeal to all Tibetans to observe a ‘Global Solidarity Day for Tibet’ and urge all Tibetan organisations to carry out campaigns,” Sikyong Dr Sangay said.
The de facto Tibetan prime minister said the recent escalation in self-immolation protests in Tibet sends a “clear message to the Tibetans in exile, Chinese government and to the world” that the situation inside Tibet has become unbearable under Chinese rule.
Hundreds of Tibetans and supporters, including the Tibetan Chief Justice Commissioners, Speaker Penpa Tsering, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, Kalons and members of the Tibetan Parliament attended the prayer service.
Special prayer service were offered for Nyingkar Tashi, 24 and Nyingchag Bum, 18, who set themselves ablaze in protest against China’s continued occupation of Tibet on Monday. Both of them passed away in their fiery protest.
Nyingkar Tashi set himself on fire in Dro Rongwo region of Rebkong, eastern Tibet. In his last testament, Nyingkar Tashi called for “freedom and independence for Tibet,” and “return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.”
“Six million Tibetans want freedom for Tibet, independence for Tibet, freedom to learn Tibetan language, freedom to speak our mother tongue,” Tashi wrote. “(Tibetans) demand the release of Panchen Lama and that His Holiness the Dalai Lama must be allowed to come to Tibet.”
“I set myself on fire in protest against the Chinese government.”
A few hours later, Nyingchag Bum from Yonlag Dewa set himself on fire on the main street of Dowa town in the same region, taking the self-immolation toll to ten for the month of November alone.
Former US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in a statement dated November 10, called the “worsening crisis” in Tibet a “challenge to the conscience of the world.”
“The people of Tibet have legitimate grievances after decades of harsh rule. They have been economically marginalised in their own land, imprisoned for peacefully expressing their political views, and forced to endure “political education” campaigns to denounce His Holiness the Dalai Lama,” Pelosi said.
“The United States, a country rooted in the values of liberty, equality, and human rights, has a special responsibility to protect and promote those values, both at home and abroad.”
Since 2009, 72 Tibetans have set themselves on fire calling for freedom in Tibet and return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile.