By Phuntsok Yangchen
Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay unfurling the Indian national tri colours at the Kashag Secretariat in Dharamshala on the 64th Republic Day of India on January 26, 2013. (Phayul photo/Phuntsok Yangchen)
DHARAMSHALA, January 26: Tibetans led by Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, the elected head of the Tibetan people, today observed India’s 64th Republic Day in the exile headquarters of Dharamshala and thanked the government of India and its people for their support.
Senior officials of the Central Tibetan Administration were present at the brief ceremony held at the Kashag Secretariat.
Sikyong Sangay unfurled the Indian national tricolor amidst the rendition of the Indian national anthem.
Speaking to reporters, the de facto
Tibetan prime minister said: "On behalf of the Tibetan Administration, I would like to thank India and the great people of India for all their support."
Sikyong Sangay also extended his "heartfelt appreciation" to the Indian government for the support provided to the large number of Tibetans living in India.
"Specially after taking over my position, I have realised more than ever that there are many Indian leaders and Indian people who are genuinely supportive of the Tibet issue and are willing to go the extra mile to help Tibetan people,” the Harvard law graduate said. “So, for all the help extended, on the Republic Day of India, I want to extend my heartfelt appreciation."
Following the ceremony, Sikyong Sangay attended the Indian official Republic Day celebrations at the Police Ground in lower Dharamshala.
The national level celebrations in the capital New Delhi began with the raising of the Indian flag by President Pranab Mukherjee.
The country's military might and its rich culture were showcased with a vibrant parade representing all corners of India.
Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay attending the official Indian celebrations in lower Dharamshala of the 64th Republic Day of India on January 26, 2013.
Addressing the ceremony, President Mukherjee promised to bring changes in the country.
"On our 64th Republic Day, there may be some reason for concern, but none for despair. If India has changed more in six decades than six previous centuries, then I promise you that it will change more in the next ten years than in the previous sixty. India’s enduring vitality is at work," Mukherjee giving his first presidential address from the ramparts of Red Fort said.
Republic Day, celebrated on January 26 every year, is one of India’s most important national events. It was on January 26th, 1950 that the constitution of India came into force and India became a truly sovereign, democratic and republic state.