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Dharamshala observes global prayer service for Tibetan self-immolators
Phayul[Wednesday, February 20, 2013 23:50]
Special prayer service for Tibetan self-immolators organised by the Central Tibetan Administration at the Tsug-la Khang in Dharamshala, India on February 20, 2013.
Special prayer service for Tibetan self-immolators organised by the Central Tibetan Administration at the Tsug-la Khang in Dharamshala, India on February 20, 2013.
DHARAMSHALA, February 20: The exile Tibetan administration today held a two-hour prayer service at the Tsug-la Khang, the main temple in Dharamshala as part of a worldwide prayer service, the first since the toll of Tibet self-immolations crossed the tragic milestone of 100 earlier this month.

The Central Tibetan Administration earlier urged Tibetans all over the world to organise special prayer services on February 20 to “express solidarity with all those Tibetans who have self-immolated and those suffering torture and imprisonment.”

In the exile headquarters of Dharamshala, the special prayer service was presided over by Thomthog Rinpoche, the Abbot of Namgyal Monastery.

Thousands of Tibetans and supporters, including the Tibetan Chief Justice Commissioners, Speaker Penpa Tsering, Kalons, and Tibetan MPs attended the service.

Special prayers were also offered for the recent Tibetan self-immolators Lobsang Namgyal, 37; Drugpa Khar, 26; Druptse, 25; Namlha Tsering, 47; Rinchen, 17 and Sonam Dhargey, 18.

Lobsang Namgyal, a monk at the Kirti Monastery in Ngaba, eastern Tibet became the 100th Tibetan living under China’s rule to self-immolate when he set himself ablaze near the local police building in Zoege on February 3. He passed away at the scene of his protest.

According to eyewitnesses, Lobsang Namgyal, engulfed in flames, shouted slogans for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

On February 13, exactly 100 years since His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama declared the Tibetan Proclamation of Independence, two Tibetans, on either side of the Himalayas, torched themselves.

Drugpa Khar, a father of three set himself on fire in Amchok region of eastern Tibet and Druptse, a monk set himself ablaze near the holy stupa of Boudhanath in the heart of Nepalese capital city Kathmandu. Both of them succumbed to their injuries.

Namlha Tsering, a father of four, passed away in his fiery protest on a busy street outside a cinema hall on February 17 in Labrang region of eastern Tibet.

The two Tibetan teenagers, Rinchen and Sonam Dhargey, set themselves on fire in Kyangtsa region of Zoege, eastern Tibet on February 19. Both of them succumbed to their injuries.

Addressing the prayer service, Kalon Dolma Gyari of the Department of Home, described the self-immolations as "most tragic” and urged the international community to press China to allow independent fact-finding missions and international media to visit Tibet.

"Instead of owning up to the crisis inside Tibet, the Chinese government is baselessly pointing fingers at His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration for instigating the protests,” Kalon Gyari said.

“We maintain utmost transparency in our work and invite the Chinese government to prove its allegations.”

The Kashag (cabinet) earlier noted that despite its repeated appeals not to resort to drastic actions, since 2009, over 104 Tibetans have set themselves on fire protesting China’s continued occupation and repression and demanding freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile.
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