DHARAMSHALA, February 21: In what is being billed as the first petition ever to be directed to the Dharamshala based exile Tibetan administration, a Tibetan organisation in Switzerland is requesting for the official adoption of ‘Tibetan National Day’ on February 13.
The Tibetan Youth Association in Europe launched the petition drive last week during an event organised in Rikon, Switzerland, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Tibetan Proclamation of Independence declared by His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama.
Organisers said the Europe-wide petition is the first petition ever directed to the Central Tibetan Administration, addressing the exile Tibetan minister and members of Parliament. The group noted that through the petition, Tibetan MPs representing Europe, Ven. Thubten Wangchen and Chungdak Koren, will be requested to table a motion during the forthcoming parliamentary session requesting the adoption of a Tibetan National Day on February 13.
The petition, which can be signed online at www.be-tibet.com
, will be handed over to the two Tibetan MPs prior to the parliamentary session to be held in the exile headquarters of Dharamshala, north India in September later this year.
The event marking the centennial celebrations in Rikon was attended by some 350 Tibetans and supporters. An exhibition portraying Tibet’s independence, a talk on 100 years of the Tibetan Independence Proclamation by Prof. Karénina Kollmar- Paulenz, and a panel discussion on the same topic were the highlights of the event.
Panelists included Kelsang Gyaltsen, Special Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Europe, Ven. Thubten Wangchen, MP, Tenzin Dorjee, Executive Director of Students for a Free Tibet, and others.
Tenzin Kelden Losinger-Namseling, president of TYAE said the event helped to raise awareness about the fact that, Tibet was a free and independent country at the time of the Chinese invasion in 1950.
“It had all the characteristics needed to be recognised as an independent nation, even more so after the reassertion of Tibet’s independence by His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama on February 13, 1913. His speech was written down and spread throughout Tibet,” Kelden said.
“We received a lot of positive feedback on how important it is for us Tibetans not to forget this fact and to be proud of our heritage and homeland.”
The global students network, Students for a Free Tibet, earlier announced that starting from this year, the group will be commemorating Tibetan Independence Day on February 13 as a “powerful tool to challenge China’s propaganda about Tibetan history as well as to strengthen the case for Tibetan self-determination on the global stage.”