By Tenzin Monlam
CTA President Dr. Lobsang Sangay speaking at the golden jubilee celebration of Dharamshala Tibetan settlement at Tsuglagkhang on October 9, 2017. Phayul Photo
DHARAMSHALA, October 9: The Tibetan Settlement Office of Dharamshala today held a ceremony to celebrate fifty years of the Tibetan settlement in McLeod Ganj. The Tibetan settlement office at McLeod Ganj was established in 1967.
The golden jubilee celebrations of Dharamshala Tibetan settlement at the courtyard of Tsuglagkhang today was attended by CTA President (Sikyong) Lobsang Sangay as chief guest along with Deputy Commissioner CP Verma from the local Indian administration as special guest, Tibetan parliamentarians and dignitaries.
With Tibetans living in Dharamshala joining the celebration in huge number, Sikyong said, “It is important that we attend official celebrations and commemorations in huge number as it sends a strong signal to China and represents our undying spirit for Tibetan cause even after 60 years in exile.”
CTA President Dr. Lobsang Sangay along with Deputy Speaker Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok honoring DC Verma with a thangka painting at the golden jubilee celebrations of Dharamshala Tibetan settlement at Tsuglagkhang on October 9, 2017. Phayul Photo
He also added that it represents ‘solidarity’ towards all the Tibetans inside Tibet, who are still suffering under the Chinese repression. He stressed that Dharamshala being the center of the Tibetan movement plays more important role.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama on his doctor’s advice to rest did not grace the ceremony as per the wishes of the organizer, who had previously announced his attendance. However, that did not dampen the celebration.
President Sangay said that the people present there at the celebration should be rejoiced knowing that the His Holiness will be resting instead of attending the ceremony.
Deputy Commissioner CP Verma in his address lauded the friendship and the ‘inalienable’ bond shared by the people of the two communities, expressing hopesthat this bond would remain strong for a foreseeable future as well. The special guest also thanked His Holiness and expressed his ‘gratefulness’ for choosing Dharamshala as his abode.
“Both the Tibetan and Indian communities share the same points of agony. The tyranny and oppression Tibetans have been facing under China for the last some many years, India too has undergone the same trauma when we were struggling for our freedom,” Deputy Commissioner Verma said, adding that India shares the pain and agony of Tibet.
Verma said that they are expecting a ‘positive response from the government of Himachal’ in the 218 cases of regularization of Tibetan settlers in Mcleod Ganj.
The daylong celebration included cultural performances from all the three traditional provinces of Tibet. The organizers also honored former Tibetan Settlement Officers of Dharamshala with a citation and an idol of Buddha.