By Tenzin Monlam
Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
DHARAMSHALA, March 8: The Department of Religion and Culture of Central Tibetan Administration organized its annual prayer service to commemorate the peaceful Tibetan protesters of March 8, 1989 protest in Lhasa at the Tsuglagkhang today.
Thomthog Rinpoche, Abbot of Namgyal Monastery, headed the prayer attended by Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, Khenpo Sonam Tenphel, Speaker of Tibetan parliament, dignitaries of CTA, Tibetan civil servants and general public.
Following the prayer, Sikyong stated that the Tibetans must recall and remember the sacrifices of the peaceful demonstrators of the 1989 protests against the Chinese rule in Tibet.
President Sangay also expressed condolences over the latest self-immolation that happened yesterday in Meruma Township in Ngaba County. Tsekho, who is also known as Tsekho Tukchak, in his 40s, set himself on fire around five in the evening yesterday.
Leading up to March 8, 1989, they was a series of unrest from 1987. However, to mark 30th anniversary of 1959 Tibet Uprising, thousands of Tibetans took Lhasa by storm by carrying out protest against the Chinese government.
As a result, Hu Jintao, then Party Secretary of the so-called Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and former President of China declared Martial Law. The police opened fired at the protesters killing many Tibetans.
“This service is to honor those Tibetan brave hearts who have either been killed or imprisoned for carrying out the protest. So in their remembrance we have been organizing this prayer for over 20 years,” said Thupten Tsering, Joint Secretary of Department of Religion and Culture.