By Tenzin Monlam
Official function at Tsuglakhang courtyard/Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
DHARAMSHALA, March 10: The Tibetan President (Sikyong) Dr. Lobsang Sangay called for unity amongst Tibetans at the official function of the 59th anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day today at Tsuglagkhang.
“From time and again, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and all the heads of Tibetan Buddhist traditions have called for unity amongst Tibetans,” Sikyong said, “So time has come to ignore the secondary differences of regionalism and religionism and come together as Tibetan to work towards our common goal.”
Procession towards police ground, Dharamsala, Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
George Baker, Member of Parliament for Anglo-Indian reserved seats, attended the official commemoration as the Chief Guest at the courtyard of Tsuglagkhang, which donned the color of Tibetan national flag with hundreds of Tibetans and supporters gathered to commemorate the day.
Acknowledging the recent cases of regionalism and religionism, the president urged Tibetans to not to indulge in such practices, which he said, hurts the Tibetan cause and sentiment of His Holiness.
This year also marks the 10th anniversary of the 2008 pan-Tibet uprising and on the occasion the Kashag (Cabinet) and the Tibetan Parliament in Exile (TPiE) honored all the Tibetan martyrs who sacrificed their lives for Tibetan cause.
Sikyong Sangay labeled China’s recent circulation on ‘Reporting Leads on Crimes and Violations by Underworld Forces’ as a ‘misguided practice’. The circular lists 22 illegal activities, three activities mentioning the Dalai Lama directly, that Beijing wants the Tibetan people to report.
Gathering at Police ground, phayul photo: Kunsang Gashon
“Tibetans inside Tibet revere His Holiness with their hearts and minds. Instead of acknowledging the faith and devotion of the Tibetan people, China has instead resorted to the criminalization of expressions of faith in His Holiness. This is the fundamental reason for the lack of ‘harmony of nationalities’, which the PRC relentlessly propagates to achieve,” Sikyong said.
He also stated that ‘de-linking’ Tibetans from the Dalai Lama is the root cause of the resistance among Tibetans and it is similar to asking Catholics to not to follow the Pope.
Raising the issue of Tashi Wangchuk, a Tibetan language advocate currently facing up to 15 years imprisonment sentence, Kashag condemned the criminalization of advocacy and protection of the Tibetan language and culture’.
As this year marks 60 years since the Dalai Lama came into exile, CTA and TPiE thanked the Indian government and countries around the world for their continued support and hospitality.
Following the official ceremony, Tibetans and supports took part in the procession organized by five Tibetan NGOs from the temple to police ground in Lower Dharamshala. Tibetans allover the world observe the day as the National Uprising Day in commemoration with the Tibetan uprising on March 10, 1959 in Lhasa. .