By Tenzin Dharpo
The padyatra's first day at Chuthangmo in Tawang, AP on March 17, 2018. Photo- Tenzin Lekmon for tibet.net
DHARAMSHALA, Mar. 20: A ten-day march to commemorate the exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s passage through the check post in Chuthangmo in the Indian side of the border almost 60 years ago began on Saturday with over 200 people participating in the first day of the event.
The march is organized by the Core Group for Tibetan Cause, the apex body of Tibet support groups in India, with cooperation from the people of Tawang and West Kameng along with NGOs and monasteries.
Among the participants on March 17 was 75-year-old Lobsang Palden of Lhunpo village. Palden, then a teenager in 1959, witnessed the young Dalai Lama at his village and had offered butter and cheese to the Dalai Lama in March 1959. Lobsang Palden was felicitated with an autographed portrait of His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the inaugural function.
The ‘Path Yatra’ from Chuthangmo in Tawang district to Tezpur in central Assam, will take 10 days and marks the 60th year of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s journey from Tibet to India in March, 1959, in the after math of his country’s violent occupation by Chinese communist forces.
The ten-day march will retrace the steps of the Dalai Lama’s journey in 1959 when he was escorted by the Assam Rifles unit from Chuthangmo through Gorsum Chorten, Lumla, Tawang, Jang, Senge, Dirang, Bomdila, Rupa, Tenga, Chaku, Khelong and Doimara and to Tezpur.
RK Khrimey, National Convener of Core Group for Tibetan Cause, said that the march is organised to pray for the Tibetan leader’s health and long life, as well as global peace.