No New Year movement gains momentum
Phayul[Tuesday, January 27, 2009 12:01]
Dharamsala, Jan. 27 – As the Tibetans all over the world plan to skip celebrations of the Tibetan New Year 2136, the act of passive resistance is gaining momentum everywhere including Dharamsala, the exile headquarters of the Tibetan government.

Four NGO’s of the Tibetan community vowed to observe the Tibetan New Year with prayer vigils and minus any festivities to mourn the slaying of over two hundred Tibetans by Chinese forces in the aftermath of March uprising in Tibet last year, and to protest China's ongoing crackdown.

This is a poster sent from Tibet calling for boycott of the Tibetan New year 2136. (Courtesy: Lhuboom/RFA)
This is a poster sent from Tibet calling for boycott of the Tibetan New year 2136. (Courtesy: Lhuboom/RFA)
The Tibetan Women's Association, Gu-Chu-Sum Ex-political Prisoners Movement, National Democratic Party of Tibet and Students for a Free Tibet (India), through a press release issued today, said, “Instead of the usual celebrations marked by singing, dancing and other festivities, silence will be observed and butter lamps will be lit in the temples and homes to pray for the deceased.”

Dr. B. Tsering, president of the Tibetan Women's' Association, said, "This year, we honor the sacrifices of countless Tibetans who rose up to show China and the world that even after 50 years of brutal occupation, Tibetans are determined to regain our freedom."

Ven. Ngawang Woebar, president of Gu-Chu-Sum Ex-Political Prisoners' Movement, said, "On the eve of the commemoration of two historic uprisings - one in 1959 and the other in 2008 - we call on Tibetans worldwide to join us in re-dedicating ourselves to the cause of our nation."

"We mourn our brothers and sisters who were killed in China's violent crackdown while we stand in solidarity with those who continue to suffer under China's totalitarian rule," added Dr. B Tsering.

Meanwhile, young Tibetans expressed their will to skip the New Year celebrations at a weekend event called “Talk Tibet” where discussions are held and films are screened on Tibet.

“This could be the singular historic moment of becoming the most participated Tibetan political event, simply because, it is an act of passive resistance, in which everybody can take part,” adding, “It is simple yet a very powerful nonviolent resistance against which China has no power

Tsering, a monk from Kirti Monastery said, “No Losar” is a call I first heard from Tibet way back in November 2008 and the idea of nonparticipating has been spreading among Tibetans in Tibet and exile through blogs and word of mouth”.

Dhondup Lhadhar, General Secretary of Tibetan Youth Congress, who was at the discussion, said, “whatever we are doing, both inside or outside, our message should be one, it's to remember and pay tribute to the Tibetan martyrs of 2008 Tibet uprising and to mark 2009 as Black Year, as it is the 60 year of Chinese invasion of Tibet and 50 years of Chinese occupation of Tibet and our exile.”

With the Tibetans in Tibet wowing to skip celebrations this year of the Tibetan New Year, reports are coming in that the authorities in China are deliberately encouraging the Tibetans in Tibet to celebrate the New Year with pomp and festivity. The authorities are giving out gifts and special presents to Tibetans to encourage them for celebrations, sources with contacts in Tibet told phayul. An anonymous person from Tibet has sent a poster calling for 'NO Losar' to phayul.

Tibetan New Year or Losar is one of the most auspicious and festive holidays in the Tibetan calendar and is traditionally celebrated with grandeur for a minimum of three days. This year Losar falls on 25th - 27th of February, just over two weeks before the 50th commemoration of the March 10th Tibetan National Uprising of 1959. March 10 will also mark one year since protests by Tibetan monks in Lhasa erupted into a nationwide uprising.

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