By Tendar Tsering
Kirti Rinpoche presides over the prayer service at Tsug-la Khang, the main temple in Dharamshala, India. (Photo/tibet.net)
DHARAMSHALA, June 1: Hundreds of Tibetans, including Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay and Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament Penpa Tsering attended a prayer service today held in honour of Tibetan martyrs who burned themselves in protest against the Chinese government in recent days.
The mass service was organised by the Dharamshala based Central Tibetan Administration at the Tsug-la Khang, the main temple, near the residence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
“As the self-immolations continues unabated inside Tibet, we Tibetans in exile are ever more concerned,” Dr Sangay said, while addressing the public at the prayer service.
“We are holding this prayer service to pay homage and console the families of the self-immolators and all the victims of Chinese policies in Tibet,” Kalon Tripa said.
On Sunday, May 27, two Tibetans, Dorjee Tseten, 19, and Dargye, 25, set themselves on fire in front of one of Tibet’s holiest shrines, the Jokhang Temple in the heart of Tibet’s capital Lhasa in an apparent protest against China’s continued occupation of Tibet. Days later, a mother of three young children, Rikyo, set herself ablaze in Zamthang, eastern Tibet.
The de facto Tibetan Prime Minister noted that amidst the ongoing wave of self-immolations, more and more world leaders, Nobel Peace Laureates and world parliamentarians are coming forward in support of Tibet.
“The sacrifices made by our Tibetan brothers and sisters have sent a clear and loud message to the world that the situation inside Tibet is very grim and critical,” Dr Sangay said.
“10,000 people in Vienna, Austria’s capital city last month came out on the streets in support of Tibet, and many of the world parliamentarians have pledged to pass resolutions on Tibet in their respective parliaments.”
While acknowledging the Tibetan masses in exile for organising activities and campaigns in tune with the directives issued by the Tibetan Parliament and the Cabinet, Kalon Tripa urged Tibetans to participate in upcoming campaigns.
“Tibetans and Tibetan supporters have actively participated in Tibet solidarity movements as jointly urged by Tibetan parliament and the Cabinet and I urge all of you to actively organise and participate in more of such solidarity movements,” Dr Sangay said.
The elected Tibetan leadership have been requesting Tibetan communities across the world and friends of Tibet to carry out solidarity activities “peacefully, in accordance with the laws of the country, and with dignity.”
Since 2009, thirty eight Tibetans in Tibet have torched their bodies demanding freedom in Tibet and the return of Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile.