DHARAMSHALA, December 11: Hundreds of Tibetans and foreigners gathered at Tsug-la Khang in Dharamshala, Saturday for a muted commemoration of the 22nd anniversary of the conferment of the Nobel Peace Prize on His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Lead by Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay, Kalons, and staff members of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) attended the brief official ceremony.
In the Kashag’s official statement, Kalon Tripa noted the Nobel Committee’s recognition of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s “consistent resistance to the use of violence in his people’s struggle to regain their liberty.”
“And this recognition has enhanced, in an unprecedented way, the international visibility of the issue of Tibet and for this reason, we remain eternally grateful to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and we re-affirm our steadfast commitment to non-violence,” Dr Sangay said.
December 10 also being commemorated world-wide as the World Human Rights Day, Kalon Tripa in his speech lamented that 63 years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it was “unfortunate” that conditions in Tibet have “significantly worsened in recent times.”
“Calling for freedom in Tibet, twelve Tibetans in Tibet self-immolated themselves within this year,” Dr Sangay said.
Speaking directly to the Chinese leadership, Kalon Tripa urged Beijing to allow international fact-finding delegations, independent media, and Chinese intellectuals to visit Tibet for a first hand assessment of the ground situation in Tibet.
Among the gathering, emotionally charged newly arrived Tibetans from Tibet jostled to shake hands with Dr Sangay, a reflection of their strong faith in the 43-year old Kalon Tripa as the legitimate political head of the Tibetan people.
Exile Tibetan activists also organised a signature campaign on the occasion of Human Rights Day, urging world leaders to diplomatically intervene in the ongoing episode of self-immolations in Tibet and alleviate the human rights crisis in Tibet.
Later in the day, Kalon Tripa along with his cabinet members and senior staff members of the CTA attended the premiere of “Kyema”, a full-length feature film produced by the Tibetan Department of Health in public health interest aimed at generating awareness on substance abuse and tuberculosis in the Tibetan community.
A day prior to World Human Rights Day, a group of five Nobel Peace laureates including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi, Mairead Maguire, and Betty Williams launched a campaign for the release of imprisoned Chinese democracy activist and last year’s Nobel Peace Prize recipient Liu Xiaobo.