Hundreds of Tibetans gathered at the Tibetan Handicraft Centre in the Jawlakhel area of Kathmandu, Nepal Tuesday evening in a show of solidarity with the seven Tibetans who have self-immolated this year.
The candle light vigil – ‘Light a lamp for Tibetan Martyrs’ – was organised by the Kathmandu chapter of the Tibetan Youth Congress, the largest pro-independence group in exile.
Tibetans in Nepal, who themselves are facing growing restrictions in the Himalayan kingdom, courtesy China’s backhand influence, lit candles and chanted prayers for the seven Tibetans who torched their bodies protesting Chinese rule over Tibet.
Braving arrests, the gathered Tibetans formed the slogan – ‘Save Tibetan Lives’ – with their candles.
Speaking to Phayul, Tsewang Dolma, president of the regional chapter of TYC said that the self-immolations in Tibet were “clear political acts directed at the Chinese government”.
“These are young Tibetans in the prime of their lives, making the strongest possible political statement demanding freedom for Tibet. We will never stop our activities unless situation in Tibet improves,” Dolma said.
Following the string of self-immolations by Tibetan in eastern Tibet, the Tibetan exile administration and Tibetan NGOs along with support groups have announced mass public campaigns with global outreach.
However, Dolma pointed out that “not much has been done by the international community”.
“So far, governments and international organisation like the UN have remained silent spectators despite the suffering and desperation of the Tibetan people in Tibet,” Dolma said.
“We strongly appeal to the United Nations and governments around the world to intervene and put pressure on the Chinese government to immediately withdraw its troops from Kirti Monastery.”