DHARAMSHALA: The official function to commemorate the 59th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day was held at Tsuglagkhang today. Over a thousand Tibetans and Tibet supporters attended the function.
The chief guest at the commemoration was Shri George Baker, a member of the Indian Parliament from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Other dignitaries at the commemoration include CTA President Dr Lobsang Sangay, Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel and Chief Justice Commissioner Kargyu Dhondup along with senior officials and staff of the Central Tibetan Administration.
In his address, CTA president made an impassioned plea to Tibetans across the world to maintain the sacred bond of unity among Tibetans, and explained that the unity of the Tibetan people is of paramount importance for the success of the Tibetan movement.
Dr Sangay likened the warped sense of loyalty to regions and provinces as an addictive drug which later turns into poison, becoming harmful for the self as well as others and the community in general. He recalled a series of advices that His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other Tibetan spiritual leaders made in recent times highlighting the importance of Tibetan unity and expressed that the Kashag will always prioritise unity of Tibetans based on its three guiding principles of Unity, Innovation and Self-reliance.
Speaking about internal threats and external foes, President Dr Sangay identified internal threats – such as divisiveness based on loyalty to regions – as more dangerous because of the subtle nature of these threats. “These threats sometimes come from public figures which makes it even more difficult to identify where as our our external foe is common knowledge i.e China, Dolgyal followers, etc,” he said.
Emphasising the oneness of Tibet and the Tibetan people, President Dr Sangay declared: “We are not Lhasawa, we are not Amdo, we are not Khampa nor are we U Tsangwa, We are all Tibetans and we are all one.”
“We have one country. We have one leader. We have one common cause. We have one national flag. We celebrate one Losar, we have one national uprising day, we have one national anthem and we have one Central Tibetan Administration. When we laugh, we laugh together. When we are sad, we are sad together. Therefore, we should be united,” he added.
He further urged Tibetan parents abroad to pass the rich culture of Tibetan language, traditions, morality and ethics to the younger generation instead of their affiliation to regions, provinces or religious schools. He explained that our unity is the source of our ultimate strength whereas our internal strife is a cause of concern for our friends and a source of joy for our common adversary.
Shri George Baker, the chief guest, lauded the purity of the Tibetan people and their non violent efforts to achieve the just cause of Tibet. He said the non-violent Tibetan movement is a symbol of humanity and that it augurs well for the future of humanity in general. He urged the world to support the Tibetan people in their efforts to keep their identity, culture, traditions and religion alive.
He also highlighted the significance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the messages that he espouses for the world in times of conflicts. He expressed his reservations about the recent development in China where the country removed the two-term limit for its president making way for President Xi Jinping to serve indefinitely, calling it the emergence of a new monarch. He said it is a backward step for not just for China, but also for democracy and humanity.
He further expressed China’s current strategy of encircling India with strategic naval posts (string of pearls) in India’s neighborhood as similar to the steps that China have taken before occupying Tibet in the 1950s.
The function concluded with a prayer for peace (Dentsig Monlam) led by artistes of the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA).