Dharamshala: Marking the second anniversary of the 15th Kashag led by President Dr Lobsang Sangay, the Central Tibetan Administration today organised a prayer service at Tsuglagkhang to express solidarity with the sufferings of the Tibetan self-immolators and jailed Tibetan language advocate Tashi Wangchuk. The prayer service was led by Kathok Gertse Rinpoche, spiritual head of Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism.
Tashi Wangchuk, 32, a Tibetan shopkeeper from Kyekundo county in Kham Yulshul (Chinese: Yushu Prefecture) was detained on 27 January, 2016 for publicly advocating Tibetan language education in schools in Tibetan populated areas. Two months before his detention, Tashi Wangchuk appeared in a New York Times documentary in which he can be seen advocating for the rights of Tibetans to learn and study in their mother tongue.
On 22 May, China pronounced its verdict on the Tibetan linguistic rights’ advocate Tashi Wangchuk’s case and sentenced him to five years for “inciting separatism”. Tashi Wangchuk was tried earlier this year on January 4 at Yushu Intermediate People’s Court but the court adjourned without a verdict at that time.
“Tashi Wangchuk was advocating the language rights of the Tibetan people as per the provisions in the Chinese constitution and therefore his case highlights the lack of basic, fundamental rights for Tibetan people in Tibet,” President Dr Lobsang Sangay said, addressing the prayer gathering.
He condemned the verdict as gross injustice and said that many governments, parliaments and UN experts have called for the immediate release of Tashi Wangchuk and to protect the distinct religious, cultural, and linguistic identity of Tibetans.
The United Nations experts, Chair of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights, US State Government, International Information Tibet Group in the French senate, Latvian, many others have issued statements, denouncing Tashi Wangchuk’s imprisonment.
President Dr Sangay reiterated His Holiness’ recent statement on Middle Way Approach and reaffirmed Kashag’s unwavering commitment to the Middle Way Approach to resolve the Tibet issue.
He commented on the completion of Kashag’s second year, saying that it has successfully concluded with significant undertakings and projects. He added that detailed report will be released shortly.
He concluded by saying, “Therefore, through this prayer service, let’s pray for all the Tibetan self-immolators and political prisoners who have died as a result of Chinese brutality and those who continue to languish in Chinese prisons”.