Dharamsala Observes its annual prayer session in remembrance of those Tibetans who died during martial law in Tibet
Dharamsala, 8 March: A prayer congregation was held on Monday at Tsug-la-Khang (the main cathedral) by the Department of Religion and Culture to mark the 14th anniversary of the imposition of martial law in Tibet on this day in 1989. Those assembled were monks and nuns, officials of the Central Tibetan Administration, local Tibetans, and foreigners. In all, more than 3,000 people attended today’s congregation. Prayers were offered for the speedy rebirth of the great many lives that have been lost during the reign of martial law and the early release of those still languishing behind bars.
On 21 Sep. 1987, His Holiness the Dalai Lama announced the Five Point Peace Plan to resolve the issue of Tibet in an address to the US Congressional Human Rights Caucus. A series of demonstrations took place in Lhasa. These demonstrations were spearheaded by the monks of Drepung and Sera monasteries and later joined by lay Tibetans. The Chinese government’s brutal clampdown on the protesters resulted in a temporary lull in the situation. When demonstrations took place once again between March 5 and 7, 1989, China declared martial law in Lhasa at midnight on March 7, 1989, which remained in effect until May 1, 1990.