Prayers, peaceful marches Monday for Tibet
From prayers to peaceful marches to appeals to the United Nations (UN), a number of events have been lined up by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) Monday to express solidarity with the self-immolators in Tibet, an official said here Saturday.
The CTA, the democratically elected government of Tibetans based in Dharamsala, has urged Tibetans living in exile and their sympathisers worldwide to garner support for international intervention in the ongoing crisis in Tibet.
"A special prayer service will be held in the morning of Dec 10 at the hilltop Tsuglagkhang temple in Dharamsala," CTA spokesperson Lobsang Choedak told IANS.
He said Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama and democratically elected leader Lobsang Sangay, would preside over functions in Mundgod in Karnataka, another Tibetan settlement Dec 10, observed as World Human Rights Day.
Ninety-two people have reportedly killed themselves since March 2011 in a string of self-immolations in Tibet to press for the return of the Dalai Lama and the restoration of freedom to Tibet, claims the CTA.
To apprise the international community about the tense situation prevailing in Tibet, the second leg of the "Flame of Truth" global torch relay is currently touring North America, Europe, Southeast Asia, Africa and Australia.
CTA officials said after passing through more than 30 countries, the torch relay would culminate Monday at three UN locations: Geneva, New Delhi and the US.
"The torch relay would end with the submission of appeal letters and signatures simultaneously to the UN to send an independent international fact-finding delegation to Tibet," an official said.
Meanwhile, 374,690 people have joined the solidarity with Tibet online campaign (www.solidaritywithtibet.org) launched by Sangay here Wednesday.
A video on self-immolations has also been viewed by over 10,000 people within two days of its launch, a CTA statement said.
The six-minute video explains the reasons behind the ongoing wave of fiery protests.
Concerned over self-immolations, the US urged China Dec 6 to address its policies that are pushing Tibetans to immolate themselves.
It also asked China to engage in a dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives without preconditions.
"The US is deeply concerned and saddened by the continuing violence in Tibetan areas of China and the increasing frequency of self-immolations by Tibetans," special coordinator for Tibetan issues Maria Otero said.
Meanwhile, a sombre mood is prevailing over the entire locality of Dharamsala's suburb of McLeodganj over self-immolations.
Streets are lined with banners and posters depicting photographs of those who have sacrificed their lives in Tibet.
The Dalai Lama has lived in India since fleeing his homeland in 1959.