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The Dalai Lama to join mass prayer gathering for self-immolating Tibetans

October 23, 2011

Phayul[Tuesday, October 18, 2011 20:30]

DHARAMSHALA, October 18: Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama will be joining a mass prayer gathering tomorrow at Tsug-la Khang in the exile seat of Dharamshala.

The day-long prayer session and hunger fast is being organised by the Kashag (cabinet) to “express solidarity with all those who lost their lives and with all other Tibetans who are incarcerated for their courage to speak up for the rights of the Tibetan people”.

Gyalwang Karmapa and Kirti Rinpoche, along with the entire staff of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) will be taking part in the prayer session.

Since March this year, nine Tibetans have self-immolated in Tibet, protesting China’s continued occupation of Tibet and demanding the return of the Dalai Lama from exile.

Lobsang Phuntsok (20), Tsewang Norbu (29), Khaying (18), Choephel (19), and Tenzin Wangmo (20) have all succumbed to their injuries, while there is no information on the well being and whereabouts of Lobsang Kelsang (18), Lobsang Kunchok (19), Kelsang Wangchuk (17), and Norbu Damdul (19).

Announcing the jointly planned activities in India and the world-at-large with the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay last week called upon “all Tibetans and Tibet supporters in the free world to join efforts and organise activities in their respective regions”.

“We appeal to the United Nations, freedom-loving countries and people around the world to show their support and solidarity with the Tibetan people at this critical stage,” Dr Sangay said.

“Given the undeclared martial law in Tibet and the increasing cases of self-immolation, the international community must press the government of People's Republic of China to restore freedom and resolve the issue of Tibet through dialogue … we urge the international community and the media to send fact-finding delegations to ascertain the situation on the ground inside Tibet.”
Nine young Tibetans have set fire to themselves in eastern Tibet since March 2011; seven since 26 September.  Five have died. These unprecedented and truly desperate acts are a cry to the outside world for help.
Seven of these self-immolations are linked to Kirti Monastery in Ngaba, one of the largest and most influential monastic institutions in Tibet.
China’s merciless and violent crackdown in Ngaba and throughout Tibet is intensifying Tibetan grievances and exacerbating the resentment and desperation felt across Tibet.
This growing tragedy, if left unchecked, could spiral even further into a nation-wide crisis, unless the world acts now.
The international community, both citizens and governments, must Stand Up for Tibet.  Global diplomatic intervention now will save Tibetan lives.

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