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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Tibetans to mark traditional New Year with symbolic protests

February 9, 2010

Tibetan Review
February 7, 2010

Tibetans are marking their traditional New Year,
Losar, which falls on Feb 14 this time, with
symbolic protests and other forms of campaign
actions designed to highlight the repression in
their country under Chinese occupation rule.

Reports suggest that in many parts of Tibet,
including areas incorporated into Qinghai, Gansu,
Yunnan and Sichuan provinces, people are
boycotting celebrations altogether. For many of
them, the immediate purpose is to continue
mourning for the fellow Tibetans killed, arrested
or otherwise unaccounted for after the brutal
Chinese crackdown on the Tibetan protests of Mar-Apr’08 and thereafter.

For the same reason, Tibetans in exile are
restricting themselves to observing the customary
religious ceremonies, avoiding festivities,
parties and bursting of firecrackers in
compliance with a call given Jan 4 by their exile
government at Dharamsala. The exile government
said it was issuing the call in view of the
continuing repression in Tibet and the suffering of the Tibetan people there.

Students for a Free Tibet, headquartered in New
York, is observing the occasion somewhat
differently, with an "I am a Tibetan” campaign.
Calling Losar "a time for change, hope, and
renewal," and "because we are Tibetan," the group
said its Tibetan members and supporters "will
speak Tibetan language, wear Tibetan dress, and
observe Tibetan customs, thus strengthening our identity and our spirit."

And it has asked Tibetans and supporters around
the world to light butter lamps and candles on
their altars and windows on Feb14 to "honor the
courage of the Tibetan people in Tibet who
continue to resist the Chinese government's
illegal occupation of their homeland."

As happened last year, China is expected to
persuade through offering of gifts or otherwise
coerce Tibetans to mark Losar with overt shows of
traditional pomp and ceremony, ensuring that
these are then widely publicized through the official media.
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