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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

CTA to Mark Centenary of The Thirteenth Dalai Lama's Exile to India

February 10, 2010

Central Tibetan Administration (CTA)
February 9, 2010

Dharamshala -- The Central Tibetan Administration
will organise a function on 25 February 2010 to
commemorate the centenary of The Thirteenth Dalai
Lama's exile to India, the Kashag Secretariat said in an announcement Monday.

Kalon Tripa Prof Samdhong Rinpoche and the
speaker of the Tibetan Parliament, Mr Penpa
Tsering, will address the ceremony at
Tsuglagkhang, the main Buddhist temple in
Dharamsala. Later in the afternoon, Kalon Tripa
will speak on the accomplishments of The
Thirteenth Dalai Lama to an exclusive audience of
officials of the Central Tibetan Administration.

The Thirteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet, Thupten
Gyatso, took refuge in India from 1910 -- 1911
following the Chinese invasion of Tibet led by General Chao Er-feng.

The Thirteenth Dalai Lama was born in the year of
the Fire Bird in 1876 at Thakpo Langdun in south
Tibet to Kunga Rinchen and Lobsang Dolma, a peasant couple.

In 1878, he was recognized as the reincarnation
of the Dalai Lama following predictions from the
state oracles and auspicious signs at his birth.
He was escorted to Lhasa where he was ordained
into monkhood by the Panchen Lama, Tenpai
Wangchuk, and was given the name Ngawang Lobsang
Thupten Gyatso Jigdral Chokley Namgyal. In 1879,
the Thirteenth Dalai Lama was enthroned at the Potala Palace.

On 8 August 1895, he assumed political power and
was thrown into the thick of the Great Game
played out by Czarist Russia and British India on
the fringes of their sprawling empires. He went
through the British invasion of Tibet in 1904 and
the Chinese invasion of his country in 1909 and
survived both experiences, with his authority enormously enhanced.

When the news spread in 1909 that Chao Er-feng, a
Chinese General, was at the gate of Lhasa, the
Dalai Lama and some of the most important
officials fled Lhasa and headed to India. The
group crossed Dromo and negotiated the Jelep-la
pass, which separates Tibet from Sikkim.

In 1911, the Manchu Dynasty was overthrown and
the Tibetans took this opportunity to expel the
remnant Manchu forces from Tibet. The Dalai Lama
returned to Tibet and went on to exercise a
political authority not seen since the reign of
the Fifth Dalai Lama. Besides attempting to
modernise Tibet, the Dalai Lama also tried to
eliminate some of the more oppressive features of
the Tibetan monastic system. While in exile in
India, the Dalai Lama was fascinated with the
modern world and he introduced the first
currencies and coins of Tibet. In 1913, he
established the first post office in Tibet and he
also sent four young Tibetans to England to study
engineering. On 8 January 1913 he made the public
statement of the five points of Tibetan
Independence and he composed the present day Tibetan National Anthem.

In 1914, he strengthened the Tibetan military
force by organising special training for the
Tibetan army. In 1916, he selected several young
and intelligent monks from various monasteries to
preserve the unique Tibetan medical tradition and
he established the Tibetan Medical Institute
which is well know today as Men-Tse Khang. In
1923, he established a police headquarters in
Lhasa for the security and welfare of the Tibetan
people and in the same year, he also established
the first English school in Gyaltse. He died in 1933 at the age of fifty-eight.
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