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"I Love Tibet" Losar postcards for President Obama

February 14, 2010

By Phurbu Thinley
February 13, 2010

Dharamsala, Feb 13 -- Tibetan exiles plan to
begin Losar (New Year) by sending "I Love Tibet"
postcards to US President Barack Obama as a
welcome gesture for his decision to meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet.

The Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA), one of the
largest NGOs in the exile Tibetan community, has
initiated a "Wish Obama this Losar" campaign
under which the organization will on the first
day of Losar set up a signing booth at the
Tsuglagkhang (Main Tibetan Temple) courtyard here
to collect some 700 signatures on its "I Love Tibet" postcards.

These signed postcards will then be posted via
priority mail to President Obama on the same day
to reach the White House within the first week of
his "historic meeting" with the Tibetan leader.

The organization hopes such an initiative could
make a "difference to the Tibetan Freedom
Struggle" that it says is facing its "critical juncture."

Despite vehement protests from Chinese Communist
Government, the White House announced on Thursday
that President Barack Obama and the Dalai Lama would meet on Feb. 18.

"The Tibetans inside and outside of Tibet revere
this pivotal meeting of the two Iconic figures as
a potent milestone towards achieving global
peace," TWA said in a statement released here yesterday.

"We couldn’t have vied for a better way to begin the year with."

"The postcard conveys the message of the Tibetan
people’s longing for freedom inside Tibet and
urges the US President to hold the mantle of
mentorship in resolving the long-standing
injustices inflicted on the Tibetan people for
the last 51 years," the statement said.

TWA will also distribute "white arm bands" to
wear around the arms as an expression of
solidarity towards fellow Tibetans inside Tibet
and for their relentless spirit in their peaceful freedom struggle.

Tibetan around the world will begin Losar (Iron
Tiger Year 2137) celebration on Sunday. For the
second consecutive year Tibetans have decided to
limit the celebrations largely to spiritual
activities to pay heed to calls from inside Tibet
to forgo celebrations to highlight the
aspirations of the Tibetan people and the ongoing
repressions under Chinese rule.

Last year Tibetans in Tibet and exile in unison
had skipped New Year celebrations and festivities
to mourn those killed in the Chinese government’s
crackdown on Tibetans following the March 2008
Uprising against Chinese rule in Tibet.

Reports have emerged from Tibet of Tibetans in
various parts of Tibet to once again forgo all
festivities to mourn those killed and to pay
their respects and solidarity for those imprisoned.

The Chinese authorities are said to be
deliberately encouraging Tibetans to celebrate
the New Year with pomp and festivity in Tibet, in
some cases even agreeing to incur all expenses for celebrations.

Tibetan Government-in-Exile has also issued a
circular to its officials and staff that there
would be only customary religious ceremonies and
no celebrations to mark the losar. The decision
has been made taking into consideration the
"continuing repression in Tibet and the suffering
of the Tibetan people inside Tibet."

On the other hand, organizations like Students
for Free Tibet are asking Tibetans and supporters
to observe Losar by raising the Tibetan National Flag.

The organization yesterday announced its new
campaign ‘Raise Our Flag’ by distributing 500 Tibetan national flags.

"The National Flag is a symbol of freedom and
resistance. Hundreds of national flags were
defiantly flown throughout Tibet in the 2008
uprising to amplify the people’s call for
freedom. The flag unifies all the Tibetans in our
desire to help bring change on the ground inside
Tibet." Tenzin Choeying, National Director of
Students for a Free Tibet, India, said.
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