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Tibetan activists appeal to forgo New Year celebration

Dharamsala, Thu, 17 Nov 2011 ANI

Dharamsala, Nov 17 (ANI): In order to pay tribute to those who laid down their lives for Tibet's freedom, the Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) has appealed to the Tibetans living in exile to forgo the celebrations on the occasion of Losar (Tibet's New Year).


The TYC has asked all the Tibetans living outside Tibet to support the movement to raise fund for the future of 'Free Tibet.' The money raised would be handed over to the Tibetan Government-in-Exile.


TYC General Secretary, Tenzin Chokey, said they have decided not to celebrate the Tibetan New Year in 2012 as a mark of honour to those who had sacrificed their lives for their country


"Tibetan Youth Congress has decided that we will forgo the forthcoming Losar or Tibetan New Year. and instead pool in all the money that is normally or usually incurred in expenses for Losar for new food, new clothes, in this special initiative fund that we want to create for when Tibet will be a free country," Chokey added.


" We are not going to celebrate Losar because of the self-immolation made by the Tibetan people inside Tibet. According to Tibetan traditions when somebody from your family is lost, that particular family doesn't celebrate Losar. Similarly these people have lost their lives for the independence of Tibet and we should respect their sacrifice. In that way we are not going to celebrate Tibetan Losar," said Pempa Tsering, TYC Organising Secretary.


The Dalai Lama and his followers had fled to India in 1959, nine years after China occupied Tibet.


China has ruled Tibet with an iron fist since Communist troops marched in 1950. It says its rule has bought much needed development to a poor and backward region. Despite all opposition by activists, Beijing considers Tibet as an integral part of its territory.


Many Tibetans demand complete independence from China, even though in recent years, the Dalai Lama has advocated for "limited autonomy". (ANI)


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