Tibetan exiles mark their New Year with protest, candlelight vigil

February 26th, 2009 - 4:26 pm ICT by ANI  

Varanasi, Feb 26 (ANI): Tibetans exiles here marked their New Year by staging protest and candlelight vigil a year after the region erupted in deadly riots and protests against Chinese rule.

Protesters held placards and Tibet flags as they marched along the bank of river Ganga to express solidarity towards the people who have lost their lives fighting for the country’s freedom.

“This year we don’t want to do anything exciting in this New Year. We want to celebrate this year as the mourning year. Several Tibetans have laid their lives for the Tibetan cause. Thus, we don’t have any right to celebrate New Year,” said Tenzin.

Holding candles, Tibetan exiles and monks chanted religious hymns thereby spreading the message of peace and harmony.

“We cannot tolerate the Chinese crackdown in Tibet. Thus through this candlelight march, we Tibetans in India and elsewhere want to give this message to Chinese authorities that we want to solve the issue with them peacefully and not through violence,” said Igwar Dhunuk.

Celebrations were low-key across Tibetan areas in India without the usual fireworks to protest what exiled leaders said was a continued Chinese crackdown in Tibet.

Many exiled Tibetans in India called their friends and families who are back in Tibet on Losar. A few complaining that calls were either disconnected or they were unable to get through to parts of western Sichuan and Qinghai.

Next month also marks the 50th anniversary of the exile of the Dalai Lama, following a failed insurrection against China. (ANI)

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