Tibet’s unique culture in peril, says PM-in-exile

October 19th, 2011 - 4:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Dharamsala, Oct 19 (IANS) Tibet’s unique culture and religion are in peril in its very homeland, Tibetan Prime Minister-in-exile Lobsang Sangay said here Wednesday, and asked China to resolve the issues there through dialogue.

“For over last 60 years, since Communist China’s occupation of Tibet, the Tibetan people have been undergoing untold suffering,” Sangay said in a statement during a special prayer service held here to express solidarity with the people of Tibet.

“In reality, China practises colonialism and systematic destruction of the unique Tibetan culture, religion, language and environment, because of which Tibetans have demonstrated peacefully time and again,” he said.

“The situation has turned critical as a result of these repressive measures since March this year as many people were either detained or arrested or imprisoned. To date, nine young Tibetans have self-immolated,” he said.

For the senior fellow of Harvard Law School, who has never visited his ancestral land, resolving the issue through dialogue constitutes peaceful means.

“We would like to appeal to the Chinese government to immediately stop its repressive policies in Tibet and would like to appeal to the United Nations to send fact-finding delegations to Tibet,” he said.

Meanwhile, thousands of Tibetans Wednesday participated in prayers here and other parts of the country to express solidarity with the people of Tibet.

“His Holiness the Dalai Lama and a large number of monks and nuns participated in a morning-prayer session in Dharamsala for all those who have self-immolated in Tibet,” Thubten Samphel, a spokesperson for the government-in-exile, said.

The Dalai Lama along with many of his supporters fled Tibet and took refuge in India when Chinese troops moved in and took control of Lhasa in 1959.

He then headed a Tibetan government-in-exile which never won recognition from any country.

India is home to around 100,000 Tibetans.

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