DHARAMSHALA, January 26: In his first official statement on the recent killings of Tibetans in Tibet, Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay urged Tibetans and Tibet supporters all over the world to take part in a global vigil on Wednesday, February 8.
“To demonstrate our solidarity with Tibetans in Tibet, I urge Tibetans and our friends around the world, to participate in a worldwide vigil on Wednesday, February 8, 2012,” Kalon Tripa said.
“Let’s send a loud and clear message to the Chinese government that violence and killing of innocent Tibetans is unacceptable!”
In two separate incidents, earlier this week, hundreds of Tibetans took out demonstrations calling for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and demanding freedom in Tibet.
Protests in Drango county, flared up on Monday after local Chinese Public Security Bureau officials arbitrarily arrested Tibetans on suspicion of their involvement in the appearance of leaflets and posters around the town following the wave of self-immolations in the region. The posters had warned of more Tibetan self-immolations if the Chinese government did not listen to Tibetan concerns.
Eyewitnesses in the region have confirmed the death of six Tibetans in police firings.
A day later, at least five Tibetans suffered fatal bullet injuries in police firings in Serthar, where over 600 Chinese security personnel brutally suppressed a peaceful demonstration by Tibetans calling for Tibet’s independence.
Referring to the recent police firings, Dr Sangay noted that China’s “gruesome acts” and “systematic repression of Tibetans” has led to the growth of “resentment and anger” amongst Tibetans against the Chinese government since the massive uprising of 2008.”
“Basic human rights are being denied to Tibetans, the fragile environment is being destroyed, Tibetan language and culture is being assimilated, portraits of His Holiness the Dalai Lama are banned, and Tibetans are being economically marginalised,” the de facto Tibetan Prime Minister said.
“Tibet is in virtual lockdown. Foreigners have been barred from travelling to Tibet now and the entire region is essentially under undeclared martial law.”
Addressing Tibetans in Tibet, Dr Sangay promised that their sacrifices will not go in vain.
“We hear your cries loud and clear. We urge you not to despair and refrain from extreme measures. We feel your pain and will not allow the sacrifices you have made go in vain. You all are in our heart and prayers each and every day,” Dr Sangay said.
While appealing to the international community to show solidarity and raise their voices in support of the fundamental rights of the Tibetan people at this “critical time,” Dr Sangay reminded the Beijing government that violence will never address the genuine grievances of Tibetans and restore stability in Tibet.
“The only way to resolve the Tibet issue and bring about lasting peace is by respecting the rights of the Tibetan people and through dialogue,” Dr Sangay said. “As someone deeply committed to peaceful dialogue, the use of violence against Tibetans is unacceptable and must be strongly condemned by all people in China and around the world”.
In his statement, Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay also urged Tibetans to forego celebrations during the coming Tibetan New Year, calling for only the basic customary religious rituals to be observed.
Since March 2011, 16 Tibetans have set their bodies on fire demanding the return of the Dalai Lama from exile and protesting China’s continued occupation of Tibet.