December 12, 2005
DHARAMSHALA: Tibetans living in exile in India celebrated the 16th anniversary of conferment of Nobel peace Prize to the Dalai Lama on Saturday.
A large number of Tibetans including ministers of the Government in exile gathered at the Namgyal monastery in Dharmashala where school children sang songs of joy while others danced to the tune of drumbeats.
"Ever since we came into exile in 1959, under his leadership, the Tibetan refugees have been able to establish a functioning, cohesive, and democratic community. This is because of the immense effort made by his holiness the Dalai Lama," said Thubten Samphel, the spokesman of the Tibetan Government in exile.
The Dalai Lama runs a government-in-exile in the hill station of Dharamsala. The 70-year old Buddhist spiritual leader had fled to India after a failed uprising by Tibetans in 1959, nine years after China's People's Liberation Army marched into Tibet to establish communist rule.
The Dalai Lama has renounced the goal of an independent Tibet. While, China had been accusing the Dalai Lama with continuing to spark separatist efforts for the 2.7 million Tibetans and refuses to allow him back inside its borders.
Beijing, which imposed Communist rule on Tibet after its troops entered in 1950, established direct contacts with the Dalai Lama in 1979 and allowed him to send representatives on four fact-finding missions, the last of which was in 1985.
But it suspended official dialogue, mostly through the Chinese embassy in New Delhi, in 1993 and maintained only sporadic and unofficial contacts until 2003.
The Dalai Lama has said that China lacked the political will to address the issue of Tibet "sensibly" and "pragmatically". Beijing, however, has refused to grant Tibet autonomy on the pattern of Hong Kong and Macau.
Source: New Ind Press