Dharamshala: - At around 6pm on November 28, the Tibetan exile community of Dharamshala, northern India, gathered for a peaceful candlelight vigil in McLeodganj to express solidarity with the dramatically increasing number of self-immolators in Tibet and to acknowledge the hunger strikes carried out between November 26 and November 28 in several cities across Tibet.
The vigil was organized by the regional chapter of the Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) and brought together both Tibetans and foreign visitors. Each participant held a candle with a message written on the holder, including 'Wake up UN' and 'Free Tibet'.
Schoolchildren from the Tibetan Day School also had a message to share, spelling out 'Save Tibet' with lighted candles in their school yard. As the participants chanted and walked through McLeodganj, more and more onlookers joined in.
The vigil ended at the Tibetan Day School, where a moment of silence was observed. Jangyang Jinpa, a relative of the most recent self-immolator, 18-year-old Sangye Tashi, then made a speech, followed by Tashi Lamsang, secretary of the regional chapter of TYC, who provided details about two other recent self-immolations.
Finally, a short film about the self-immolations was shown and Thup Ten, president of the regional TYC, explained the organization's plans to screen the film in cities across India, commencing on November 29 in Delhi.
The number of self-immolations carried out in Tibet since 2009 now stands in the high 80s.