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prayer-service-2013Dharamshala: - As a mark of respect and to show solidarity to all those Tibetans who died of self-immolation protests for the just cause of Tibet, a prayer service was held on Wednesday by the department of religion and culture of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) based in Dharamsala, India.

Hundreds of Tibetans and supporters including ministers of CTA cabinet, the Tibetan chief justice commissioners, members of the Tibetan parliament and staff members of CTA led by Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, the democratically elected Tibetan political leader of Tibet attended the prayer service at the the main temple (Thekchen Choeling Tsuglak-Khang) in Dharamshala.

Addressing the prayer service, Dr Lobsang Sangay appealed to all Tibetans to pay respect and homage to the two Tibetan self-immolators and show solidarity with their family members.

The prayer service which was aimed mainly to remember Chuktso who died after burning herself on 16 April and Phagmo Dhondup who self-immolated on 24 February and, died in Siling.

Dr Sangay praised Secretary of State John Kerry for raising Human Rights Violations in Tibet with the top Chinese officials, during their visits to China.

He also said an annual report on Human Rights was recently released by Secretary of State John Kerry, which reported severe repression and marked deterioration of human rights in Tibet.

China's poor human rights record and its hard-line policies in Tibet certainly cause for self-immolations and protests against Chinese government. He said this 'report clearly shows that 'Tibetan side has the truth.'

“The international community, including governments and parliaments, has consistently stated that the best solution of China to resolve the crisis in Tibet is through dialogue and adopting liberal policies on Tibet issue,” Sikyong said.

"Tomorrow, we observe the 24th birthday of 11th Panchen Lama, who has been missing for the past 18 years, Dr Sangay said. "When looking at Panchen Lama's situation, Tibetans in Tibet face this same situation. Because, there is no freedom of expression for religious and political activities."

"The 11th Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima's disappearance clearly indicates whole Tibet is under heavy restriction," said the Tibetan political leader. He appealed all Tibetans to offer prayer for the release of the Panchen Lama.

Since 2009 117 Tibetans self-immolated. 100 of them passed-away. These Tibetans burned themselves ablaze to protest against the Chinese government hard-line and repressive policies, and demand the His Holiness the Dalai Lama's return to Tibet and freedom for Tibetans.

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