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sikyong-addressing-prayer-gathering-july-24-2013Dharamshala: - Exile Tibetan community in Dharamshala held a prayer service on July 24 to express solidarity with the Tibetans who sacrificed their lives for the just cause of Tibet and Tibetan people.

The traditional prayer service was organised by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) for all 120 Tibetan self-immolators, especially Konchok Sonam, a 18-year old young Tibetan monk, who publically shouted 'freedom for Tibetans,' while setting himself ablaze on July 20, 2013 in protest against Chinese repressive rule in Tibet.

Former Tibetan minister, Kirti Rinpoche, head of Kirti Monastery, presided over the prayer service, was attended by the general public and the top officials and staff of the CTA.

Addressing the prayer gathering at the main temple, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay has expressed his deep solidarity with the Tibetans in Tibet and specially who have self-immolated themselves in protest against the government's hardline and repressive policies in Tibet, threatens to destroy the unique Tibetan culture and way of life.

"We offer our deep condolences and prayers to the family members of Kunchok Sonam, an 18-year-old monk from Zoege in northeastern Tibet's Ngaba region, who died after setting himself on fire to protest against the Chinese rule last Saturday," said Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay, the democratically-elected Tibetan political leader.

"The situation in Tibet remains grim in view of the continuing self-immolations by Tibetans, the Sikyong said, adding, "22 self-immolations have taken place in this year alone." He urged the Chinese leadership to address the genuine grievances of the Tibetan people.

Despite repeated appeals by the Central Tibetan Administration to refrain from drastic actions, 22 Tibetans set themselves on fire in 2013 alone.

According to the sources, "the Tibetan monk shouted slogans- calling "freedom for Tibetans" as he sets himself on fire in protest against China's rule over Tibet.

prayer-service-july-24-2013-0Before carrying out his self-immolation protest, Sonam also left a message calling the international community's help, "life is greatly suffering under the very harsh and repressive Chinese rule. Taking as a full-fledged witness to the international community by offering my life for others that the Tibetans inside Tibet are continuously suffering the under other's rule" (the Chinese government's repressive rule).

The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile in a statement reiterated that the Chinese government's continued occupation of Tibet and its hardline policies to annihilate Tibetan nationality, their culture, religion and language are the root causes behind the self-immolations.

The Parliament has strongly condemned the Chinese government's intransigence in resorting to blame game rather than investigate the reasons behind the self-immolations. "The death and harsh prison sentences meted to Tibetans on false charges will not solve the problem of Tibet," said in the statement issued on Monday, July 22, 2013, calling on the Chinese leadership to carry out thorough probe into the real causes behind the self-immolation incidents.

It also reiterated its appeal to the United Nations and governments to send fact-finding missions to the Tibetan areas to assess the prevailing situation. It also called on the 47 member states of the UN Human Rights Council to hold an emergency meeting on the crisis in Tibet.

Since 2009, at least 120 Tibetans have self-immolated reportedly to protest Chinese hardline and repressive rule in Tibet and of them 103 were reportedly passed-away from their severe burn injuries.

Tibetan self-immolators have called for the return of the spiritual leader of Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama to his homeland and freedom for Tibetans inside Tibet.

UN High Human Rights Commissioner, Ms Navi Pillay, earlier this month reiterated her strong concern over the grim situation in Tibet. "I have issued public statements, asking China not to treat this as a security matter but to look into the root causes of the suffering of the Tibetans and why they are seem to be driven to such extreme measures of protests such as self-immolation".

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