Dharamshala: - Tibetan community in exile on August 15 celebrated the 67th Independence Day of India with various programmes. The Indian national flag was hoisted in front of Kashag House during a function organised by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) in Dharamshala and a number of special events were held by Tibetans in exile to mark the occasion.
Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, the political leader of the Tibetan people greeted the people of India on their 67th independence day and praised the government of India and its people for their support and hospitality toward Tibetan people.
"We would like to once again convey our heartfelt gratitude to the government and people of India for their hospitality and kindness extended to the Tibetan people and our spiritual and most revered leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama," Sikyong Dr Sangay said in his greetings at the special function held by the CTA.
"Having grown up in a Tibetan school, where we recite Jana Gana Mana every year and hoisting the Indian national flag, makes us proud. The country and people of India generously hosted us and we Tibetans have been law-abiding residents of India. We want to once again say, Thank you India," he said.
"India is shining example for the rest of the world. It is not only the largest democracy, but also representative of unity in diversity in true sense of the word, which Tibetans emulate and take it as a very good role model," Sikyong said.
A public celebration to mark the occasion was also held at the Main Square in McLeod Ganj hill town, by four Tibetan NGOs- the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress, Regional Tibetan Women's Association, Students for a Free Tibet and Tibetan Centre for Conflict Resolution.
"The story of Indian Freedom struggle has always inspired young Tibetan refugees born and brought up in India and have never seen Tibet. A whole generation of exile Tibetans have grown up seeking inspiration from the history of Indian freedom struggle" said youth Leader Tselha, Grassroots coordinator of Students for a Free Tibet.
"Celebrating Indian Independence Day is like preparing ourself to celebarte Tibetan Independence Day said Tenzin Dolker, Vice-President of Regional Tibetan Women's Association. "It's always exciting celebrate Indian Independence Day" she added.
"As we celebrate 15 August we remember the sacrifice of Indian Independence movement, and also be proud that human spirit to fight oppression lives today. Tibetans in Tibet are living example of such courage under fire. In face of Chinese brutality and inhuman oppression more than 120 Tibetans have self-immolated" said Karma Lekshey Director Tibetan Centre for Conflict Resolution.
"Bhagat is my hero, the firebrand fighter was a socialist and he is remembered not only for his martyrdom but more for his grassroots activism where he prepared ground for revolution in India with his public awareness and education movement" said Tenzin Tsundue of Regional Tibetan youth Congress. "But for us Gandhi's marg dharshan is the path of truth and the courageous follow it in our Nonviolent freedom struggle led by His Holiness the Dalai Lama" Tsundue added.
later in the day, Health Kalon Dr Tsering Wangchuk, Mr Tashi Phuntsok, secretary for Information and International Relations and Mr Sonam Dorjee, Tibetan Settlement Officer, attended the independence day another function organised by the local Indian administration. The artists of the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts performed lion dance at the function.