The Tibetan Women's Association (TWA) on Saturday commemorated the 32nd re-establishment anniversary in-exile since its loss of independence in 1959.
In the beginning of the event at Club House, McLeod Ganj on 12 September 2016, they observed one minute silence to mourn the Tibetans who sacrificed their lives for Tibet. The Deputy speaker of Tibetan Parliament in-Exile, Acharya Yeshi Phungstok was the event as chief guest.
Other guests included Ms Rinchen Khando, former Kalon and adviser to the association, Mr Ajai Singh Mankotia, President of Indo-Tibetan Friendship Association and Mr Dawa Rinchen, Tibetan settlement officer.
Refreshing the history of Tibet, the event speakers also reminded the participants about the Tibetan women and their unwavering struggle for freedom in Tibet. The event was also attended by representatives of Tibetan non-governmental organisations, institutes and monasteries. Tibetan cultural song and dance were performed with artistes of the Thangtong Lugar.
"Tibetan Women's Association believes in unity of Tibetan women from all the three provinces of Tibet, Kham, Amdo and Utsand under banner of TWA and works towards gaining freedom for Tibet, under leadership of H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama," TWA said in press statement issued on September 10.
"While we are celebrating the 32nd year of re-establishment and our success during these, we look back to the great sacrifices made by those brave women who stood and fought against the ruthless Chinese armed forces during the first ever great uprising of Tibetan women on March 12, 1959," Ms Dolma Yangchen, TWA President said.
"Years rolled by but the memory of the sacrifices made by those brave and selfless women cannot be erased from our mind. As the true representatives of the Tibetan women inside and outside of Tibet, we, the Tibetan Women's Association will never give up our fight for the cause of Tibet and Tibetan people," she said in her statement.
Ven Phuntsok spoke about the evolution of the Tibetan women's movement, beginning from the 10th and 12th March 1959 uprising against the Chinese government in Tibet. He also heaped praises on the association for its rich service towards the preservation of Tibetan culture and particularly towards social causes since its inception in exile.
On this occasion, "we once again remind and appeal the world leaders and Tibet support groups all over the world to join hands together in support of issues related to Human Rights and Tibet's endangered environment.
The women's association urged the international community to pressure on China to re-start the dialogue with the Central Tibetan Administration in exile as per the Middle Way approach by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
TWA also demands the Chinese government to release all the Tibetan political prisoners unconditionally, urging UNCED to exert pressure on China to release the 11th Panchen Lama who has been Chinese captivity for over 21 long years. Finally they called on UN and other world leaders to take immediate action to stop China from demolishing Tibet's biggest Buddhist Institute Larung Gar at Serthar County, eastern Tibet.
On this day – known as Women’s Uprising Day – thousands of Tibetan women in Lhasa gathered together to protest against the illegal occupation of Tibet by Communist China. Protesting peacefully outside the Potala Palace, hundreds of these women suffered brutally at the hands of the Chinese troops. They were arrested, imprisoned, tortured and beaten without trial.
Today, the TWA has over 16,000 members and 57 branches worldwide including branches in: India, Nepal, Europe, Japan, Australia, Switzerland, the United States of America and Canada. TWA is the largest women’s group in the Tibetan community, was originally founded on 12 March 1959 in Tibet.