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12march2010121Dharamshala: On this historically significant day Tibetan women across the globe gathered in observance of the 51st anniversary of the National Tibetan Women's Uprising Day in Tibet. The chronicling of 51 years of struggle of Tibetan women elucidates the consistent efforts, perseverance, and selfless dedication that characterize the integral role Tibetan women have played in the Tibetan freedom struggle.

At this morning's commemoration ceremony, the Chief guest Mrs Gyari Dolma (deputy speaker of Tibetan Parliament in exile) reiterated that 'over the last fifty one years, Tibetan women have displayed courage in the face of the Chinese government's illegal occupation of Tibet and heroism in exposing the numerous atrocities dispensed by the Chinese government's repressive policies on Tibetan people'. The guest of honor Ms. Zhu Rui (acclaimed female Chinese scholar and activist) said that 'friendship and good bilateral ties between the Chinese and Tibetan people is the need of the hour and is immensely imperative.'

In the recent spate of events unfolding inside of China, the expressions of resentment among the Chinese intellectuals over the critical state of affairs is palpable. The Chinese people continue to bear the repercussions of the repressive communist regime devoid of a democratic framework for governance. There is absolute lack of a fair judicial system and lack of freedom of expression inside China. This has marred the image of China and has adversely affected the international standing of China. Likewise, the disastrous policies adopted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) contradict and demean the very idioms of 'Unity, Strength and Power' that stand tall in the deliberations and articulations of the Chinese leaders.

TWA laments that though the ninth round of talks between Tibet and China was held recently in Beijing but it did not produce any tangible result. Instead of accepting His Holiness the Dalai Lama's deepest concern for the predicament of the Tibetans inside of Tibet and His vision for a mutually beneficial solution that sees the interests of both China and Tibet, the Chinese government bolstered its blame game and showed no tenet in solving the long standing injustices inflicted on Tibetan people for the last 51 years. We now call on the Chinese government to come to terms with the discernible fact that the need to resolve the Tibet issue does not only stand to benefit Tibet but that it warrants the Chinese leadership as well.

Today, Tibet is in shackles with the human rights crises, the climate crises and the cultural and religious crises. Tibet's environment is in the face of unprecedented destruction. The forcible eviction of Tibetan nomads from Tibet's grasslands, water pollution, damming of Tibet's rivers and extensive mining in Tibet has perpetrated the critical condition of Tibet's fragile environment. Since 2008, Tibetans inside of Tibet continue to bear the brunt of the Chinese government's brutal clampdown that is further steeped up after the unyielding peaceful uprisings in Tibet. Thousands of Tibetan political prisoners are languishing in the Chinese prisons in Tibet and are faced with exacting interrogation and torture and are given lengthy prison sentences. Female political prisoner Norzin Wangmo (30) is facing sentence for making a phone call to exile India during the 2008 uprisings and nun Sangye Lhamo (26) is imprisoned for distributing pamphlets and calling for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Such abomination is an affront to international justice. But the excessive use of violent stratagem has not deterred the fervor and fortitude of Tibetan people and even today undaunted Tibetan women writers like Woeser and Jamyang Kyi continue to wield their pen and their articles and expositions stands as a testimony to the literary prowess and indomitable spirit of Tibetan women.

TWA president Kirti Dolkar Lhamo (also a Member of Parliament), said that (TWA) is announcing two new programs. The first is the 'TWA Fellowship for Women for specialized studies' that is committed to continue the audacious initiative of educating a new generation of Tibetan Women, This project is inspired by His Holiness the Dalai Lama's advice to TWA to cater to educated, professional and empowered Tibetan women for a strong and refined Tibetan populace for the future of Tibet. The program will help fund and educate these women and supply them with the right impetus to "stand strong" and "heads-up" for present and future Tibet. The second is the creation of the 'Women's Environment Desk' that is committed to disseminating timely and useful information that highlights to the international community the critical issue of climate crises in Tibet and engaging in proactive measures and campaigns to combat the Chinese environmental policies that exacerbates the conditions for Tibetans and Tibet's ecosystems.

Despite 51 years of oppression and tyrannical rule of the Chinese Communist Party, the defiance and altruistic struggle of the Tibetan people inside of Tibet stands phenomenal and unparalleled. The unambiguous display of heroism, utmost courage and valor of our Tibetan brothers and sisters has instilled a strong feeling of courage, solidarity and resolute conviction in the exile Tibetans. With this strengthening of our spirit, we pledge to step up our consistent and unwavering efforts and work tirelessly to follow the advice of our reverend leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama and to fulfill his expectations of us. We also sent our urgent and earnest request to all the Tibetans across the globe to heed to the aspirations of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and to achieve accomplishments in His hope and vision for Tibet.

The central TWA and its 49 chapters have for the last 26 years had a steadfast presence and a commendable role in taking our struggle to greater heights. The upsurge of TWA is evident with the establishment of three new Regional TWA chapters this year, at Vermont (U.S.A), Taipei (Taiwan), and Copenhagen (Denmark), and we pledge to better our initiatives and further our substantive effort towards finding a practicable solution for the future of Tibet.

On the occasion of the 51st commemoration of the Women's uprising day, 51 Tibetan women (including women leaders and parliamentarians) took a pledge for Tibet and the entire process has been filmed and will be screened at International women's conferences.

The sublime spirit and struggle of the Tibetans inside of Tibet, the ardent advocacy and action in exile, the envisioning and effective leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the reinforcing international support for Tibet and our resolute holding of the mantle of truth will eventually triumph.

The Tibetan Women's Association (TWA) has 52 regional chapters and over 15, 000 members outside Tibet. Today, TWA is the second largest Tibetan NGO and the only women's NGO in exile that advocates human rights for Tibetan women in Tibet and works to empower Tibetan women in exile, in particular new refugee women from Tibet.

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