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18may20103Daharamshala: The Mcleod Ganj bus stand formed the meeting point for hundreds of people taking part in a candle-light vigil on the 15th anniversary of the Panchen Lama's abduction by the People's Republic of China (PRC). Tibetan residents, monks and foreign tourists gathered at 6.30pm to start the procession which circled the centre of town before continuing to the Namgyal Monastery, then the main Tibetan temple of Dharamshala.

Once the procession reached the temple, participants placed their candles at the entrance and made their way to the centre to hear the various planned speakers. Lhakpa Tsering, the Culture secretary of the Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC), reminded the audience that the 11th Panchen Lama is the youngest political prisoner in the world. Tsering spoke of his disappointment at the small turn-out of 66 people who had participated in the morning protest. He encouraged listeners to take responsibility for this fight for freedom and not to depend solely on His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who turns 75 this year. He also urged parents to teach their children about current political activities, thus enabling them to continue with the Tibetan struggle for freedom.

Tenzin Yangzom Organiztional secretary of TYC then repeated this message in English for the benefit of the many foreigners in attendance.

Shortly after the final wave of people had gathered, a one minute silence was observed to remember the plight of the imprisoned Panchen Lama.

The evening's events were organized by the TYC, as part of a day-long campaign which included the morning protest and a petition signing.

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