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lobsangsangayDharamshala: - Dr. Lobsang Sangay, elected political leader of the Tibetan government in exile, called for Tibetans around the world to forego Losar (Tibetan New Year) this year "to pay tribute to and pray for those brave men and women who sacrificed their lives for the just cause of Tibet. Dr. Sangay also strongly called on world community and governments to show their solidarity and to raise their voices in support of the 'fundamental rights of the Tibetan people at this critical time.'

The political leader Thursday urged Tibetetans in a message at Tibet Online TV to not celebrate Losar, except basic Tibetan customary religious rituals. "my fellow Tibetans, I request you not to celebrate Losar (Tibetan New Year), which falls on February 22 this year. However, please observe the basic customary religious rituals such as burning incense, going to temple and making traditional offerings," Dr. Lobsang Sangay told the online TV, after armed Chinese security forces reportedly shot dead at-least six Tibetans in eastern Tibet in two separate incidences of fresh mass Tibetan protests.

The Tibet Post International has also learnt that there are several text and video messages of people from inside Tibet, particularly Tibetans from the traditional provinces of Amdho and Kham, eastern Tibet, requesting Tibetans across the world not to celebrate Losar this year, as 17 self-immolation protests and deaths in Tibet, including the 2009 self-immolation by Tibetan monk Tapey and at-least six Tibetans shot dead in latest protests in eastern Tibet. Sources inside Tibet told The Tibet Post that many documents and posters were recently distributed in Tibetan counties, like Ngaba, Dege, Drakgo, Karze, Golok and other areas of eastern Tibet that calling on Tibetans to forego this year's losar.

February 22nd will marks the beginning of Losar, which is the Tibetan New Year. Tibetan Youth Congress, the largest Tibetan NGO in exile already called for Tibetans to not celebrate this year's Tibetan new year.

"I want to tell my dear brothers and sisters inside Tibet that we hear your cries loud and clear. We urge you not to despair and refrain from extreme measures. We feel your pain and will not allow the sacrifices you have made go in vain. You all are in our heart and prayers each and every day, Dr. Sangay added.

"As Chinese everywhere were celebrating the first couple of days of the Year of Dragon on January 23rd and 24th, 2012. Chinese police fired indiscriminately on hundreds of Tibetans who had gathered peacefully to claim their basic rights in Drakgo, Serthar, Ngaba, Gyarong, and other neighboring Tibetan areas. Six Tibetans were reportedly killed and around sixty injured, some critically, Dr. Sangay said.

Dr. Sangay said that "because of gruesome acts such as these and the systematic repression of Tibetans, the resentment and anger amongst Tibetans against Chinese government has only grown since the massive uprising of 2008."

"Ever since the invasion of Tibet, the Chinese government has claimed that it seeks to create a socialist paradise. However, basic human rights are being denied to Tibetans, the fragile environment is being destroyed, Tibetan language and culture is being assimilated, portraits of His Holiness the Dalai Lama are banned, and Tibetans are being economically marginalized. Tibet is in virtual lock-down. Foreigners have been barred from traveling to Tibet now and the entire region is essentially under undeclared martial law," he further added.

The Tibetan leader urged "the Chinese leadership to heed the cries of the Tibetan protestors and those who have committed self-immolation. You will never address the genuine grievances of Tibetans and restore stability in Tibet through violence and killing. The only way to resolve the Tibet issue and bring about lasting peace is by respecting the rights of the Tibetan people and through dialogue. As someone deeply committed to peaceful dialogue, the use of violence against Tibetans is unacceptable and must be strongly condemned by all people in China and around the world."

The democratically elected exiled leader called on "the international community to show solidarity and to raise your voices in support of the fundamental rights of the Tibetan people at this critical time. I request that the international community and the United Nations send a fact-finding delegation to Tibet and that the world media be given access to the region as well. The leaders in Beijing must know that killing its own "family members" is in clear violation of international and Chinese laws, and such actions will cast further doubts on China's moral legitimacy and their standing in world affairs."

"To demonstrate our solidarity with Tibetans in Tibet, I urge Tibetans and our friends around the world, to participate in a worldwide vigil on Wednesday, February 8, 2012. Let's send a loud and clear message to the Chinese government that violence and killing of innocent Tibetans is unacceptable! I request everyone to conduct these vigils peacefully, in accordance with the laws of your country, and with dignity," he stressed.

A video message of this statement is available with the following link: www.tibetonline.tv.

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E-mail: editor@thetibetpost.com