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solidarity-day-may-17-2013Dharamshala: - The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) is observing the 17th of May, 2013 as the International Tibetan Solidarity day. According to the CTA, the International Solidarity Day is being organised to "symbolise international community's solidarity with the aspirations of the Tibetan people inside Tibet who yearn for freedom and continue to stand strong in the face of great adversity."

On this day in 1995, the 11th Panchen Lama of Tibet, Gendhun Choeki Nyima disappeared suspiciously at the age of 6.

An exhibition, titled 'History of Tibet', 'A Long Look Homeward' is being organised by the Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR) of the CTA at the Tsuglagkhang. The exhibition will deal with the recent self immolations that have engulfed Tibet, the culture and history of Tibet before Chinese occupation and the struggle for liberation and life in exile of the Tibetan people after Chinese Occupation.

Speaking to the Tibet Post International, Tashi Phuntsok, the Secretary of the DIIR said that one of the main objectives of the exhibition was to spread awareness about Tibetan culture, history and the ongoing crises affecting the region among international visitors.

Since 2009, at-least 117 people have set themselves ablaze calling for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet and for the liberation of the region from Chinese rule. The exhibition, through the display of photographs aims to explain the reasons and circumstances that have led to ordinary Tibetans from all walks of life committing such a severe act.

Another section of the exhibition deals with the culture, religion and history of Tibet and the Tibetan people before the Chinese occupation. The works of Claude Arpi, a prominent French born author and Tibetologist and the director of the Tibet pavilion in Auroville is also displayed.

The third section of the exhibition focuses on the Chinese occupation, its impact on Tibet and its people, the physical and cultural destruction that has followed and the life of the Tibetan people in exile. 'Far Away from Home' aims to highlight the present crises and conditions facing the Tibetan people in Tibet.

The day will conclude with a prayer service to honour the memories of those who died in the recent self immolations, a performance by members of the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts and a recitation of the 'Words of Truth', a prayer composed by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

Translated by Kalsang Dolma and Kiran Mohandas Menon.

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