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27february20101Dharamshala: The Tibetan Government-in-exile Thursday afternoon held a panel discussion to mark the centenary of the 13th Dalai Lama Thupten Gyaltso's exile to India from 1910-1911.

The event was held at the staff mess hall of Gangchen Kyishong, the government's headquarters in Dharamsala, India, and was addressed by Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche, Tibetan scholar Naga Sangay Tendar, and researcher and MP Bawa Kalsang Gyaltsen.

Mr Bawa Kalsang Gyaltsen spoke about the historical "patron-priest" relationship between Tibet's Gaden Podang government and the Chinese Manchu Dynasty, and the 13th Dalai Lama's restoration of Tibetan independence in 1913, upon his return from exile.

He also discussed the Tibet-Mongolia Treaty of 1913, in which the two countries recognized each other's independence, after the collapse of the Manchu Dynasty in 1911.

Mr Naga Sangay Tendar went on to talk about the 13th Dalai Lama's experiences of exile.

In 1904, Great Britain sent a military expedition to Tibet and the Dalai Lama fled to Mongolia for a year. He subsequently visited Beijing, China, and returned to Tibet in 1908. In 1910, the Manchu Dynasty sent its own military expedition to Lhasa, and the Dalai Lama fled to India.

Mr Naga Sangay described the 13th Dalai Lama's return to Tibet after the Xinhai Chinese Revolution of 1911, during which the Manchu Dynasty was overthrown. He spoke about Tibet's reassertion of independence, and the lack of political support from neighbouring countries in the early 20th century.

Mr Naga Sangay's address sought to counter the propaganda disseminated by contemporary Chinese history books about that era.

Summarising the discussion, Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche highlighted how the 13th Dalai Lama's life encompassed an important era of Tibetan history, and commended him for his role in keeping the Tibetan state intact.

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