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Dharamshala, India: In a joint statement today, the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile and the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) announced that October 19 will be set aside to "highlight the deepening crises in Tibet." Fasting and day-long prayers will be carried out by the CTA, exiled Tibetans and monasteries around Dharamshala, where H.H. the Dalai Lama lives in exile, as a gesture of solidarity with Tibetans living in Tibet.

It comes as tensions escalate in Ngaba county, western China, where 2 former monks set themselves on fire last Friday. Since March there have been seven self-immolations in Chinese occupied Tibet.

CTA Kalon Tripa (Prime Minister), Lobsang Sangay, encouraged Tibetans and Tibet supporters living abroad to participate by organising activities in their respective regions. He stressed that the events must be "peaceful, respectful of local laws and dignified."

The day is planned to coincide with Lhakar. Lhakar, literally "white Wednesday," began in 2008 as a grassroots movement where Tibetans wear traditional clothing, eat Tibetan food and speak Tibetan - an attempt to keep traditional Tibetan customs and culture alive.

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