Sikyong Penpa Tsering of CTA reading the statement of Kashag at the official commemoration of the 64th Tibetan Uprising in Dharamshala, March 10, 2023. Photo: TPI

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Dharamshala – Central Tibetan Administration commemorated the 64th Tibetan Uprising Day in Dharamshala and Sikyong said, “We remember compatriots and martyrs who have sacrificed their lives for the cause of Tibet. We urge the PRC government to immediately stop its flawed policy of eradicating the Tibetan identity.”

Central Tibetan Administration organised the commemoration of the 64th Tibetan Uprising at Tsuklakhang, McLeod, Dharamshala, on March 10, 2023. In solidarity with Tibetans inside Tibet and Tibetans in exile, more than 30 members of a foreign parliamentary delegation joined the official commemoration of the 64th Tibetan uprising. Mikuláš Peksa, Member of the European Parliament, was the chief guest at the official commemoration. Special guests were Mexican MP Salvador Caro Cabrera, Lithuanian MP Arunas Valinskas and Damon Wilson, President of the NED. The top officials of the CTA, the representatives of various NGOs and local and distanced Tibetans and Supporters also attended the event.

The delegation of the European Parliament comprised of MEP Mikuláš Peksa, MEP Salima Yenbo, MEP Hannes Heide, and MEP Aušra Maldeikienė who are accompanied by Parliamentary Assistants Samuel V Samuel Vančo, Tomas Adamec, Martina Tesseri, Eduard Aleix Sarri Camargo who were joined by the delegation from Mexico Parliament consisting of MP Lidia Garcia Anaya, MP Dulce Maria Corina, MP Ines Parra Juarez, MP Salvador Caro Cabrera, MP Maria Elena Limon Garcia, MP Ma Teresa Rosaura Ochoa Mejia, MP Julieta Mejia Ibanez, MP Lidia Perez Barcenas, MP Jose Miguel De La Cruz Lima and Lithuanian parliamentarian Arunas Valinskas.

Sikyong Penpa Tsering of CTA read out statement of Kashag and said, "Today is the sixty-fourth anniversary of the Tibetan People’s Uprising against the occupation of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1959, the thirty-fourth anniversary of the PRC`s imposition of the first martial law in Tibet in 1989 after three successive annual mass protests in Tibet’s capital Lhasa and the fifteenth anniversary of the peaceful protests that erupted across the three traditional provinces of Tibet in 2008. On this solemn occasion, we remember and honour our compatriots and martyrs who have given their lives for the cause of Tibet. We stand in solidarity with their family members and with those who are still suffering under the oppression of the PRC`s occupation.”

“The invasion of Tibet by the Chinese Communist Government led to the death of an estimated 1.2 million Tibetans, destruction of more than 6,000 monasteries, as well as deforestation and destruction of wildlife and exploitation of mineral resources. Failing to learn lessons from the immense destruction caused to Tibet, the PRC authorities are repeating the mistake and even blindly carrying out harmful actions to cover its guilt,” Sikyong continued.

“To consolidate sense of community for the Chinese nation, the PRC government is currently implementing a policy of one nation, one culture, one religion and one language through Sinicisation of Tibetan Buddhism and promotion of Chinese language across Tibet. Tibetan children are forced into a vast network of colonial-style kindergartens and boarding schools to learn Chinese language and way of life. The PRC government is enforcing an assimilationist language policy in these schools in complete disregard of the universally-adopted education system and international human rights standards. In a report on 6 February this year, the United Nations Independent Experts voiced alarm over the PRC government’s policy aimed at assimilating over a million Tibetan children culturally, religiously and linguistically through a residential school system. The so-called Tibet Statistical Year Book 2021 recorded 4,491 pre-primary school children in 2000, which has sharply risen to 23,414 in 2010 and 150,934 in 2020,” Kashag stated.

“Extremely concerning reports of enforced disappearance and extrajudicial imprisonment of Tibetan writers, intellectuals, language advocates, human rights and environmental activists and those advocating against animal slaughter continue to emerge from Tibet,” Sikyong added.

“Looking for the welfare and respecting the aspirations of the people is the basic condition for a government to earn legitimacy. Hence, if a government flagrantly implement policies of eradicating a nationality, then the people have the natural right to protest the government’s policy and even reject the government for their own protection,” Kashag said.

“The Central Tibetan Administration is hoping to find a mutually-agreeable way forward to discuss Tibet’s future status based on the Middle-Way Policy. In this regard, we are ready to engage with the PRC government based on equality and friendship to seek a mutually beneficial and lasting solution. Moreover, we urge the PRC government to immediately stop its flawed policy of eradicating the Tibetan identity,” Sikyong said.

“I would like to take this opportunity to express the Tibetan people’s sincere gratitude and appreciation to India for providing us a second home and its unwavering support as well as to the United States and other Governments, Parliamentary Tibet Support Groups including the newly-formed Parliamentary Tibet Support Groups in Mexico and Spain following the Eighth World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet, Tibet Support Groups and individuals who support truth and justice. We also thank the Tibetan Associations, Voluntary Tibetan Advocacy Groups and Non-governmental Organizations for their voluntary advocacy campaigns,” Sikyong concluded.

“I believe I speak for all my co-parliamentarians when I say that we will do every possible in our mandate to point out the injustices committed upon the Tibetan people. We will continue to hold China accountable for a transgression”, said MEP Mikuláš Peksa while addressing the event.

Damon Wilson, President of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) said,“The world needs Tibet and Tibetans have so much to offer. Know that you are not alone. Know that we stand with you. Continue to be resilient to stand firm in the principles of justice, democracy, and non-violence. Your struggle for freedom is a beacon of hope for so many around the world."

Arunas Valinskas, Member of the Lithuanian Parliament, said: "We will never forget the kindness and support His Holiness has shown to Lithuania and we hope to repay some of that debt. Please know that your efforts are closely followed and encouraged by many friends around the world. We ask you to remain faithful to the principles of human rights and democracy.”