Dharamshala – On the occasion of Losar, the Tibetan New Year, world leaders, including Government leaders, Chief Ministers and Parliamentarians, from many countries, extended greetings and joined the Tibetan people in celebrating the Tibetan New Year, showing their support for the preservation of the endangered culture, religion, language and identity of Tibetans.
Losar, the Tibetan New Year, is celebrated by Tibetans all over the world, including in Tibet, and fell on February 21, 2023, this year. It is celebrated for 15 days, from February 21 to March 7, 2023. During the Losar celebration, Tibetans and Himalayans perform traditional rituals and dances, sing songs, invite their friends and relatives to their homes and eat delicious food together, discuss past deeds and future hopes.
The world leaders who extended their greetings for the Tibetan New Year were Antony Blinken, the Secretary of State, Uzra Zeya, Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, Erika Moritsugu, Deputy Assistant to President Biden and White House Senior Liaison for Asian-Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, Nicholas Burns, US Ambassador to China, Dean R. Thompson, US Ambassador to Nepal, and Tim Walz, Governor of Minnesota. Tibetan Canadian Member of Provincial Parliament Bhutila Karpoche and Member of Parliament Arif Virani. Navendu Mishra, a Member of the British Parliament.
From India, Kiren Rijiju, Minister of Law and Justice of India, Pema Khandu, Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Prem Singh Tamang, Chief minister of Sikkim. Shashi Tharoor, MP from Kerala, Sujit Kumar, Member of Rajya Sabha, and many others. Wishes for the Losar were also expressed by Tibet supporters and MPs in Japan and Taiwan and other countries.
While Secretary Blinken wishes Losar, the Tibetan New Year of 2150, on February 21, 2023, and says, "I extend my warmest wishes to all those celebrating Losar, the Tibetan New Year. On this first day of the Year of the Water Hare, we celebrate the perseverance, compassion, and strength of Tibetans across the globe, including the over 26,000 members of the Tibetan diaspora in the United States.”
“The United States reaffirms our commitment to supporting the preservation of Tibetans’ distinct cultural, linguistic, and religious heritage, including through the ability to select and venerate their religious leaders without interference,” the Secretary said.
As the State Department hosted the Losar celebration, Uzra Zeya, US Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, said, “Let me extend a heartfelt “Losar Tashi Delek” to all our friends in this room as we wish you a prosperous year ahead full of joy, friendship, and collaboration."
Nicholas Burns, US Ambassador to China, tweeted a Losar greeting in Tibetan: "Happy Losar, the US Embassy in China with Secretary Blinken, we are committed to supporting the protest over the unique Tibetan culture, language, tradition, and religion."
Dean R. Thompson, US Ambassador to Nepal, tweeted a Losar greeting, "Losar Tashi Delek! Warmest wishes for a peaceful and prosperous new year to the people of the Himalayan region and Tibetans throughout the world."