At the occasion the Dhondup Dorjee, vice president of TYC, reflected about the importance of the anniversary. " We are commemorating this anniversary because, the Nationalist hero Thupten Ngodup sacrificed his life for Tibet cause in 1998 when TYC organized a hunger strike until death in correlation with the worsening of conditions inside of Tibet."
Karma Choephel expressed the long held stance of TYC for Tibetan independence and he also encouraged the Tibetans inside Tibet who continuously fighting for Tibet independence, he said "Thanks to His Holiness's great leadership and gratefulness, we Tibetans in exile are granted democracy, and as a democratic nation all political views and ideas can be put forward, so instead of arguing over our different political ideas we should consider Tibetans in Tibet who are in an occupied country living under martial law. Daily, these individuals sacrifice their lives and their own wellbeing for Tibet independence; therefore we Tibetans in exile must fortify our cause and be untied against the Chinese. "
Demonstrations that took place in Tibet were punctuated by slogans such as "Tibet belongs to Tibetans, Tibet is an independent country, and Chinese should go back to China." These slogans are some of the proof that Tibetans inside Tibet are sacrificing there lives in order to achieve restoration of Tibet's independence.
He said "Looking to history, Tibet has been an independent country and before 1959 had not lost it's sovereignty to other nations. This proud history can not be re-written nor can it be erased."
He explains that Chinese demand that His Holiness the Dalai Lama must accept that Tibet is an inseparable part of the PRC, before they will even take a seat at the negotiation table. But His Holiness holds to the idea that Tibet had been independent before 1959.
Smoke from traditional incense clouded Karma Choephel from view, as he criticized Tibetans in exile who argued over political views instead of working towards a meaningful solution, and reaffirmed his belief in the democratic system and in His Holiness he said "under the leadership of His Holiness all Tibetans should be united and work for freedoms that are today not allowed in Tibet"
In April 1998, Thupten Ngodup, who set himself on fire as protest against the lack of international attention to the plight and suffering of Tibet and the Tibetan people under Chinese occupation. His sacrifice is recognized a great dedication to the Tibet and Tibetan people.
By: S. Hart and Yangjam, reporter for The Tibet Post