11 March 2006

 

Uprising Day in Dharamshala

Upising day 2006 in the Tibetan capital in exile has been eclectic to say the least. The day started early with hundreds of people making their way to Tsuglakhang (the main temple) for the official 'commemoration function'. After the national anthem and a minutes' silence for the Tibetans who have died and suffered for their county, we listened to HH Dalai Lama's give his 10th March statement and a statement from the Kashag.

A large crowd then formed a march to Lower Dharamshala, chanting slogans in Tibetan, English and Hindi and distributing leaflet of HH statement to bewildered Indian shop-keepers. At the rally at the end of the march the statement was read and Hindi and SFT India led the singing of 'Longsho'. To read about how this compared to recent years, and the politics behind the songs sung and slogans shouted see Kalsang's article on phayul.

SFTers then headed to TIPA (Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts) to prepare for the evening event which was co-organised by SFT India and RTYC Sara. After deliberations as to whether or not it would start raining properly, we decided to keep the event outside, a wise decision in hindsight as hundreds of people turned up. The evening consisted of many singers and bands performing Freedom songs (many of which the audience joined in on), impassioned speeches and a brilliant slide show of Tibetan martys which had most of the audience in tears. There were frequent cheers of 'Bod Rangzen', lots of petition and postcard signing for the Panchen Lama, and considerable interest in SFT - especially as the SFT stall had representatives from India, Canada and UK! The atmosphere was amazing - passionate, nationalist and positive - Tibet WILL be Free!

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