Wednesday, July 2, 2008



Members of the Tibetan diaspora all over world observe two important anniversaries.

2. They observe March 10 every year as the Tibetan Uprising Day to mark the anniversary of the day in 1959 when His Holiness the Dalai Lama crossed over from Tibet into India after the collapse of the Tibetan revolt against the Chinese. Generally, this anniversary passes off peacefully, but this year, being the year of the Beijing Olympics, it took a dramatic turn with widespread demonstrations and incidents of violence in Lhasa and other Tibetan-inhabited areas of China. The resulting unrest continued for some weeks before the Chinese authorities were able to bring it under control. A few days after the event, some Tibetan girls living in New Delhi managed to forcibly enter the Chinese Embassy after breaking the security cordon of the police and created anxious moments for the police and the staff of the Embassy.

3. The Tibetans all over the world observe July 6 every year as the World Tibet Day to mark the birth anniversary of His Holiness. Usually, the observance is peaceful with photo exhibitions, films and talks. The observance of the World Tibet Day started in 1998 at the initiative of some American friends of the Dalai Lama with three objectives in view, namely: to create an annual worldwide event to help restore essential freedoms for those living in Tibet; to increase global awareness of the genocidal threats to the Tibetan people; and , to celebrate the unique beauty and value of Tibetan culture and thought.

4. The US-based Free Tibet Movement has issued instructions for the observance of the "World Tibet Day" on July 6,2008, in a similar manner as in the previous years. Since this year's World Tibet Day falls just a month before the Beijing Olympics, it would be necessary for the police force responsible for physical security outside the Chinese diplomatic mission in Delhi and consular missions in Mumbai and Kolkata to be extra vigilant to prevent the possibility of any incident similar to what happened in New Delhi in March last.
5.One should not rule out the possibility of fresh demonstrations in Tibet, where the public mood is still sullen (2-7-08)

(The writer is Additional Secretary (retired), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India,New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. He is also associated with the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: )

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