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From Phayul:

Inside Tibet people have made the decision not to celebrate Losar this year. It appears to be not just an expression of sorrow for those Tibetan shot, tortured and imprisoned in last years uprising, but also an act of defiance against the Chinese government that wants to show the world that Tibetans enjoy religious and cultural freedoms under its rule. In exile there has been some debate on whether or not to celebrate Losar. There are valid arguments on both sides, but then again the logic of revolution is another thing altogether. When the struggle calls we can only obey.

Earlier I had written a cultural essay for Losar, but then I decided on a a more political gift for Rangzen advocates and activists. The following piece is actually a pamphlet to be distributed on March 10 and future rallies and meeting, but I thought that those who believe in Rangzen might enjoying sitting back with a chang-koe and reading it on Losar day. Most of us have a general idea of the facts that have been presented before the UN and the world, to show that Tibet was an independent country before the Communist invasion: treaties, the Shakabpa passport, the flag and so on. I have tried to provide details that are probably not that well known but which I hope will edify and perhaps even cheer and encourage.

I have attempted to be scrupulously honest with the facts and have provided authentic references for nearly every claim or statement made in the pamphlet. Since the pamphlet had to be kept short, all the references, additional material, related documentation, photographs, maps, illustrations, audio clips and bibliography will be on a website You can access what you want on the section “Independent Tibet – Some Facts” and clicking on the reference number.

The fully laid-out and illustrated pamphlet can be downloaded (in black & white or colour) at the website and can be printed at home or at a commercial printer. Individuals or organization can print and distribute the pamphlet, and space is provided on the front cover for the organizations credit line. The website will be up in a few days – definitely before March 10.

Compiled by Jamyang Norbu for the Rangzen Alliance

Before the Chinese Communist invasion of 1950 Tibet was a fully functioning and independent state. It threatened none of its neighbors, fed its population unfailingly, year after year, with no help from the outside world. Tibet owed no money to any country or international institutions, and maintained basic law and order. Tibet banned capital punishment in 1913 (mentioned by a number of foreign travelers [1]) and was one of the first countries in the world to do so. There is no record of it persecuting minorities (e.g. Muslims [2]) or massacring sections of its population from time to time as China and some other countries do – remember Tiananmen. Although its frontiers with India, Nepal and Bhutan were completely unguarded, very few Tibetans fled their country as economic or political refugees. There was not a single Tibetan immigrant in the USA or Europe before the Communist invasion.

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New Delhi, April 10 – Thousands of Tibetan demonstrators carried 154 shrouded effigies, representing the compatriots they believed were killed in a crackdown on anti-China protests in the Himalayan region, in a rally Thursday in the Indian capital.

Carrying placards saying “Stop Cultural Genocide in Tibet” and “China has turned Tibet into a Killing Field,” protesters urged China to release imprisoned Tibetans and remove its heavy military presence from the region.

Roughly 200 protesters marched to New Delhi from Dharmsala, the seat of Tibet’s government-in-exile and home to the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader. The rest of the demonstrators arrived from neighbouring states.

(Photo by Tenzin Dasel/
(Photo by Tenzin Dasel/

The crowd carried effigies to represent the 154 victims they believe were killed in the protests and the ensuing crackdown in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, last month. Chinese authorities say 22 people died in the riots that broke out March 14.

China has accused the Dalai Lama, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, of orchestrating the violence to sabotage the Beijing Olympic Games in August and create an independent state.

Samdhong Rinpoche, the prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile, said Tibetan leaders were hoping for a peaceful settlement with China.

Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche, the prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile speaking to the media. (Photo by Tenzin Dasel/
Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche, the prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile speaking to the media. (Photo by Tenzin Dasel/

“If they are wise enough, some path for reconciliation might be opened,” Rinpoche told reporters in New Delhi, where he addressed the protesters. “If they remain rigid, the movement will not end and it will sustain by itself.”

The protests are the longest and most sustained challenge to China’s 57-year rule in the Himalayan region, and have focused increased international scrutiny and criticism on China in the run-up to this summer’s games.

The Olympic torch was scheduled to pass through New Delhi on April 17. The international torch relay has faced chaotic protests in London and Paris because of China’s human rights record in Tibet and elsewhere.

On Thursday, five Tibetan protesters briefly displayed a banner reading “No Olympic torch through Tibet” on the path the torch was scheduled take through New Delhi, but they left before police arrived.