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Dharamshala (Himachal Pradesh) [India], September 2 (ANI): Highlighting the atrocities committed by China against Tibetans over the years, Penpa Tsering, President of the Tibetan government-in-exile, said people in Tibet have maintained indomitable courage and determination in the face of China's continued policy to exterminate the region's identity.
Tsering remarks come on the 61st founding anniversary of the Tibetan Parliament in 1960 following the arrival of Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama and 80,000 Tibetans in exile in India.
On February 3, 1960, the president said the representatives of Tibetans-in-exile gathered for the first time in Bodhgaya and "took Na-gyen Chenmo (great oath) pledging utmost dedication and sacrifice to forge unity and cooperation under the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama"
"During that time, the Chinese government pursued its policy of brutal suppression of Tibetan people's peaceful protests and thrust upon them its so-called democratic reform. How China's policies brought tragedy in Tibet as it literally experienced hell on earth is evident in the 10th Panchen Lama Choekyi Gyaltsen's 70,000-character petition to the Chinese government. As a result, the Panchen Lama was sentenced to 14 years in prison and he had to suffer far more cruel treatment during the Cultural Revolution," he said.
Chinese troops occupied Tibet in 1950 and later annexed it. The 1959 Tibetan uprising saw violent clashes between Tibetan residents and Chinese forces.
The 14th Dalai Lama fled to neighbouring India after the failed uprising against Chinese rule. The Dalai Lama, the supreme Tibetan Buddhist leader, established a government-in-exile in India.
There are at present more than 10,000 Tibetans living in Dharamsala alone, and an estimated 160,000 Tibetan exiles around the world.
Tsering has urged Tibetan to not lose their determination.
"Today, as we commemorate the 61st democracy day, we extend our heartfelt greetings to our compatriots in Tibet. No matter how much China's propaganda machinery make false claims of development during the 70 years of so-called peaceful liberation of Tibet in its recent White Papers, Tibetans inside Tibet have maintained indomitable courage and determination in the face of China's continued policy to exterminate the Tibetan identity, and they have been making all-round efforts to protect Tibet's religion, culture, language and tradition, for which we remain deeply grateful," he said.
"It is this strength that unites the Tibetans in exile and keeps alive the freedom struggle. It is the common wish in our heart to reunite in Tibet and we would like to appeal to our brethren in Tibet not to lose their determination," he added.
Since becoming President in 2013, Xi has pursued a firm policy of stepping up security control of Tibet. Beijing has been cracking down on Buddhist monks and followers of the Dalai Lama. The United States has been raising the issue of human rights violations in Tibet on various platforms.
Tshering also extended warm greetings to India, the United States and all the countries and Tibet Support Groups around the world for supporting the just cause of Tibet. (ANI)