Today, on this auspicious and joyous occasion of the eighty-seventh birthday of His Holiness the Great Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet, Tibet Rights Collective joins millions of his admirers across the globe in wishing His Holiness a wonderful birthday. He is a global icon, a symbol of peace, love and compassion and his life continues to inspire us and instil in each one of us hope for a better future.
After nearly a decade of oppression by Chinese Communist Party, Tibetans rose up in protest and they gathered in the streets of Lhasa to protect their leader, the Dalai Lama whose life, they believed, was under threat. The Dalai Lama, on March 31, 1959, was forced to flee his homeland as the Chinese repression grew and he began his permanent exile in India, where the Tibetan government in exile was established. Today, after 63 years of exile, Dalai Lama is still the unifying force that defies boundaries that brings together the Tibetans in exile, and bequeaths to them the mantra of hope, dreams and love for their homeland.
The news of the death of the prominent former political prisoner Jigme Gyatso came out last week; he joined the list of Tibetan human rights defenders losing their lives as a result of series of human rights violations, including torture, extrajudicial killing, and enforced disappearance under Chinese occupation in Tibet. Grave human rights violations continue to happen in Tibet; Tibetans within Tibet are arrested for reasons including keeping a picture of His Holiness, maintaining contact with family members in exile and practicing their religious belief. Under these circumstances, we urge governments and civil society to throw light on the injustice being meted out to Tibetans and help them regain their lost freedom and ensure life with dignity. They should also call out China’s attempts to interfere in the reincarnation process of His Holiness. Today is a day that should remind the world that Tibet matters.
On this occasion, we also reiterate our request that His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama be bestowed with Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award for his exceptional service.
We extend our warm greetings on this occasion to His Holiness and reaffirm our commitment to work towards increasing access to information around the politics, culture, traditions and language of Tibet by combining policy with advocacy.
Tibet Rights Collective