Friends of Tibet

World Tibet Day in Mumbai and Chennai
(Friends of Tibet (Mumbai & Chennai), July 06, 2014)

Friends of Tibet: Mumbai and Chennai celebrate 'World Tibet Day' on July 6, 2014, 79th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Friends of Tibet (Mumbai) in association with Men-Tsee-Khang, Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute of HH the Dalai Lama based in Navi Mumbai joined 'World Tibet Day' observed worldwide on July 6, the birthday of HH the Dalai Lama.

World Tibet Day was created with three main goals: first to create an annual worldwide event to help restore essential freedoms for those living in Chinese-occupied Tibet; second to increase awareness of the genocidal threats to the Tibetan people; and third, to celebrate the unique beauty and value of Tibetan culture and thought. Founded in 1998, World Tibet Day has grown into one of the most important events on the Tibetan calendar.

The day began by local Tibetans from Mumbai along with staff members of Men-Tsee-Khang offering prayers for the long life of HH the Dalai Lama and to all those Tibetans who sacrificed their lives in the recent series of self-immolation protests. A 'Free Tibet Cake' was cut by Tibetans and their supporters from Friends of Tibet.

Rohit Singh, Campaigns Coordinator of Friends of Tibet spoke to the gathering about the role Tibetan community in exile can play in the ongoing struggle for freedom. He stressed on the need for getting organised and initiating leadership in exile. Rohit Singh cited examples of Mahatma Gandhi and Bhagat Singh from Indian freedom struggle who set aside their personal goodwill and dedicated their lives to awaken their people to embrace freedom of their country.

Dr Tenzin Chodup of Men-Tsee-Khang and CA Kallianpur, National Coordinator of Friends of Tibet lighted the lamp. Kallianpur spoke to the gathering on the occasion of World Tibet Day where he reminded the local Tibetan community about the need to organise themselves in order to achieve their goals. He cited examples of Soviet Union and British empire which people believed would never collapse or end, vanished without any trace. "People's Republic of China is an authoritarian one and will collapse soon. Tibetans need to keep their faith and continue their struggle aggressively. Time is ripe for a revolution inside Tibet", he reminded the gathering.

World Tibet Day (WTD) was initiated in Chicago in 1997 at an informal meeting between Tendzin Choegyal, the Dalai Lama's younger brother and Richard Rosenkranz, a Pulitzer Prize nominee in history and a former correspondent from the US Senate. Rosenkranz proposed the concept of WTD, saying it could become an annual worldwide event, designed to help the Tibetan people regain essential freedoms. He also suggested this event could be a way to showcase and celebrate the unique value of Tibetan culture and thought. Enthusiastic about the idea, Tendzin Choegyal suggested WTD should be held in July, linked to his brother's birthday — in order to increase potential support among Tibetans. Believing that the proposed event held great promise, they offered the idea to His Holiness who gave them his blessing and his warm support.

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Friends of Tibet (India)

Friends of Tibet is a people's movement to keep alive the issue of Tibet through direct action. Our activities are aimed at ending China's occupation of Tibet and the suffering of the Tibetan people. Friends of Tibet supports the continued struggle of the Tibetan people for independence. Friends of Tibet is also one of the principal organisers of World Tibet Day around the world.