Sikyong (Tibetan Prime Minister-in-exile) has called for unity and concerted effort to realise their aspirations for the return of the spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, to Tibet and freedom for Tibetans. He said this while addressing a prayer service for the Tibetans, who have immolated themselves for the cause of Tibet. The prayer service was organised by the Central Tibetan Administration.
A large number of Tibetans and well-wishers gathered at the main temple in Dharamsala to offer prayers for Kunchok Tseten, a 30-year-old father of two children, who died after setting himself on fire in northeastern Tibet's Ngaba region to protest against China's repressive rule.
“We offer our deep condolences for all those Tibetans who have sacrificed their lives for the cause of Tibet and express solidarity with their family members,” Sangay said, adding that over 123 Tibetans have set themselves on fire in Tibet calling for the Dalai Lama to Tibet and freedom for Tibetans.
“As many as 106 of them have died. These are not just numbers, but previous human lives. We must strengthen our unity and make concerted efforts to fulfill their aspirations,” Sikyong said at the prayer service.
He cited political repression, cultural assimilation, social discrimination, economic marginalisation, environmental destruction and lack of religious freedom as the primary factors driving Tibetans to self-immolation.
“The only way to end this brutal and grave situation is for China to change its current hardline Tibet policy by respecting the aspirations of the Tibetan people,” he said.
He maintained that the Central Tibetan Administration has consistently appealed to and discouraged Tibetans from drastic action, including self-immolation, as a form of protest. The blame as well as the solution for the self-immolations lies with the Chinese government,” he added.