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Tibetans in city celebrate Dalai Lama's Nobel feat

A gathering of 300-odd Tibetans celebrated the 17th anniversary of the Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to the Dalai Lama, reports Dhaval Kulkarni.

india Updated: Dec 11, 2006 00:27 IST

The occasion was the 17th anniversary of the Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to the Dalai Lama. And, a gathering of 300-odd Tibetans took this as an opportunity to come together and celebrate.

On Sunday, the Sharda Mangal Karyalaya in Dadar was overflowing with mirth and camaraderie as 300 Tibetans came together to commemorate the 17th anniversary of their spiritual leader's date with the Nobel Peace Prize.

They sang songs, clapped and whistled as 25-year-old Wangchuk Sonam sang Pankaj Udhas' Chupke Chupke, after which he followed it up with Tibetan songs praising his country and the Dalai Lama.

Sunday was also United Nations' Human Rights Day.

The programme, jointly organised by Tibetan Refugee Association in Mumbai and Friends of Tibet, has been an annual event since 1989 and is to many Tibetans a way to revive their ties with their motherland.

For 48-year-old Nima Tsring of Karnataka, in Mumbai to sell sweaters, this is an annual event. "My mother was pregnant with me when my parents escaped to India. I've never been to the land of my forefathers and such gatherings revive memories of our lost land," Tsring said.

Tsering Dhundup (27), public relations officer of the Tibetan Youth Congress, said: "The 1.35 lakh Tibetan community is just a drop in the vast ocean that is India. Such gatherings enable us to keep in touch."

However, the community is taking a cautious stand on the improving relations of India with China, in the light of Chinese President Hu Jintao's recent visit to India. "We'll be grateful to the Indian government for providing us shelter and help," Dhundup said.

Welcoming India's attempts to foster trade and peace with China, he said: "But it must remember that our border disputes with China arose after it illegally occupied Tibet. Hence, the Indian government should consider the opinion of the Tibetans while resolving any border disputes."

Added Tsring: "We want to attain independence for Tibet, but will abide by peaceful means taught to us by the Dalai Lama."

The event also saw the launch of the book Little Lhasa: Reflections on Exiled Tibet by journalist Tsering Namgyal. The book is a socio-economic insight into the lives of Tibetan exiles in India.

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First Published: Dec 11, 2006 00:27 IST