(TibetanReview.net, Oct10, 2017) – The exile Tibetan settlement at Dharamshala, India, has marked the 50th anniversary of its establishment on Oct 9 with an official morning function and daylong festivities on the courtyard of the Tsuglakhang. The settlement is home to about 15,000 Tibetans.
Chief guest President Lobsang Sangay of the Central Tibetan Administration was reported to have used the occasion to denounce regional and sectarian parochialism and divisive politics in the exile Tibetan society. He has called for unity to send a strong message to China to thwart the latter’s divisive designs.
And calling the Dalai Lama “the single most important person in the history of the Tibetan people and the Tibetan freedom movement,” Dr Sangay has denounced “the few fringe elements” criticizing him in the name of freedom of expression. “Criticism of His Holiness the Dalai Lama is absolutely unacceptable to the Tibetan administration as well as to the Tibetan people. His Holiness is a beacon of compassion and tolerance. He himself doesn’t care about criticisms but it deeply hurts the Tibetan people,” he was quoted as saying.
He has assured his administration’s continued endeavours to look after the welfare of the Tibetan people in exile, pledging to eradicate poverty in the Tibetan exile community.
It was previously suggested that the Dalai Lama would attend the celebrations. However, President Sangay explained that he was resting.
Guest of honour Mr CP Verma, Deputy Commissioner of Kangra District, has promised the solve the outstanding problems of the Tibetan people living in the town, such as by ensuring the regularisation of the forestland on which a good section of them had their homes since the 1960s.
Current settlement officer Mr Dawa Rinchen, elected by the Dharamshala Tibetan public, read a report of the settlement office’s achievements over the past 50 years.
Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok, Deputy Speaker of the Tibetan parliament in exile, was also a special guest. He inaugurated at the Tibet Museum a photo exhibition titled “Reimagining Dharamshala”. It featured the history of Dharamshala from the time of its founding by the British in 1846, with the occupation of the Kangra Fort, and pictures dating from the time of the Dalai Lama’s arrival, and many more.