It was on 10 March 1959 when thousands of Tibetans took to the streets of Lhasa, Tibet’s capital to protest against forceful Chinese occupation of Tibet. They also came together and surrounded the Potala Palace to protect the Dalai Lama as there were rumours of his assassination. The Chinese soldiers came down heavily on the protestors resulting in a clash between the two sides. The resilient protestors did not give in to Chinese brutality. Dalai Lama crossed over to India and has remained in exile since then, but several Tibetans lost their lives on this day. Since then, every year, Tibetans all over the world mark this day as the Tibetan National Uprising Day and mourn the sacrifices made by Tibetan martyrs.
This year was the 63rd anniversary of the Uprising . Tibetans in exile and supporters took to the streets taking part in protest rallies, vigils, marches, hunger strikes and sit-in shouting Free Tibet slogans. Their new slogans in Hindi were, “Yaad karo Yaad karo- Galwan ghati yad karo!” (remember, remember the Galwan valley); “Hamara dushman ek hai- China hai! China hai!” (we have a common enemy, its China its China).
In Dharamsala, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) observed the day with Jiri Oberfalzer, the Vice Presdient of Czech Senate as the chief guest of the occasion and Rajya Sabha M.P. Amarendra Dhari Singh as a special guest. Singh in his speech assured India’s support for the Tibetans. The event was attended by the CTA heads, in exile-parliamentarians, secretaries, and Tibetans living in Dharamsala. They unfurled the Tibetan flag and sang the Tibetan national anthem.