Global solidarity - blog

8th February 2012

Free Tibet Director Stephanie Brigden writes from Dharamsala, home of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan exiled community.

Across the world today, Tibetans and their supporters are standing in solidarity with those who have died in recent months.

Here in Dharamsala, prayers have been held at Tsulagkhang Temple. A candlelit vigil will follow.

The town feels very different today. Instead of the usual hustle and bustle, shops are closed and the streets are empty. Prayers can be heard under the breaths of monks as prayer wheels are spun.

Tibetan identity

Snow is falling on the town. It’s as if we're sharing the winds from Tibet.

Tibetan women, young and old, are wearing traditional chuba, a reflection of the Lhakar movement. In Tibet on Lhakar, White or Pure Wednesdays, Tibetans assert their identity by wearing traditional clothes, avoiding using Chinese words and shopping in Tibetan-owned businesses only.

Young man killed

As a poignant reminder of recent events, Free Tibet today received the first image of Urgen (above), the young man killed when Chinese forces opened fire on Tibetans in Barma Township, less than a fortnight ago.

Urgen was shot dead when he and many others tried to stop his friend Tharpa from being arrested.

We don't know when this image was taken, but we do know that he was aged between 18 and 21 when he was killed.

Brave call for freedom

Tharpa had circulated materials around town earlier that day which stated that self-immolations would continue until Tibet is free.

His message and the response of those brave Tibetans who gathered to protect him underline that this struggle will continue until Tibetans regain their freedom.

Photos from today's vigil in Dharamsala can now be viewed on the Free Tibet Facebook page.