Footage shows Tibetans defy Chinese laws to pray for Dalai Lama's health
Hundreds of Tibetans gathered in Kham, eastern Tibet, yesterday to pray for the Dalai Lama's health. The gathering followed an announcement by the Dalai Lama on his website last week that he had flown to the US from Dharamsala to undergo prostate treatment.
In the images and videos, which were posted on Facebook by Tibetan exiles yesterday, hundreds of locals, both monks and lay people, can be seen congregating outside the Chokri Monastery in Trehor, in Drango County, Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. In defiance of Chinese laws, some carry portraits of the Dalai Lama and others call for his long life.
Footage such as this is relatively rare. Tibet remains subject to tights surveillance and stringent controls on information and people leaving the country.
Prayer as an act of resistance
Possessing portraits of the Dalai Lama and calling for his long life are both illegal under Chinese rule. Such offences in the past have resulted in huge prison sentences. Beijing portrays the Dalai Lama as a “splittist”, or somebody that wishes to break up the People’s Republic of China. Last week the Dalai Lama was conspicuously absent from a database released by the Chinese government to the public that contained 870 “living Buddhas” (more correctly termed Rinpoches) that had been “approved” by Beijing.
According to the Dalai Lama's wesbite, he will now rest before resuming his public schedule in March with trips to the US and Europe.
Take action for Thardhod Gyaltsen
Tibet's monks and nuns are at the forefront of resistance to the Chinese occupation, either by demonstrating or by preserving Tibet's culture. Many are put in jail. Take action for Thardhod Gyaltsen, sentenced to 18 years in jail for owning pictures and recordings of the Dalai Lama.