Dharamsala Tibetans Mark 54th Democracy Day

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Over a thousand Tibetans gathered at courtyard of Tsuklag-Khang, Main Temple, Dharamsala, northern India on September 2, 2014 to celebrate the 54th anniversary of Tibetan Democracy Day.

The official function was presided over by Shri Ravi Thakur, the MLA of Himachal Pradesh and Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, head of the Central Tibetan Administration.

On the occasion, Sangay and Speaker Penpa Tsering read the statements of Kashag (Cabinet) and the Tibetan Parliament in Exile.

Kashag's statement said “As a young democracy, Tibetan community in exile must tread carefully and be all the more mindful of ensuring that public discourse is constructive and conducted with civility..”

Speaking about the grim situation inside Tibet, for which more than 130 Tibetans have set themselves alight, Sangay asked the Chinese government to allow free press to witness the developments in Tibet, and urged the international community to give attention to the real situation in Tibet. "The sacrifice of their lives is forever imprinted in our collective memory and history for future generations to know. We will galvanize our efforts, carry forth and echo your aspirations until they are realized – restoration of freedom in Tibet and the return of the Dalai Lama to his homeland. That is our sacred goal"

Penpa Tsering, Speaker of Tibetan Parliament in Exile, shared the efforts made by the Dalai Lama to reform old systems before setting up a democratic government in exile.

The chief guest of the event, Shri. Ravi Thakur (MLA), released a book on Development of Tibetan Democracy, published by TPiE, Mr. Ngawang Phelgyal Gyechen, Chief Justice Commissioner.

The Central Tibetan Administration also rewarded two students with Rs. 2 Lakh each for being a PhD scholar. Lobsang Sangay handed over the Gaden Phodrang Award to three top students from grade twelve.

The Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts, and students from Tibetan schools in Dharamsala danced to traditional songs to celebrate the 54th Democracy Day.