A young man wrapped in the Tibetan flag shouted Free Tibet,while an old woman counting beads chanted with closed eyes at Jantar Mantar on Thursday. On the fringes of the protest,organised to express solidarity with monks and Tibetans forgoing the New Year celebrations that started on Wednesday in Tibet,a monk,in his maroon robes,walked in circles with folded hands.
The Regional Tibetan Youth Congress had called for a boycott of Loser celebrations close on the heels of a similar unofficial protest in Tibet against the killings of Tibetans in an uprising last March.
A few weeks from now,it will be the 50th anniversary of a failed uprising in 1959 against Chinese rule,which also led to the Dalai Lama,spiritual leader of the Tibetans,to flee to India. The Dalai Lama said celebrations would be inappropriate.
Nyima Woeser (21) said,China has captured our country. We will not celebrate. We will fight. Gelak Sangpo,a young Tibetan born in Bangalore,has never been to Tibet but has for long been involved in protests and rallies against the Chinese occupation of Tibet. Its natural. And we stand by our brothers and sisters in Tibet,who live a life of hardship, Sangpo said. We want to show them we have not forgotten. We will not let go.
Kalsang Sungrab (39),vice president of the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress,said it was important to call for the boycott. A lot of people were killed, he said. How can we celebrate now?