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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Tibetan students’ march concludes in Dharamsala

December 31, 2013

DHARAMSALA, December 30, 2012: A two-day peace march by a group of Tibetan school students to the exile headquarters of Dharamsala concluded Friday followed by a candle light vigil in front of the Tibetan Martyrs Pillar at Tsug-la Khang, the main temple.

More than a hundred students and staff of the Tibetan Children’s Village School, Suja, with their mouths covered with black cloths, marched for over 75kms from their school to Dharamsala in solidarity with the ongoing crisis inside Tibet.

The march was organised entirely by the teenaged students, all of whom escaped from Tibet, leaving their families behind to study in exile.

Some of the students are related to Tibetan self-immolators. Kunchok, one of the student leaders is related to Gudrub, 43 who self-immolated in Driru region of Nagchu, eastern Tibet. Kunchok said “Gudrub lived in our locality I had known him and I can't believe he gave his life for Tibet by burning himself to death. And yet, I can't do much as a student so I am leading this march.”

“This March is an act of solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Tibet and as students this is our tribute to the 95 self-immolations that happened in Tibet,” added Kunchok while leading his fellow students on the march which took two days on the road.

Kalsang, the other student leader said, “all the students had blisters in their feet by the end of the day. The blisters burst and left behind very painful sores, but we all said this is nothing compared to the pain of self-immolations. So we walked with a limp the whole next day covering the remaining 35 kilometers.”

The students carried photos of the 96 Tibetan who have self-immolated inside and outside Tibet since 2009 along with Tibetan and Indian national flags. They said prayers for the martyrs all along their way to Dharamsala where the march culminated at the Tsug-la Khang, the main temple.

"This tribute march for the Tibetan self-immolation has been purely students effort and the expense have been drawn out of donation pooled in from among the students of our school, but of course we had guidance from our school director and principal, who not only gave us the permission, but supported us throughout this small journey," said student leader Kalsang.
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