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Tibetan to hold peace march to mark 55 years of Tibet Uprising

Tibetan to hold peace march to mark 55 years of Tibet UprisingDharamshala, Jan 12, - Tibetan Youth Congress exiles have said they will hold a peace march in Dharamsala to mark 55 years of Tibet's 1959 first uprising, with an aim to sharpen the focus on the inside story of repressive Chinese rule.

The march which is scheduled to cover a distance of about 600 kilometres, will be held from February 8 to March 10, as it aims to support Tibetans suffering from Chinese brutalities in Tibet.

The march from Dharamsala to New Delhi will cover major cities, including Chandigarh, Ambala, Kurukshetra and Panipat.

Tibetan Youth Congress president Tenzing Jigme said the march would spread messages about the tense situation inside Tibet.

"We have three aims for this march. First is to highlight the current critical situation inside Tibet, the current crisis inside Tibet. Secondly, to pay respect to the self immolators inside Tibet and thirdly, to spread the message and show solidarity with our brothers and sister inside Tibet, so, those are the three aims of our march," said Jigme.

Violence has flared in Tibet since 1950, when Beijing claims it "peacefully liberated" the region. Many Tibetans say Chinese rule has eroded their culture and religion. They are agitating for the Dalai Lama's return from exile in India, and genuine autonomy for their homeland. The Chinese government denies trampling Tibetan rights and boasts of having brought development and prosperity to the region.

As shocking as the first suicides were, the people who chose to burn themselves did so, Tibetan scholars say, in reaction to specific instances of abuse at particular monasteries. Tibetan Buddhist monasteries are often under surveillance and subject to raids by Chinese security forces.

Jigme, who was addressing a press conference on Sunday, also said that 55 people will participate and represent 55 years of Chinese brutality and oppression.

"We have 55 people who are going to be participating in this march and the rhythm for that is 2014 10th of March marks 55 years since the first Tibetan uprising in 1959, so,
55 marches will be representing 55 years of Chinese brutality and oppression inside Tibet," he added.

Beijing considers the Dalai Lama, who fled China in 1959 after an abortive uprising against Chinese rule, a violent separatist. The Dalai Lama, who is based in India, says he is merely seeking greater autonomy for his Himalayan homeland.

Since 2009, at least 121 Tibetans had set themselves on fire in China in protest against Beijing's policies in Tibet and nearby regions with large Tibetan populations. Most were calling for the return of the Dalai Lama.

Tensions have mounted between Tibet and China since 2008, after riots that broke out in the Tibet Autonomous Region and the Tibetan parts of China, which led to a government crackdown. (ANI)