The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) will in 2018 mark completion of 60 years in exile and observe it as a year of gratitude to the world, especially India, for extending support, Tibetan Prime Minister-in-exile Lobsang Sangay said on Friday.
He asked the Chinese government to end discriminatory policies, issue travel documents to Tibetans and respect their freedom of movement — within and outside of Tibet.
“The Kashag (cabinet) is observing 2017 as a year of campaign. The year 2018 will mark 60 years since Tibetans first set foothold in exile,” Sangay said.
“We will, therefore, observe 2018 as a year of gratitude to express our deep appreciation to the governments and people around the world, in particular India,” he said here on the 58th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day.
The Tibetan administration observes March 10 as the day Chinese troops suppressed the Tibetan uprising in Lhasa in 1959, forcing the Dalai Lama and over 80,000 Tibetans into exile in India and other countries.
Calling on the Chinese leadership to review its policies in Tibet and revisit Hu Yaobang initiated liberal policies on Tibetan people, Sangay said the Amnesty International Report 2015/2016 pointed to increasing restrictions on Tibetan monasteries.
The 2016 Freedom House report ranked Tibet the second worst in political and civil rights after Syria, he said in a statement.
Congratulating once again US President Donald Trump on his election, Sangay said: “We are encouraged to see the new Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s assurance that the Trump administration will continue to support the Tibetan cause, receive His Holiness the Dalai Lama and continue to encourage dialogue between Beijing and representatives of Tibet’s government in exile and/or the Dalai Lama.”
Sangay in December last year said the European Parliament demonstrated its concern about the issue of Tibet by adopting an urgency resolution on Tibet, calling on the resumption of dialogue with Tibetan representatives to peacefully resolve the issue.
The urgency resolution condemned the demolition of Larung Gar.
The recent self-immolation by 33-year-old Tashi Rabten in addition to 144 self-immolations in Tibet in the past is evidence of the repression and crackdown, Sangay, the first democratically elected Prime Minister, said.
The Tibetan administration in exile is based in the north Indian hill town of Dharamsala.