Tibetans in Northern India Celebrate Democracy Day

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Tibetans living-in-exile celebrated the 50th anniversary of Tibetan Democracy Day in Dharamsala on Thursday.

In 1960, the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama introduced democracy. Since then the people have been choosing members of the parliament-in-exile.

[Thubten Samphel, Spokesperson of Tibetan Government-in-Exile]: (English)
"It is an institution, which is transparent, which is accountable and abides by the rule of law. In the Kashag's statement whatever accomplishments we've been able to achieve in attaining greater freedom in terms of law, democracy, it's all due to the efforts made by His holiness the Dalai Lama."

Senior functionaries and people took part in the celebrations.

Thousands of people, including Buddhist nuns and monks attended the function at a temple in Dharamsala.

Tibetan performers and children sang and danced to commemorate the event.

An estimated 80,000 Tibetans arrived in India along with the Dalai Lama after an uprising against the Chinese rule in 1959. And over the years their numbers have increased.

China accuses the Dalai Lama of seeking independence for Tibet, but he says he only wants autonomy for the Tibetan people.

The Dalai Lama has in recent years called for limited autonomy for Tibet, but some Tibetans demand full independence.

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