Sikyong Penpa Tsering Greets Tibetans on Losar, Tibetan New Year 2151


On the occasion of the 2151st Tibetan Lunar New Year, a year of male Wood-dragon, I, on behalf of the 16th Kashag, would like to wholeheartedly express “Tashi Delek” to all the Tibetans around the world. Sixty-four years have passed since we came into exile and 74 years since China started invading our nation. There have been tremendous changes over the course of these years inside Tibet, and in light of China’s sinicisation policies aimed at eradicating Tibetan identity, we are now unprecedentedly positioned to confront the circumstances and fight to preserve our distinct linguistic and religious heritages.

Similarly, there were changes in situations in the exile community, including a hike in Tibetans moving abroad and a dwindling population across Tibetan settlements. Nevertheless, opportunities also come along with such challenges.

Firstly, those of you who are in Tibet are already undergoing great difficulties. Many are risking their lives to fight hard for the preservation of Tibetan identity, even if the policies of the Chinese government prevent them from doing so. The Tibetan struggle for freedom has endured in the world to this day primarily because of the benevolence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and, most importantly, because of the unyielding courage of Tibetans in Tibet.

Thus, as we celebrate this Losar, it is imperative to make a firm determination that we will not, under any circumstances, give up on maintaining our unique identity. Here in exile, we do our best to fulfil this obligation, particularly in our capacity as a representative of the community.

At the same time, through this greeting message, I also want to beseech Tibetans in exile to double down efforts to preserve Tibetan identity and continue working for our endeavour to resolve the Tibet-China conflict through non-violence and peaceful negotiation. Despite the geo-strategic significance of the Tibetan plateau, Tibet’s environmental change will also have grave repercussions on all regions of neighbouring countries and the world’s climate in general. For that matter, the sustenance of our nonviolent struggle based on the principles of Buddhist teachings is of utmost importance, as His Holiness the Dalai Lama advises time and again. Violence merely fuels further acts of violence, and therefore, if we can demonstrate a nonviolent approach, it will be durable.

For those in Tibet who are concerned about His Holiness, it is important to know that He is in excellent health, as is evident during His recent trips to Gangtok, Salugara and Bodhgaya. His Holiness Himself has repeatedly assured His longevity. However, it is crucial to understand that whether the spiritual guru lives long or not depends on the conduct of his/her disciples and the realisation of their vows and commitments. Therefore, it is imperative to comprehend the intentions of the guru, and more importantly, it’s much more crucial to put them into practice.

Again, I want to take this opportunity to send my best wishes to all Tibetans, both inside and outside Tibet, and to all Tibet supporters and celebrants of this Losar.

IAT News Service
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