Tibetans celebrate 48th anniversary of their government-in-exile

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Dharamsala, Sep 2 : Tibetans living in India celebrated the 48th anniversary of their government-in-exile here today.

Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, set up his government-in-exile atharamsala in 1960, after he fled to India along with thousands of followers a year before following a failed uprising against Chinese rule.

Hundreds of Tibetans gathered at the main Buddhist Temple to mark the occasion. The celebrations were presided over by members of Tibetan parliament-in-exile.

The exiles said, though the people in Tibet do not celebrate the occasion with fanfare, but they perform prayers to mark the Democratic Day.

"Tibetan people in Tibet cannot celebrate like this. I've heard that Tibetans go to do the prayers to symbolize the Tibetan Democratic Day," said Dawa Tsering,ember of Tibetan parliament-in-exile.

The Tibetans have been crusading for freedom of their homeland from Chinese rule since March this year.

China has controlled Tibet since People's Liberation Army troops marched into the region in 1950 and Beijing considers Tibet as an integral part of its territory.

Critics accuse China of repressing Tibetans' religious aspirations, especially their veneration for the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.

China has accused followers of the Dalai Lama of stirring riots and protests in Tibetan regions in March in a bid to upstage Olympic preparations. The Dalai Lama has denied the claim and said he upheld China's right to host the Games.

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