Dharamsala/Shimla, Feb 24 (ANI): Tibetan exiles burned effigies of Chinese leaders to mark the beginning of their New Year celebrations.
The Tibetan Youth Congress organised the Guthor festival where they burnt effigies of Chinese President Hu Jintao and Mao Zedong, who invaded Tibet in 1949.
Hundreds of exiled Tibetans including Buddhist monks and nuns gathered to join the festivities.
"We gathered here to burn the effigies of Hu Jintao and Mao Tsetung who are the persons responsible for the torture on Tibet," said Karma Yeshi, member of Tibetan parliament-in-exile.
Several Tibetans also gathered in Shimla to perform the annual tradition of burning the effigies.
"Our main problem this time is Chinese rule. So that's why we have made special effigy of Mao Zedong who invaded Tibet in 1949 and Hu Jintao, the present ruler," said Dolma Yangzom, vice-president Tibetan youth congress, Shimla.
On the 29th day of the 12th month of Tibetan year, that is second last day of the year. According to Tibetan lunar calendar, Tibetans have the tradition of burning effigies to dispel evil and herald a prosperous New Year.
This year's anniversary is extra sensitive in Tibet as 2009 also marks the 50th anniversary of flight into exile of Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, after an abortive uprising against Chinese rule. (ANI)