Tibetans-in-exile thank India for fifty years of asylum

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Dharamsala / Shimla, Apr 1 (ANI): Tibetans living-in-exile in India hosted a thanksgiving ceremony here to express their gratitude to the Indian Government and the people of the country for hosting them for 50 years.

Organized by the Tibetan government-in-exile, the function was presided over by the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa.

Tibetans are celebrating five decades of exiled life, from 1959 to 2009, with the year-long celebrations which started on March 10.

"We have assembled here to express our appreciation to the government and the people of India for hosting us for fifty years. So it's also to remember what we as refugees have accomplished in India during these years," said Thubten Samphel, spokesperson of the Tibetan government in-exile.

Meanwhile, in Shimla, the Tibetan exile community gathered by a public square and offered a traditional Tibetan shawl to a statue of the apostle of peace Mahatma Gandhi.

The Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959 and set up a Tibetan government-in-exile in India, which has an estimated 80,000 followers, after a failed uprising against Chinese rule.

The Dalai Lama marked his 50 years in exile on March 10 by demanding 'meaningful autonomy' for his Tibetan homeland.

Beijing has downplayed the Dalai Lama's demand for autonomy for Tibet .

Although a meeting of exiles last November had reaffirmed the Dalai Lama's 'middle way' path, many said that their patience with Beijing may not last. (ANI)

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