Tibetans in-exile offer special prayers for earthquake victims

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Gangtok, Apr 25 (ANI): Tibetans in-exile organised a weeklong prayer in Gangtok in memory of the victims of the recent earthquake in Tibet.

The prayers started on Tuesday (April 20).

Reportedly, more than 2,000 people died last week in the quake that rocked Qinghai province, which is heavily populated by Tibetans.

Most of victims of the quake that struck the province's Gyegu town on April 14 were ethnic Tibetans.

Tibetans in-exile said that they are offering prayers for the dead and the injured, as they cannot go to help them.

"So many people have died, many have been injured, and many have been rendered homeless and you know...it is...we also feel very helpless because at this hour of need, we, as brothers and sisters," said Karma Yougyal, President of the regional not-for-profit Dhokham Chushi Gangdruk Association.

"We cannot go there and reach them any relief or help, but the only thing presently we can do is...we all sit together and pray for the departed souls, and also for recovery of those who have been injured, and also to express our solidarity with brothers and sisters to bear through this heavy loss and tragedy," he added.

He added that 80 to 90 monks pray from 7 am to 4 pm everyday.

Locals claim the death toll of the 6.9 magnitude quake is much higher, as many people are still buried under the debris.

They also said that the relief work is very slow.

"The saddest part is that the Chinese government has not allowed any foreign relief agencies to come into the affected area. In fact, the Japanese were the first ones to volunteer because they have a lot of experience in earthquakes. So they volunteered to help with a group of NGOs but the Chinese government refused," said D Dorjee, Tibetan Settlement Officer.

He added that that are trying to raise donations to send relief to Tibet. (ANI)

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