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Despite freezing cold, R-Day celebrated in Himachal

Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Rajiv Saizal presided over the district-level function at Rekong Peo in snow-bound Kinnaur district

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  • Even though it was a freezing morning, Himachal Pradesh celebrated the 69th Republic Day
  • Acting Chief Justice Sanjay Karol hoisted the national flag
  • The Governor took the salute in an impressive parade by contingents of various forces

The 69th Republic Day was celebrated across Himachal Pradesh on Friday with gaiety despite a sunny but freezing morning in the state.

Governor Acharya Devvrat unfurled the national flag at the main function at the historic Ridge here.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, his Ministers and other dignitaries were present.

ALSO READ: India faces more threats to its republic today than it did 66 years ago

Acting Chief Justice Sanjay Karol hoisted the national flag at a function held in the complex of the Himachal Pradesh High Court here.

The Governor took the salute in an impressive parade by contingents of police, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, home guards, the army, the National Cadet Corps (NCC) and ex-servicemen. Wikimedia Commons
The Governor took the salute in an impressive parade by contingents of police, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, home guards, the army, the National Cadet Corps (NCC) and ex-servicemen. Wikimedia Commons

In snow-bound Keylong, headquarters of Lahaul and Spiti, area legislator and Agriculture Minister Ram Lal Markanda presided over the official function.

Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Rajiv Saizal presided over the district-level function at Rekong Peo in snow-bound Kinnaur district.

ALSO READ: Election Commission to participate in Republic Day parade

The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), headquartered in Dharamsala town, also organized a brief ceremony at the Kashag (Tibetan cabinet) secretariat.

As CTA President Lobsang Sangay was on an official visit to Europe, officiating President Karma Gelek Yuthok hoisted the Indian national flag.

“I would like to congratulate and convey the greetings of the Central Tibetan Administration and the Tibetan people to India on this auspicious occasion,” he said in a message. (IANS)

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Tibetan Activist Sentenced to 5 Years of Imprisonment in China

A Tibetan education activist was on Tuesday sentenced to five years in prison by a Chinese court for inciting separatism, Amnesty International (AI) said, calling the sentence "unjust" and urging his immediate release.

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A Tibetan education activist was on Tuesday sentenced to five years in prison by a Chinese court for inciting separatism, Amnesty International (AI) said, calling the sentence “unjust” and urging his immediate release.

The main evidence against Tashi Wangchuk, who was sentenced by a court in Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai province, was a 2015 video by the New York Times about his campaign for saving the Tibetan language, according to his lawyer.

“Today’s verdict against Tashi Wangchuk is a gross injustice. He is being cruelly punished for peacefully drawing attention to the systematic erosion of Tibetan culture,” AI East Asia Research Director Joshua Rosenzweig was cited as saying by Efe news.

Before his arrest, the 31-year-old activist had expressed concern over the fact that many Tibetan children could not fluently speak their native language, contributing to the progressive extinction of the Tibetan culture.

Representational Image: Tibetan Teachings
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

“Tashi must be immediately and unconditionally released,” demanded AI, pointing out that the activist had already spent two years in detention without access to his family.

Rosenzweig claimed that Tashi Wangchuk “was a human rights defender and prisoner of conscience who used the media and China’s own legal system in his struggle to preserve Tibetan language, culture and identity”.

In the New York Times video, the activist had highlighted “the extreme discrimination and restrictions on freedom of expression that Tibetans face in China today”.

Also Read: An Attempt to Preserve Ancient Tibetan Literature

Non-profit Human Rights Watch (HRW) also criticized the prison term for Tashi Wangchuk, whose “only crime was to peacefully call for the right of minority peoples to use their own language”, a right safeguarded by the Chinese Constitution.

“His conviction on bogus separatism charges show that critics of government policy on minorities have no legal protections,” said HRW China Director Sophie Richardson. (IANS)

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