March 10th 2009 - Candle light Offering & Prayers for Peace
On March 10th, The Charleston Tibetan Society, in association with the College of Charleston’s chapter of Students For A Free Tibet and the Mount Pleasant Shiwa Center For Peace held a candlelight vigil and offered prayers for peace. All were invited to :
- Pray for world peace in general
- Pray in particular for Tibet and Tibetans
- Pray for the end of the global economic crisis that causes millions fear, worry, anxiety, confusion, and, in some cases, suicide.
March 10, 2009 was the 60th anniversary of the invasion of Tibet by the Red Army of Communist China. It was also the 50th anniversary of Tibet’s national uprising.
In the 60 years since the invasion, Tibetans have been jailed, tortured, and killed. They have experienced human rights abuses and cultural and religious genocide. They have been forced to denounce His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s most precious spiritual leader, the inner treasure of Tibetans of every age.
Throughout the world, Tibetans are not celebrating this year’s Losar, the Tibetan New Year, which is traditionally their biggest holiday. There is no joy for Tibetans in the midst of Communist China’s brutal oppression. Instead, Tibetans remember the millions killed by the Communist Chinese government since the 1950s, particularly Tibetans killed during last year’s peaceful protest on March 10th.
Holding peaceful vigils, rather than Losar celebrations, demonstrate that Tibetans suffer under Chinese policies of torture, killing, and cultural genocide imposed by a heavy military presence. Tibetans under Chinese rule lack human rights and religious freedom, and those of us with rights and freedom should remember Tibetans at this time.
On this day we chose not to celebrate this Tibetan New Year as a way of respecting and mourning Tibetans who sacrificed their lives for the cause of Tibet, offering prayers for their souls, showing unity with the Tibetan people around the globe and showing that the Tibetan people are on the side of the Dalai Lama and have not fallen to China’s propaganda campaign.