An image of re-creation of the 1913 Tibetan Proclamation of Independence.
DHARAMSHALA, May 21: To mark the countdown to the 100th Anniversary of the historic 1913 ‘Tibetan Proclamation of Independence,’ declared by the Great 13th Dalai Lama, a re-creation of the Proclamation will be unveiled in the Tibetan exile headquarters of Dharamshala on Wednesday.
Students for a Free Tibet, in a release, said the public launch of the historic document is in the “celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Proclamation of Independence.”
“Our goal is to have this scroll distributed in 100 cities – delivered to Chinese Embassies, presented to world leaders, plastered on global landmarks – by March 10, 2013,” the release said.
Thubten Gyatso, the 13th Dalai Lama, was forced to take refuge in British India from 1910 – 1912 following the Manchu invasion of Tibet.
When the Manchu (Qing) Dynasty collapsed in 1911, Tibetans expelled the remnant Manchu forces from Tibet, paving way for the Dalai Lama to return and exercise a political authority not seen since the reign of the great Fifth Dalai Lama.
The overthrow of the Manchu forces and return of the Dalai Lama to Lhasa proved historically significant for Tibetans as it marked the full restoration of Tibet’s independence.
The 13th Dalai Lama declared Tibet’s independence on February 13, 1913 (8th day, first month, water ox Tibetan year) by making the ‘Tibetan Proclamation of Independence,’ a five-point public statement reasserting Tibetan Independence.
For more than three decades following the proclamation, Tibet was to enjoy complete independence free from any foreign control.
SFT in its release noted that the "Declare Independence" campaign will be waged in three phases.
“During Phase I, we will encourage Tibetans and supporters to declare cultural independence from China by promoting Tibetan language, arts, literature and culture. During Phase II, we will encourage Tibetans and supporters to declare economic independence from China by boycotting Made-in-China products. In Phase III, we will ask our members, Tibetans and supporters to deliver copies of the Independence Scroll to world governments, leaders, parliamentarians, etc.” the release said.
SFT is also encouraging Tibetans and supporters to hold public reading of the Proclamation and also write the text of the Proclamation on blank spaces in public areas.
Tibetans remember Thubten Gyatso as the “Great Thirteenth” for his role in strengthening Tibet politically and for his vision to bring about far-reaching reforms to usher Tibet into an era of modernity.