Tibet Uprising Day marred by shooting death

As Tibetans around the world prepare for Uprising Day, reports surfaced today that Chinese security forces shot 3 people, killing 1 of them, this week.

They shot the 28-year-old Tibetan man as they searched for suspects connected to recent vandalism, Free Tibet reported.

It promises to be a solemn Uprising Day as the Dalai Lama plans to remain silent for the first time in 53 years.

“In the last two months, Chinese state security have shot and killed at least 8 Tibetans during and after protests,” Free Tibet director Stephanie Bridgen said. “Tibetans are being killed because their demands for freedom threaten the Communist Party ‘One-China’ ideal, but Tibetans continue to stand up to the authorities despite the great risks of doing so.”

The shootings are connected to a protest in late January that saw 100 people march to government offices and pull down a Chinese flag.

Tibetans around the world are expected to mark Uprising Day, Standupfortibet.org said. It was March 10, 1959, that China put down the armed Tibetan conflict and the Dalai Lama fled for India.

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In New York City on Friday, Lhamo Tso spoke about her husband’s arrest in China in reaction to his documentary film, "Leaving Far Behind."

Tso last spoke with her husband, Dhondup Wangchen, in 2008. She held a press conference in Times Square to draw attention to her husband’s plight and that of Tibetans, AFP reported.

While exact numbers vary, about 25 Tibetans have set themselves on fire in the last two years to protest Chinese rule.

“Why are they doing this? Why are they burning their own bodies? Their life is the most important thing they have," said Tso, 40. “When I hear that Tibetans are self-immolating, I feel a knife through my heart.”

Tso, who lives in exile in India, told reporters that her husband’s health is failing.

“I want to ask for your help in the release of my husband – in the release of my husband and in the release of other political prisoners in Tibet,” she said through an interpreter. “I’m here in the center of the United States, but my heart and mind are always with my husband.”

The Dalai Lama isn’t expected to make any statements on Uprising Day, a historic development.

It will be the first time in 53 years he hasn’t addressed followers, NDTV.com reported.

Instead, Lobsang Sangay, the political leader of Tibet, will make a speech at a ceremony in India.

“His Holiness will attend the function, but right now there is no plan for his address,” a Dalai Lama representative said.

The Dalai Lama recently announced he would concentrate on his spiritual role and leave the political function to Sangay.

Many Tibetans are already expressing sadness at the Dalai Lama’s decision to remain silent.

“Without his Holiness' address, the commemoration is totally incomplete,” shopkeeper Choeying Khedup told NDTV.com.

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