Photo Exhibition Marks 30th Anniversary of 1987 Pro-independence Movement
Today, the Gu Chu Sum Movement Association of Tibet commemorated the 30th anniversary of the 1987 pro-independence movement in Lhasa initiated by 21 monks from Drepung Monastery on 27th September and later, by monks from Sera monastery on 1 Oct that year.
With reference to the importance of the event for the organisation in particular, is organising an exhibition at the Tibetan martyr memorial at Tsuklakkhang Temple premises on October 1, 2017 of rare photographs from the 1987 Lhasa Uprising to commemorate the significant event of historical importance in the Tibetan freedom struggle. Moreover, daily updates about the historical implication of the events of September 27 and October 1 that year and personal account of key individuals that played a substantial part in the demonstration through our website and Facebook page for a week from 21 September. The photo exhibition stated at 09:30 in the morning, following the delivery of press statement by the vice president Mr. Dawa Tashi.
Following is the press release in English:
Today marks the 30th anniversary of the pro-independence movement that started in Lhasa in 1987, led by 21 monks from Drepung monastery on the 27th of September and later, by monks from the Sera monastery on October 1 that year.
On 21st Sept, 1987, a few days before the protest, His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressed the US Congressional Human Rights Caucus and unveiled his Five-Point Peace Plan for Tibet as the way forward. China rejected the proposal outright with the spokesperson for the foreign ministry announcing two days later “We are opposed to Dalai’s engagement and activities anywhere and in any form aimed to split China”. In the days leading up to the actual protest, the government-run Tibet Daily and Lhasa Radio Service dismissed the five-point peace plan proposed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama as inadequate, and henceforth rejected by the Tibetan people. On 25 September, local television in Lhasa showed pictures of the Dalai Lama in the US, with strong condemnation from the Chinese authorities.
Response to this claim was sudden and certain,reflecting the aspirations and the impression of Tibetans at large, 21 young monks from Drepung Monastery voluntarily took to the street on Sept. 27 and monks from Sera monastery on Oct.1 1987 to show solidarity and support with the Dalai Lama’s proposal and to expose the reality inside occupied Tibet in what is considered to be a landmark event in the movement of Tibetan freedom struggle.
Slogans of ‘Free Tibet’ ‘China out of Tibet’ ‘Tibet belongs to Tibetans’ and ‘May His Holiness Live thousands of years’ reverberated through the streets of Lhasa that day. The peaceful protest by Tibetan were met with brute force by the armed police, protesters were shot at indiscriminately resulting in the death of Jamphel Lobsang, Dawa, Lobsang Lhundup from Sera Monastery, Drepung monk Lobsang Tsewang, Kartsel from Nechung Monastery, Lhasa resident Bhuchung, Lochoe from Bharkor, Dhonyoe, a monk from Tsuklakhang and two policemen named Wangdue and Rinzin Wangyal. Furthermore, 75 Tibetans were arrested.
The Tibetan movement gained international attention at the time. Foreigners present in Lhasa witnessed and some captured the protest in their cameras. The pro-independence movement that started in Lhasa at the time highlighted the Tibetan freedom movement in the international arena, shedding light on the non-violent nature of the Tibetan struggle and its proximity of a struggle of truth. A new wave of freedom struggle swept Tibet; new generation of Tibetans took up the struggle with a renewed commitment.
The movement sparked a sense of nationalism in every Tibetan from all walks of life. Calls for freedom and independence started to echo from every part of Tibet; posters calling for freedom started appearing everywhere, from government buildings to schools, from closed alleys to small tea shops. The pro-independence movement of 1987 is a landmark, and a witness to the rise of new generation of Tibetans in the history of Tibetan struggle for freedom and dignity.
A solid thirty years have passed since those fateful events in Lhasa however, in the history of Tibetan freedom struggle the episode of the Lhasa pro-independence movement will shine bright. The courage and the determination of the once new generation of Tibetans of the bygone years in the face of adversary and brutal might will always be looked up to and ever inspire the generations of Tibetans to come. The GuChuSum Movement Association of Tibet, as an organisation and an impression of every Tibetan around the world salutes the courage and determination of all the Tibetans who took part in this inseparable chapter within the Tibetan history of struggle for freedom, and a heartfelt gratitude for their selfless courage and sacrifice.
Long live His holiness the Dalai Lama and Bhod Gyalo!!!!!