Dharamsala: In a symbolic gesture, Tibetans
in exile led by their Prime Minister Lobsang Sangay walked on
soil smuggled from Tibet and hoisted their flag, reflecting
the desire of the refugees to return to their homeland they
were forced to flee over half a century ago.
Darjeeling-born Sangay, 43, who succeeded the Dalai Lama
as the political head of Tibetans in August this year,
yesterday touched the Tibetan soil for the first time at the
exhibition `Our Land Our People` by artist Tenzin Rigdol, who
brought the 20,000 kg of earth to India.
More than 1,000 Tibetans from all walks of life attended
the exhibition at the open grounds of the Tibetan Children’s
The Tibetan national flag, which is banned in Tibet, was
hoisted and a picture of Dalai Lama adorned the piece of land.
"It has been the dream of many Tibetans to return and set
foot on Tibet`s soil. Today, I am stepping on this soil as a
gesture of our struggle to reunite with our brothers and
sisters in Tibet," Sangay said.
He lauded the efforts of the artist to bring the soil
to Dharamshala and added that the soil carries a tremendous
amount of sentimental value.
Monks from Kirti monastery held a prayer vigil for the
Tibetans who sacrificed their lives in the recent months.