Video of Bold Expression of Allegiance to His Holiness from Inside Tibet Released

Dharamshala: Human rights groups have released a video footage showing Rongye Adrak openly expressing Tibetan people’s loyalty to His Holiness the Dalai Lama in front of an audience of thousands, including Chinese military officials, during a traditional horse festival in Tibet’s Lithang region on 1 August 2007.  (click here for video)

Rongye Adrak/File
Rongye Adrak/File
Rongye Adrak, a 56-year-old Tibetan nomad, is serving an eight-year prison sentence for supporting His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

The video release was to mark the third anniversary of the incident, the US-based International Campaign for Tibet said in a statement issued 2 August.

ICT said the footage which it received from a foreigner who happened to be at the horse festival does not capture Adrak’s full statement.

The footage, subtitled in English, shows an extract of Rongye Adrak’s bold on-stage statement in the moments after he seized the microphone to speak and before he was arrested and imprisoned.

He [Adrak] spoke for several minutes before he was detained by armed police who made their way to the stage, ICT said.

“…These things have happened to us; did you hear what has happened to us? Although we can move our bodies, we cannot express what is in our hearts. You know? These days there are those who say we don’t need the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama is the one that we six million Tibetans truly [need],” read the English translation of Adrak’s speech.

“I saw him walk onto the stage, which was full of Chinese military and officials. He was very calm, very dignified and he spoke clearly. I couldn’t understand what he was saying because I don’t know the Kham dialect, but I could see Tibetans around me shaking their heads in sadness, because they were fearful for him, and others openly agreeing with him,” it quoted an eyewitness as saying.

Sources who witnessed the incident report that Rongye Adrak also called His Holiness the Dalai Lama to return home to Tibet, ICT said.

According to the International Tibet Support Network, new information from Tibet indicates that there are fears for Rongye Adrak’s health and that of his nephew Adak Lopoe, a senior monk from Lithang sentenced to ten years, and Tibetan art teacher and musician Kunkhyen, sentenced to nine years, both for allegedly attempting to provide pictures and information about the protest to overseas organisations.

Rongye Adak’s family members have only met him and Atruk Lopo once in the past three years. The meeting occurred after 50 people filed a request to local Chinese officials. Rongye Adak, the father of 11 children, has poor eyesight, said ITSN, a global coalition of Tibet support organisations worldwide.