Today marks the start of Losar, the Tibetan New Year. However, this year there are none of the usual celebrations. In memory of the hundreds of Tibetan people that died during protests last March, Tibetans both inside and outside of Tibet have decided not to celebrate the New Year with the usual festivities.
Several hundred Tibetans and supporters gathered at Freedom Square in Taipei tonight to mark the occasion. A large Tibetan flag was laid on the ground surrounded with candles. Candles were also lit spelling out “No Losar”. A documentary about the 2008 protests in Tibet was screened.
Representatives of Taiwan Friends of Tibet, the Tibetan Youth Congress, Presbyterian Church and Tibet Welfare Association all made speeches. Friends of Tibet chairwoman Chow Mei-li (周美里) said that just a year ago there was a candlelight vigil held in the same place in response to the protests in Tibet. A minute of silence was held to remember those who had lost their lives in the protests.
There will be several events held next month to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising. On 10 March there will be a rally for Tibet in the morning in Kaohsiung and in the evening at Freedom Square in Taipei. On 14 March there will be a rally in Taipei beginning at 1:00pm from Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT Station. The Free Tibet concert has been postponed to July. Check the websites of Taiwan Friends of Tibet, the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress and 50th anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising activities for updates and information.
*More photos in the No Losar set at flickr.