In open defiance of authorities, Tibetans set up a portrait of exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama at a traditional horse-racing festival in China’s Sichuan province this week, inviting festival-goers to pray before the photo and make offerings, sources said.
The popular festival, held this year on July 27 in Dziwa village in Bathang (in Chinese, Batang) county in the Kardze (Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, opened with the Dalai Lama portrait’s formal installation, a Tibetan living in exile told RFA’s Tibetan Service on Tuesday.
“Though Chinese authorities imposed restrictions on the festival, the Tibetans brought in a portrait of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and placed it on a throne,” Tsultrim Choedar said, citing local sources.
“The organizers also invited Tibetans gathered at the festival to view the photo and offer ceremonial scarves,” he said.
“They prayed for the long life of the Dalai Lama and other prominent religious teachers, and also prayed for a resolution of the question of Tibet.”