Anniversary of Declaration of Independence of Tibet by the 13th Dalai Lama

His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama of Tibet. Photo: file

February 13th holds immense significance for Tibet and its people, marking the historic moment in 1913 when Tibet unequivocally proclaimed its independence under the leadership of the 13th Dalai Lama.

In accordance with diplomatic protocols and the principles of international relations, it is crucial to acknowledge the significance of historical milestones in the foundation of nations, irrespective of their current political circumstances. This principle holds true for Tibet as well. The Tibetan people rightfully assert their prerogative to commemorate Tibet's Independence Day on February 13th, as it symbolises a vital chapter in their history and aspirations for self-determination.

The observance of this day underscores the Tibetan people's unwavering commitment to shaping their future based on principles of freedom and independence. It serves as an occasion to reaffirm Tibetans' enduring connection to their land, grounded in political, historical, and cultural heritage. Moreover, it presents an opportunity to pay homage to the esteemed figures of the past, acknowledge the contributions of the present generation, and recognise the emerging leaders dedicated to advancing Tibet's interests on the global stage.

Given the diplomatic sensitivities surrounding this issue, it is essential for the international community to respect Tibetans' right to commemorate this significant event as an expression of their identity and aspirations. Upholding this right aligns with the broader principles of human rights, self-determination, and the peaceful resolution of disputes.

As responsible members of the global community, it is imperative for all stakeholders to engage constructively with Tibetans and support their pursuit of a free, prosperous, and dignified future for Tibet. Through fostering mutual understanding and dialogue, we can contribute to the promotion of peace, stability, and the respect for fundamental freedoms in the region and beyond.

The esteemed 13th Dalai Lama, alongside the Tibetan people, reclaimed Tibet as a sovereign nation and declared Tibetan independence on February 13, 1913, marked a pivotal moment in history of Tibet. To honour this significant day, on February 13th, 2013, the global Tibet movement commemorated the centenary of the Declaration of Independence of Tibet by His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama. Observing independence day in regions under occupation serves as a potent expression of a people's yearning for liberty.

Since then, February 13th has been celebrated in cities worldwide through various activities such as flag-raising ceremonies, exhibitions, lobbying efforts, and other innovative initiatives, all aimed at highlighting Tibet's rich independent heritage. Elected representatives globally have participated in these events, demonstrating solidarity with Tibetans in Tibet, organised by Tibetan organisations and Tibet Support Groups around the world.

Despite China's escalating propaganda, which distorts Tibet's history and makes baseless claims over its territory and populace, Tibetans within Tibet persist in reclaiming their homeland through protests against Chinese rule. We stand in solidarity with these efforts, utilising this campaign as a platform to honour Tibet's illustrious past and carve out its future.

A global commemoration of this empowering history will reignite spirits and reaffirm our collective vision for a free Tibet, with the return of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.
This year marks the 110th anniversary of Tibetan Independence Day, a poignant reminder for the Tibetan people as their nation remains under the occupation of China. Join the people of Tibet every February 13th to celebrate Tibetan Independence Day.

Here are simple ways you can participate in this year's Tibetan Independence Day:

  1. Raise the Tibetan national flag wherever you are and envision the day when you can proudly hoist this flag in a liberated Tibet.
  2. Capture a photo while raising the Tibetan flag and share it on social media using #TibetanIndependenceDay and #RaisetheTibetanFlag. Your photos may be featured on TPI's social media platforms. Send your photo to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  3. Educate yourself and others about the Tibetan national flag by sharing informational brochures. If you're part of a group or network, consider organizing a Tibetan flag-raising protest outside Chinese Consulates or Missions on February 13th. This can include protests, readings of the Tibetan Independence Proclamation, and issuing press releases to local media outlets.