Prime Minister Lobsang Sengey. Pic: AP.

DHARMSALA, India (AP) — The leader of the Tibetan government-in-exile says young Tibetans are leading the struggle to free their Himalayan homeland from Chinese rule.

Prime Minister Lobsang Sangay acknowledged it was not easy for them, being isolated from those who have gone into exile around the world, while those who remain and remember the 1959 Tibetan Uprising are aging.

The 1959 uprising in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa led to a bloody crackdown by the Chinese army, and the Dalai Lama fled with his followers to India.

Sangay noted 126 people since 2009 had set themselves on fire in Tibet to protest China’s heavy-handed rule. Many have been Buddhist monks and nuns calling for Tibetan freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama.