Tibet Advocacy campaign concluded in New Delhi
Indian Parliamentarians call on Prime Minister to raise Tibet with Chinese leaders
Photos of the campaign can be viewed here:
March 15, 2013, New Delhi: The 3-day ‘Tibet advocacy campaign’ was held in the Indian capital city from March 13 – 15 in coinciding with budget session of Indian Parliament.
The advocacy¬ team met with over 20 members of the Indian Parliament from both the houses Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha and from varied political parties: Shri Mani Shankar Aiyar, Dr. Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, Shri Inder Singh, Shri Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Shri Joseph Toppo, Shri Sansuma Kunggur Bwiswmuthiary, Shri Rishang Keishing, Shri Takam Sanjoy, Dr. Karan Singh,
Ms. Agata Sangma, Shri Mulayam Singh Yadav, Smt. Smriti Irani, Prof. Anil Kumar Sahani, Shri Baishnap Parida,Shri Pradeep Battacharya, Shri Sohan Potai, Shri Ram Vilas Paswan, Dr Pradeep Balmuchu, Shri Deeraj Sahu, Dr. Ajay Kumar and Shri. Ninong Ering, Minister of State, Minority Affairs.
Jointly organized by Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA) and Students for a Free Tibet, India (SFT India) and coordinated by the International Tibet Network in the light of an unprecedented spate of self-immolations of Tibetans inside Tibet- 107 Tibetans, the campaign aimed to gather Government support and diplomatic intervention to redress the grim situation inside Tibet.
TWA’s General Secretary Nyima Lhamo said “the advocacy team engaged the Indian Parliamentarians in a strategic discussion to ensure an institutional support and tangible action to assert multilateral pressure on the Chinese leadership to resolve the Tibet crisis.”
“Through this campaign we have appealed the Parliamentarians to urge Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to raise the issue of self immolations in Tibet during his meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping at the upcoming BRICS summit scheduled to be held in Durban this month end,” said Dorjee Tseten, National Director of SFT India.
Mani Shankar Aiyar, former minister and now a member of Rajya Sabha told the team that the self-immolation protests inside Tibet are critical and needs urgent intervention and therefore could possibly effectuate a diplomatic expression from the Indian leadership to it’s Chinese counterpart.
Ram Vilas Paswan, former minister, now a Rajya Sabha MP and chief of Lok Janshakti party produced a copy of a letter showcasing a ‘January 22 written question urging Prime Minister to ‘sympathetically look into the matter of heightened repression in Tibet’, and a subsequent February 9 acknowledgement from Dr. Manmohan Singh.’
In a swift response to the advocacy campaign, independent Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrashekar tweeted about the self-immolations in Tibet and subsequently sent a letter to the Prime Minister drawing his attention to the same. “I urge you to support the cause of Tibetan freedom by issuing a strong statement in light of current human rights violation and crisis in Tibet and raise this issue with the Chinese President at the upcoming BRICS meeting on 26 and 27 March 2013, in Durban, South Africa” wrote Rajeev. View the copy of the letter here:
“Within 2 days, 11 MPs signed the ‘Stand up for Tibet’ pledge, which has already garnered 50,000 signatories. The copies of the signed ‘pledge’ and an exclusive appeal letter was delivered to the Prime Minister’s office today,” said Tsering Choedup from International Tibet Network.
The team also met with leaders and office bearers of National Political parties and delivered the advocacy kit. The campaign also requested the Indian Parliamentarians to make possible the invitation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to address the Indian Parliament, and to also invite Dr. Lobsang Sangay, the political leader of Tibet to present on Tibet, in the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Indian Parliament.
The advocacy campaign will be an on-going campaign in India with substantial follow-ups with the Indian lawmakers.
Nyima Lhamo, General Secretary, TWA: 0-9882502821
Dorjee Tsetan, National Director, SFT India :0-9882344883