NEW DELHI: APIPFT Convener Mr. Yashwanth Sinha and Tibet supporter Dr. Raghuvansh Prasad Singh held separate press conferences at their residences on the current situation of Tibet. Following is the transcribed press statements of the two eminent persons:
1. Dr. Raghuvansh Prasad Singh
(Member of Lower House of the Indian Parliament)
Venue: 8 Ashoka Road, New Delhi
Date: 29 March, 2012
Tibetans living in India are our guests. We consider guests as celestial beings. The Dalai Lama is a spiritual leader and he is doing a religious service by conveying the messages of Gautam Buddha. In this scenario, Tibetans are being mistreated in the People’s Republic of China. Up till now 31 Tibetans have set themselves on fire. They are demanding the protection of their culture and genuine autonomy. Right now, BRICS submit is under way. Presidents and Prime Minister of the BRICS members are here for discussion on trade and commerce. Tibetans living across the world are followers of the Buddha and they are peace lovers. They express their demands in peaceful manners. In China they are being subdued with repressive policy. There is a gross violation of human rights in Tibet. The countries around the world raise the issue in the UN. The Chinese Government should also take note of the serious violations of human rights in Tibet. The Indian Government must make an initiation on this matter to protect the human rights, save the Tibetan culture from extinction and preserve their religious institutes. And these need to be addressed properly at the international level.
Day before yesterday, Mr Jamphel Yeshi self-immolated. This morning he died an awful death. That act was an sacrifice for the Tibetan cause. Tibetans are immolating themselves in order to to bring the world attention to their demands for genuine autonomy and protection of their culture.
Up till now 31 Tibetans have immolated themselves in and outside of Tibet. China must stop its repressive policy in Tibet and respect the human rights. Whatever China is doing there in the name of developments by destroying the Tibetan culture must be noticed by the world community.
Question: You have raised the issue of Tibetan independence in the Lower House of the Indian Parliament?
Dr. Raghuvansh Prasad Singh: I have raised the issue twice in the House. I told Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that he must continue with the Non-Alignment policy of Jawaharlal Nehru. But, India is the largest democracy in the world and it must therefore stand up with those who are struggling for democracy in their countries. For example, a support should be given to what Mrs Aung San Suu Kyi is doing in Myanmar. The Indian Government also need stand up with the Tibetans in China too.
Question: Is it possible to pass a resolution on Tibet in the Parliament?
Dr. Raghuvansh Prasad Singh: It is possible to pass the resolution. We have a group of people from different political parties and other walks of life. There is a list of great persons like Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia, Babu Jai Prakash Narayan, and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayi who were/are Tibet supporters. Taking note of all this factors in mind we would press for such resolution in the Parliament.
2. Mr. Yashwanth Sinha
(Member of Lower House of the Indian Parliament)
Venue: Kushab Road, New Delhi
Date: 30 March, 2012
Question: With the Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit to New Delhi, a lot of atrocities is happening with the Tibetans here. What is your reaction on this sir?
Mr. Yashwanth Sinha: I am very sad at what has happened. I am very worried that whoever looks little like a Tibetan was arrested and beaten up by the Delhi police. These excesses in the capital of India were imminent avoidable. This BRICS summit in which the Chinese President was supposed to participate was something which was planned from a long time. Therefore, the police should have acted with much more humility than what we have seen in the TV channels.
After having said this, I would like to add. While I fully support the cause of the Tibetan people. You know, self-immolation, which some of our Tibetan boys and girls have indulged in either in India or Tibet or in China is also avoidable. You have to live alive in order to able to be fight. You are not adding something to that fight by killing yourself. So my appeal to the Tibetan youth is, please live because you have to struggle for achieving whatever is your goal. You cannot achieve anything by killing yourself.
This is also a very sad chapter of the Tibetan saga for struggle, for autonomy or for self rule etc.. I hope, a good sense would prevail and they will avoid what they are doing. It is feeling extremely sad that young person should immolate self in this manner. I was told that young man Jamphel Yeshi who killed himself in Delhi had actually consumed kerosene and sprinkled kerosene on top of him. When he lit the fire he was burning both inside and from the outside. You know, It was a highly tragic incident.
Question: Also you know sir, certain amount of racial profiling is happening by the police. Anyone who looks remotely like Tibetan is caged and put them inside busses and locked them up. Given that there could be any justification in doing this?
Mr. Yashwanth Sinha: Absolutely none. I said right in the beginning, this was imminently avoidable. The police should have a clear idea of who the Tibetans are and where they are planning to do what they are planning to do. They should have deal with them in a civil manner and in a human manner instead of using lathis or using force in the manner in which they did it. They did that too indiscriminately with anyone who remotely looks like a Tibetan was a very sad incident.
Question: Tibetans are looking for Indian Parliamentarians’ support. Can we expect some resolutions or support from the Indian Parliament?
Mr. Yashwanth Sinha: In the Indian Parliament, we have the All Party Indian Parliamentary Forum for Tibet (APIPFT) which is in support of the Tibetan cause. We meet from time to time and we do whatever we can in order to be able to promote this cause. As far as the Parliament is concerned, the Loka Sabha (Lower House) is not functioning right now. If it was so, then I may have raised the issue and drawn the attention of our people and the international community to the sufferings of the Tibetan people.
Question: Can you say this is India’s well or against us?
Mr. Yashwanth Sinha: In the just concluded BRICS summit, Chinese President attended it. In order to prevent the Tibetans from protesting in front of him, the police had taken a condemnable step. Whoever looks like Tibetan from a distance, whether the person is from the northeast or from the other parts of India, he or she is considered Tibetan and mistreated and imprisonment. This was not necessary and the police should not have done it.
After saying all these, I would like to add, our young Tibetan men and women who immolate oneself makes us feel agony and pain. One can only fight by living alive, not after death. Therefore, I would to like to appeal whether they are living in Tibet, India, China or everywhere else, one should not kill self in immolation. They should have to live alive in order to carry forward their struggle. There is a large number of Tibetan supporters in India who are standing behind them in all the causes. We all would like to move in step by step with them and carry the Tibetan cause forward.
The conferences were jointly organised by APIPFT & TPPRC