DHARAMSHALA: Fresh reports coming out of Tibet say one more Tibetan has self-immolated in Damshung near Tibet’s capital last Saturday. Next day, the flame of truth relay to garner global support to end repression against Tibetans in Tibet kicked off from its designated zones in India.
The southern leg of the relay was launched by V R Krishna Iyer, a 95-year-old former judge in the Supreme Court of India and Padma Vibhushan recipient, at his residence in Kochi. A large number of Tibetans, Indian supporters gathered for the launch. Karma Yeshi, a member of Tibetan Parliament, leading the campaign, took Mr Iyer’s signature on the petition to be forwarded to the United Nations to act on its past resolutions on the issue of Tibet.
Addressing the media, Mr Iyer said: “Lord Buddha stands for the greatest blessings of God to humanity. Tibet as a nation and the Tibetan culture stands for the Buddha. His Holiness the Dalai Lama stands for humanity and compassion; human rights and human culture. And I wish he becomes popular in the whole world. He is not just an individual, nor the state, but he stands for global culture”.
He further stated that “The people of Tibet are dying, they are becoming slaves, and we cannot allow that. They are entitled for full freedom and we stand for that. Support its culture and independence. We are with them. May this Day grow more glorious!”
The flame then passed through different corners of the city, with a stopover at a memorial of Mahatma Gandhi, where scores of Indian supporters joined the rally.
From Kochi, the rally will make its way to Tamil Nadu and then to other parts of the southern states.
Simultaneous relays started from Ladakh (North) and Shillong (East).
Flame of Truth relay begins from Ladakh
The Chief Guest and the Chief Executive Councillor of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Mr. Rigzin Spalbar has inaugurated the Flame of Truth Relay from Ladakh in a glittering program held in front of the Shide Phodrang on the occasion of 77th Birth Anniversary of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.
The celebration was attended by His Eminence the Gaden Thri Rinpoche, Khen Rinpoche of Thiksey Monastery, the President of Ladakh Buddhist Association, the President of Ladakh Monastic Institution, the President of the TPiE’s Committee on “Flame of Truth” Relay Mr. Pema Jungney, Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok and Mr. Sonam Gyaltsen (both member of Tibetan Parliament), and thousands of people from both Tibetan and Ladakhi communities. The Tibetan Welfare Officer and the President of the Local Tibetan Assembly addressed the rally in English and Tibetan respectively.
The renowned singer and the prominent figure from Ladakh, “Ladakh Phuntsok” expressed his solidarity towards the cause through his song and appealed to Indian leaders for the possible support from all elected leaders of India.
The signature campaign was also launched intended to submit the petition to the UN headquarters in New York, UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and UN Information Center in New Delhi at the completion of Flame of Truth Relay in December 2012.
Flame of Truth relay begins from Shillong
Tibetan Parliament-in-exile’s “Flame of Truth” relay was simultaneously launched from leh, Kochi and Shillong on July 6, 2012, the birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Herein Shillong, all Tibetans gathered at the Tibetan monastery Gadhen Choeling and performed prayers at the beginning. Later chief guest of the day Mr Charles Pyngrope, honourable speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya state was received at the monastery, where birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama was celebrated. He joined the function in Tibetan dress offered to him by the Tibetan settlement office.
At the beginning Mr Lhakpa Tsering, Tibetan settlement officer read the Kashag’s English statement issued on the occasion of His Holiness’ birthday. Then Mr. Jamyang Soepa, Member of Tibetan Parliament-in-exile briefed the gathering on the “Flame of Truth” relay in Tibetan. Later Ms Yangchen Dolkar, Member of Tibetan Parliament-in-exile spoke on His Holiness’ birthday and “Flame of Truth” relay in English.
Chief Guest of the day Mr Charles Pyngrope, honourable speaker of Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya at first addressed the gathering by wishing His Holiness’ birthday in Tibetan. He said that, “Through this flame of truth relay, world will be awakened and could bring awareness on the issue of Tibet in large scale.” He also said that the dream of an independent Tibet is not only the dream of Tibetans, but it is the dream of the whole world. And he further stated that he wish to meet Tibetans next time in independent Tibet. He then announced a donation of rupees lakh for the upgradation of the Tibetan monastery.
Mr Charles Pyngrope then launched the “Flame of Truth” relay and signed the appeal letter to be submitted to the UN. This “Flame of Truth” torch will remain in Shillong for four days and Tibetan settlement office with the support of Tibetan NGOs will collect signatures on the appeal to be submitted to UN offices on universal Human Rights day on December 10, 2012. This Flame of Truth relay will later make its journey to various places throughout the world making global community aware of the issue of Tibet.
The flame of truth relay organised by the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile aims to impress upon the United Nations to discuss the issue of Tibet based on the resolutions that it has passed in 1959, 1961 and 1965, and make continuous efforts to fulfill the substance of these resolutions. It demands an independent international fact-finding delegations to be immediately sent to investigate the ongoing crisis in Tibet.