BYLAKUPPE: Thousands of Tibetans rally around bearers of the torch as they arrived in Bylakuppe settlement in India’s southern state of Karnataka from Chennai on Friday morning.
The two torch bearers – Tsewang Dorjee and Tenzin Dalha of TSAM – were received by representatives of both the Tibetan and Indian community. Mr Jigme Jungney and Mr Lobsang Yeshi, members of Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, Mr Sadha Shivappa, President of Indo-Tibetan Friendship Society, Mr Jawara Gowda, Vice President of ITFS, Dr A A Chengappa, secretary, Mr Rajendra, executive member and Tibetan settlement officers are among those present.
Tibetans lined up on the road side to greet the procession as it passes through the settlement led by over 50 representatives and camp leaders carrying Tibetan national flags.
Mr J P Urs, convenor of Tibet Support Group (South Zone), received the procession on its arrival at the main palace. A minute’s silence was observed for those Tibetans who sacrificed their lives for the Tibetan cause.
In his opening remarks, Mr Jigme Jungney, a member of Tibetan Parliament-in-exile, said the parliament has organised the torch relay to get concrete support from the international community, especially the UN, to end Chinese repression in Tibet. He urged Tibetans living in free world to make concerted efforts in Tibet’s struggle for freedom and justice.
Attributing repression as the root cause of of self-immolations in Tibet, he said the Chinese government must end its repressive policies through addressing the grievances and aspirations of the self-immolators.
ITFS Convenor J P Urs, expressing his strong support for relay campaign, urged friends and supporters of Tibet to reaffirm their support for the Tibetan people’s struggle for freedom and justice by launching global solidarity movements.
Mr Urs said: “The flame of truth relay would serve as a useful campaign to understand the reality of Tibet’s problem and as an appeal to the United Nations to take firm actions and deliver justice to Tibet and its people.”
As the torch relay passes from the Tibetan settlement to neighbouring towns of Periyapatna, Medikeri and Kushal Nagar in the coming days, it will rally support from the public through public talks, signature campaign and press conferences.
The southern leg of the torch relay, which was launched from the city of Kochi on 6 July, had so far travelled to Coimbatore, Pondicherry, Auroville and Chennai before arriving in Bylakuppe in Karnataka state. The campaign, including the signature campaign, received strong support from many eminent Indians as it passed through different towns and cities. The relay aims to get 3,00,000 signatures for the petition to be presented to the UN on 10 December.
Through this campaign, the Parliament-in-exile urges UN member states and Secretary General to address following demands:
1. The United Nations must discuss the issue of Tibet based on the resolutions which it passed in 1959, 1961 and 1965, and continuously make efforts to fulfil the substance of these resolutions
2. An independent international fact-finding delegations must immediately be sent to investigate the ongoing crisis in Tibet
3. The United Nations must take special responsibility to ensure that the basic aspirations of the Tibetans inside Tibet are fulfilled
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