Bhopal, October 21: Flame of Truth relay in Bhopal received support from prominent Indians including state minister and local Buddhist community.
After successful completion of relay in pink city Jaipur, Flame of Truth torch reached Bhopal, capital city of Madhya Pradesh on October 19. At the railway station, leaders of Tibetan Sweater Sellers’ Association received the Torch. Later in the afternoon at 4 p.m. Tibetan MP Karma Yeshi addressed press conference and spoke to journalists on current critical situation inside Tibet, self-immolations in Tibet by showing powerful pictures from Tibet. He also informed the media people that China had established nuclear and missile bases in Tibet. He also responded to the questions asked by the journalists. Event was covered by print and online media next day. Later in the evening at 6 p.m., Tibetan MP addressed members of Tibetan Sweater Sellers’ Association on current situation in Tibet, Flame of Truth relay initiated by Tibetan Parliament-in-exile.
On October 20 at 9 a.m., Tibetan delegation led by Karma Yeshi met Sh.Babulal Gaur, former Chief Minister and current Urban Development Minister of Madhya Pradesh state. Tibetan MP briefed the minister on the current situation inside Tibet and presented documents on Flame of Truth relay. Sh. Babulal Gaur applauded His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s leadership and stated that Tibetan struggle will bring result one day. He also promised to continue his support to the just cause of Tibet and signed the Tibet petition to be submitted to the United Nations on December 10.
Later Tibetan delegation met Sh. Mohan Lal Patil, State President and National General Secretary of Republican Party of India and briefed him on the issue of Tibet. Sh. Patil expressed his solidarity with Tibetan people and promised to support the issue of Tibet in future too. Sh. Patil also signed the Tibet petition.
On October 20 at 6.30 p.m., Flame of Truth relay and Candle Light Vigil began from Karuna Buddha Vihar with Tibetan & Indian national Anthem. A minute’s silence was observed to pay tribute to the selfless acts of brave Tibetans inside Tibet. Later dignitaries offered scarf and lighted candle at the Buddha Vihar. Sh. Chandrabodhi Patil, President of Buddhist Society of India gave introductory speech and welcomed Flame of Truth torch to Bhopal. Then Tibetan MP Karma Yeshi addressed the gathering on current situation inside Tibet and Flame of Truth relay campaign in Hindi. Candle Light Procession began with prayers. After marching over 4 Kilo meters in the city, programme concluded at Buddha Vihar with prayers in Hindi and vote of thanks speech by Sonam Dorjee, President of Tibetan Sweater Sellers’ Association. Over 200 participants (both Tibetans & Indians) including local leaders of Indian Buddhist community participated in the vigil.
On October 21, Tibetan delegation led by Karma Yeshi met Shri. Manoj Kumar Srivastav, Principal Secretary of Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh and presented memorandum on Tibet. Karma briefed him on the current critical situation inside Tibet and many other issues related to Tibet. Sh. Srivastav on his personal capacity signed the Tibet petition and promised to submit memorandum to the Chief Minister. Flame of truth relay in Bhopal concluded successfully and Tibetan MP Karma Yeshi left for Dharamshala, exile headquarters via Delhi same day evening. Members and leaders of Tibetan Sweater Sellers’ Association and local Indian Buddhist community supported and actively participated in Flame of Truth relay.
With this, Flame of Truth relay in India concluded successfully. During past over three months, three different Flame of Truth torches travelled to over 120 regions in 27 states of India. Now seven similar torches are travelling in 5 continents and will cover over 30 countries by first week of November.
All the collected signatures will reach the Committee on Flame of Truth relay by November 15 for submission to the United Nations. Five month long relay will end with submission of collected signatures and one torch each to UN Headquarters in New York, UN Human Rights Council in Geneva & UN Information Centre in New Delhi on the Universal Human Rights day (December 10).