DHARMSHALA: Over 200 members of Tibet Support Groups from across the world today started their three-day meeting to strengthen efforts to deal with the urgent and grave situation in Tibet, as Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay said the meeting will send a strong message of international community’s solidarity to Tibetans inside Tibet.
“This special meeting of Tibet Support Groups is historic and extremely important in light of tragic self-immolations by 74 Tibetans in Tibet. It will send a clear message to Beijing that Tibetan supporters will make sure that Tibet issue remain alive till freedom is restored in Tibet and His Holiness the Dalai Lama return to Tibet,” said Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, the democratically-elected leader and the political successor to His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
He said the meeting also sends a message that Tibetans in Tibet are suffering torture on daily basis and denied basic human rights, but they are sacrificing their lives in the belief that Tibetans in exile and supporters will stand up for them to realise their aspirations for freedom and His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s return to Tibet, he said.
He underlined that the Tibet support groups should rise up to ask why Tibetans are burning themselves to death.
“Tibet is a litmus test for China and the world. There will be real harmony and peaceful rise of China if it finds a lasting solution to the problems of Tibet,” he said.
He said efforts should be made to make the cause of Tibet as one of most important issues on the international forum in 2013.
He underscored that sacrifices made by Tibetans in Tibet would not go in vain because we will intensify our campaigns to fulfill their aspirations. “The Tibetan people’s spirit, solidarity and unity, have never strong as it is today. We should build on this strength and make the aspirations of Tibetans inside come true with the support of Tibet support groups and sacrifices made by Tibetans,” he added.
He said China faces no impediment to resolve the problems of Tibet, given the constitutional provisions for autonomy rights for Tibet and the Chinese leadership’s political willingness to solve the issue of Taiwan.
Kalon Dicki Chhoyang of the Department of Information and International Relations spoke about the important developments that took place in Dharamshala in the last few months especially the replacement of the term ‘Kalon Tripa’ to ‘Sikyong’.
“Sikyong is actually not a new term. It was introduced during the seventh Dalai Lama. The tile holder carries final authority on all political matters. This name change ensures historical continuity and legitimacy of the traditional leadership from the fifth Dalai Lama”, she said.
Dr N.K Trikha, the National Convener of Core Group for Tibetan Cause, India, said, “we all stand for the just cause of Tibet. The Tibet cause is a cause that concerns all of us.”
“More than 70 Tibetans, mostly youths, have set themselves on fire. Such horrifying acts of laying down one’s life cannot happen unless one is forced by the most desperate situation,” he added.
Dr Indresh Kumar, a senior Indian political leader and longtime Tibet supporter, said the time has come for the international community to act to press the Chinese government to find a lasting solution to the problems of Tibet.
Around 20 Chinese delegates are attending the Special International Tibet Support Group Meetings from 16-18 November.