Following the successful conclusion of ‘Solidarity with Tibet’ lobbying campaign in major cities of Bangalore, Hyderabad and Trivandrum, the South Zone Tibetan Parliamentary Delegation launched its lobbying campaign in the city of Pondicherry calling upon honorable Speaker of Pondicherry, Thiru R. Radhakrishnan.
The delegation also called on Thiru. N.G. Pannirselvam, the Honorable Minister of Local Administration and Rural Development and has also addressed a gathering of foreign writers, scholars and students at the Tibet Pavilion in Auroville. The delegates attended a Solidarity programme hosted by ITFS Pondicherry. Meanwhile the delegates called on Sri Manoj Das Gupta, International Head and the Managing Trustee of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, the globally renowned Spiritual Community.
On 19th morning, the Tibetan delegation called upon the Honorable Speaker of Pondicherry House, Thiru R. Radhakrishnan at the Secretariat and apprised him of the situation inside Tibet. Amid the presence of media personnel, the delegation also offered him traditional Khatta, pamphlets and booklets on Tibetan struggle while briefing him on the ongoing spate of Self-immolations in Tibet.
The Honorable Speaker accorded the delegations a warm reception with the offering of Shawls, mementos, gifts and refreshments. The delegates get a patient hearing from the Speaker to their deliberations. The Honorable Speaker later assured his support for the Tibetan cause and offered his prayers for the success of their struggle.
Earlier on the 18th, the delegation attended a ‘Youth Awareness Programme’ organized by the ITFS Pondicherry to mark the 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda and to extend Solidarity with Tibet. The programme was attended by over 200 Indian students and youth activists besides several Tibetan students from TCV Suja and local Tibetans.
Thiru. N.G. Pannirselvam, the Honorable Minister of Local Administration and Rural Development presided over the programme as the Chief Guest along with the Tibetan Parliamentary delegates. The Honorable Minister Pannirselvam, who is one of the five ministers of the Cabinet of the small Union territory of India, holds several important portfolios.
The Solidarity programme began with the Veena recitation by a young local prodigy Ms. Poornima, followed by introductory speech and Reception of the Tibetan delegates by Sri S. Adhavan, President of ITFS Pondicherry. Later Mr. J.P. Urs, South Zone ITFS Convenor addressed the gathering. This was followed by Mr. Gyari Bhutuk and Dr. Bumo Tsering of the Tibetan delegations addressing the gathering on the Tibetan issue and the ongoing crisis of Self-immolations inside Tibet.
Later honorable minister Thiru. N.G. Pannirselvam honored the Tibetan delegations by offering shawls and expressed his deep appreciation of the Tibetans for their untiring freedom struggle. He emphasized that Tibetans and Indians are brothers and sisters and that they are together in their struggle for freedom. Speaking to the young Indian audience, honorable minister emphasized, ‘Our youths should learn more about the Tibetan struggle and work for its freedom’. Later Honorable minister hosted a lunch for the Tibetan Parliamentary delegates.
Later that evening, a Talk was organized in the Tibet Pavilion in Auroville by Tibet-Supporter and scholar Mr. Claude Arpi. Over 60 members of Auroville, the international community of peace and human progress; comprising writers, scholars, social activists and students from across 15 nations attended the talk.
In the talk that spanned for several hours, the delegates spoke on the ongoing Tibet crisis and delve into the Tibetan struggle as a whole. They urged the participants to speak for the Tibetan nation and its people who are undergoing untold suffering and misery under Chinese dominance. The members of the Auroville unanimously raised their concern and solidarity over Tibet and pledge to write articles and books on the current crisis in Tibet. The talk was later aired in the Auroville Community Radio.
The following day, the delegates called upon, Sri Manoj Das Gupta, International Head and the Managing Trustee of Sri Aurobindo Ashram and apprised him of the Tibet situation.
Sri Manoj warmly received the delegates at his office and discussed the issue of Tibet in depth with them. He also reminded the delegates that the great late Mother of Sri Aurobindo supported the Tibetan people and their struggle. And that during a meeting with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in January 1973, the Mother told the Dalai Lama that Tibet will be free one day.
Sri Manoj further assured the delegates that Tibet has the truth and the spiritual power and will definitely succeed in the end. ‘Of course China will definitely change and Tibet will regain its freedom’, he stressed. Sri Manoj however stated that though he did appreciate and understand their sentiments of the Tibetan self-immolators but he does not approve their action. ‘Self immolation is not a correct way. We need these young Tibetans for Tibet’. Bidding the delegation’s success, Mr. Das offered gifts produced by the Ashram inmates and raised his fist calling, ‘Victory’ ala Bod Gyalo.
The delegation concluded their campaign in Pondicherry and is currently in Chennai for its last leg of ‘Solidarity with Tibet’ campaign in South India.