NEW DELHI: Deputy Speaker Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile addressed a panel discussion on Tibet being held at the prestigious India International Centre in New Delhi on 11 November.
The daylong panel discussion titled ‘How Important is Tibet issue to India’ was jointly organised by the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile and India International Centre. Noted Indian scholars like Prof Shrikanth Kondapali, Dr Rajiv Mehrotra and legal luminaries such as Mr J M Mukhi took part in the discussion. Mr Thubten Samphel, Director of Tibet Policy Institute, think tank of the Central Tibetan Administration took part in the program.
In his address at the panel discussion, Deputy Speaker Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok highlighted the importance of the Tibet issue to India’s foreign relations and defense, and expressed the priority placed by the Tibetan parliament to raise awareness about Tibet’s importance to India through such conferences and discussions.
Prof Shrikant Kondapali emphasised Tibet’s importance not just to India but also to the entire world. He also noted the development in education that have taken place within the small Tibetan community and the growing interest in Tibetan Buddhism. He attributed these successes to His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s farsighted vision and his efforts to promote religious harmony and compassion.
He also refuted the claims made by China about economic development in Tibet and said that development is just a facade and the real aim of China is to exploit the rich and abundant natural resource of Tibet. This exploitation has seriously destroyed the ecological balance of the Tibetan plateau, he said.
Mr J M Mukhi, former legal adviser at the Ministry of External Affairs, spoke about the violation of human rights under international law that is taking place inside Tibet under the Chinese government.
He cited a few examples wherein the Chinese government has violated the Tibetan people’s right to practice their faith such as their devotion to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He urged the Indian government to treat Tibet as its little brother and help the Tibetan people as much as it could in their hour of need.
Dr Rajiv Mehrotra, Trustee at Foundation for Universal Responsibility of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, expounded on the rich cultural heritage of Tibet.
He highlighted the historical and cultural bond shared by Tibet and India and reminded the audience that His Holiness the Dalai Lama always refer to India as teacher and Tibetans as students of Indian knowledge, which have greatly enhanced the prestige of India on the global stage.
He also lauded His Holiness the Dalai Lama for his life long efforts to promote universal harmony, compassion, ethical values and particularly his emphasis on dialogue with scientists through the study of the philosophies of the Nalanda School.
He further thanked His Holiness the Dalai Lama for his efforts to promote gender equality in religion through steps such as the conferment of Geshema degree to Tibetan Buddhist nuns.
Mr Thubten Samphel, spoke on the current geopolitical status of Tibet and Tibetan people. He explained the historically independent status of Tibet and the current policy of Middle Way Approach pursued by the Central Tibetan Administration to seek genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people.