Dharamshala: A parliamentary delegation consisting of parliamentarians Dorjee Tseten and Tsering Lhamo successfully concluded their official Tibet advocacy tour in Gujarat from 18th to 24th August 2023.
On 17th August, the MPs were received by Dr. Amit Jyotikar, Regional Convener of Core Group for Tibetan Cause, and Jayendra Sutariya, ITFS, upon their arrival at Ahmedabad and President and working committee members of the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress of Maharaja Sayajirao University on their arrival at Baroda.
Organised by the university’s Department of Political Science, Faculty of Arts and Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Policy Research and International Studies, the MPs on 18th August spoke at a special lecture and interaction on Tibet’s past and future at the Maharaja Sayahirao University of Baroda. Attended by over 100 students the public talk began with a welcome address by Professor Amit Dholakia, Head of Department, Political Science Department, followed by the introduction of the two Tibetan MPs by Dr. Amit Jyotikar, Regional Convener of Core Group for Tibetan Cause.
Parliamentarian Tsering Lhamo spoke on the environmental destruction of Tibet’s plateau by the Chinese government and on the human rights violations happening inside Tibet. While parliamentarian Dorjee Tseten, in his address, extended his gratitude to Dr Amit Jyotikar, Regional Convener of Core Group for Tibetan Cause, for organizing the talk and spoke on the historical fact of Tibet being an independent nation and its current status under the occupation of China. Likewise, he also spoke on the status of China with the changing global political dynamic, introduced the Central Tibetan Administration and the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, and answered follow-up questions asked by the students.
The special talk concluded with a thank you address by Prof Adhya Saxena, Dean Faculty of Arts wherein she applauded Tibetan students studying in the university for their positive behaviour and excellence in education and assured continued guidance of the Tibetan students and looking after their welfare. Prof. further underscored the significance of the historical facts related to the relations between India and Tibet, and the need to support Tibet’s issue. Afternoon on the same day, the MPs visited the university’s Department of Archaeology and Ancient History and paid their visit to the university’s museum which was inaugurated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Indian PM Shri Narendra Modi in 2010.
As Parliamentarian Dorjee Tsetan and Parliamentarian Tsering Lhamo continue to carry out the Tibet Advocacy Program, the respective parliamentarians paid a visit to long-time supporter of Tibet Dr. Bhaskar Vyas and his wife Dr Rajni Vyas on 19th August. The supporters have not only supported but taken part in the Tibet movement and have published books on Tibet’s struggle. The parliamentarians thanked them both for their consistent support.
In the afternoon, the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress organized a meeting between the Parliamentarians and the Tibetan students of Maharaja Sayajirao University. The Parliamentarians spoke on how to garner support for the cause of Tibet from Indian youth, the dire need to take responsibility for each individual to garner support and the current situation inside Tibet. Followed by a question and answer session.
After concluding the meetings and programs in Vadodara, the parliamentarians left for Ahmedabad on the next day. Dr Amit Jyotikar, Regional Convener of Core Group for Tibet Cause, Ahmedabad along with the representatives of India Tibet Friendship Society, Bharat Tibbat Samvad Manch, Bharat Tibbat Samnvay Sangh and Buddhist Society of India have gathered to discuss ways to support Tibet and how to further strengthen the support. They also deliberated on how to garner support from the Indian youth and shared different suggestions and opinions on that. The parliamentarians apprised the gathering of the critical situation inside Tibet and gave a brief introduction of the Central Tibetan Administration and Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile.
On 21st August, Dr. Amit Jyotikar, Regional Convener of Core Group for Tibet Cause, Ahmedabad led the parliamentarians to Shree Swaminarayan Arts College where the current Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi graduated from. The Parliamentarians then addressed a gathering of 200 teachers and students.
The lawmakers then met with Shri Pradip Parmar, Former minister of Gujarat. He expressed his concern and support for the cause of Tibet. The parliamentarians thanked the former minister for looking after the welfare of Tibetan sweater sellers and urged him for his continued support.
Later in the evening, Parliamentarian Dorjee Tseten appeared on GTPL Gujarat News Channel for an interview. The Parliamentarian spoke on the Tibet Advocacy Program, the human rights situation inside Tibet, the Indo-Tibet relationship, and the relevance of Tibet to the security, environment and politics of India. He also highlighted the importance of the new generation of India to be aware of Tibet’s issue, and recognition of Tibet as an independent country historically and presently under the illegal occupation of the People’s Republic of China by the government of India and the Indian parliament.
The Parliamentarians met with Shri Narhari Amin, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha and Former Deputy Chief Minister of Gujarat and presented him with the appeal letter and documents of TPiE. The parliamentarians urged them to bring the Tibet issue to the Indian Parliament and for his continued support.
Under the coordination of the Gujarat Tibet support group, the MPs on 22nd August visited the Ananta Institute of Nursing and Kamla Amrut Institute of Nursing in Gandhinagar and spoke to over 300 students and faculty members on Tibet’s history and current status. The MPs also called on Shri. Kanubhai Desai, Gujarat Finance Minister, apprised him of the Sino-Tibetan conflict. The minister was presented with an appeal letter from the TPiE and urged for his continued support. Later in the evening, the MPs visited the branch of Men-Tsee-Khang based in Gandhinagar.
On 23rd August, the MPs visited Lokmanya College and spoke on Tibet’s history and the need to know the relationship between India and Tibet. At the invitation of Gujarat University, the largest university in the state, the two MPs visited the university. They were welcomed by Prof. Manoj Shastri, Head of the School of Psychology, Philosophy and Education Department. In the presence of the university’s faculty members and students, Dr Amit Jyotikar, Regional Convener of Core Group for Tibetan Cause, India, introduced the objective of the MP’s advocacy tour in Gujarat and the functioning of the core group. MP Tsering Lhamo spoke on the destruction of Tibet’s distinct language and culture under Chinese rule in Tibet and MP Dorjee Tseten with the help of a presentation showed the proof of Tibet’s independence before its usurpation and its current status under the occupation of China. Likewise, he also spoke on the status of China with the changing global political dynamic and introduced the Central Tibetan Administration and the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile.
Dr. L. Venkateswaran, Director of the School of International Cooperation, Security and Strategic Languages, of Rashtriya Raksha University – an Institution of National Importance of India, Pioneering National Security and Police University of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, established by the Parliament of India, Act No. 31 of 2020 – hosted a dinner in honour of visiting Tibetan MPs. They also had a meeting with Professor (Dr.) Bimal N. Patel, Vice-Chancellor, Rashtriya Raksha University, and Member, National Security Advisory Board of India.
Led by Prof. (Dr.) Kalpesh. H. Wandra Pro, the directors of the five departments had a meeting with the Tibetan lawmakers where each department was introduced by their respective directors. Speaking on Tibet and on the functioning of the Central Tibetan Administration, the MPs proposed future collaboration with the university and on the process of admitting Tibetan students to the university. Norbu Wangyal, a Tibetan and Chinese language teacher at the RRU, led the Tibetan MPs on a visit to the School of International Cooperation, Security and Strategic Languages where they spoke on the above-mentioned topics and answered questions from students.
Finally, on the last leg of their visit, the MPs on 24th August visited Karnavati University and spoke on Tibet there. Dr. Sonam Mansukhani, Prof. of the university extended gratitude to the MPs for visiting the university and presented them with mementos. Later in the afternoon, Parliamentarian Dorjee Tseten and Dr Amit Jyotikar gave an interview to Jamawat News channel (www.jamawat.com). During the interview, the Tibetan MP and the Tibet supporter delved into the details of the history of Tibet, the current critical situation of Tibet, the evolution of Tibetan democracy in exile, the functioning of the CTA, the Indo-Tibet relationship, and the Tibetan struggle in general.
With this, the MPs successfully concluded their official Tibet advocacy tour in Gujarat.
–Reported by the Tibetan Parliamentary Secretariat