DHARAMSHALA, India, 18 June 2019
Indian supporters for a free Tibet have urged the Union government in New Delhi to confer the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour, on the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama for his immense contributions in creating goodwill for India over the last six decades.
The 6th All-India Tibet Support Groups’ Conference was held on 15 and 16 June in Dharamshala township of Himachal Pradesh under the chairmanship of Rinchin Khandu Khrimey, national convener of Core Group for Tibetan Cause. A declaration was adopted that the Nobel laureate continues to be a holy ambassador of Indian culture enriched with non-violence, compassion, and religious harmony. The Dharamshala declaration also called upon New Delhi to prevail over the People’s Republic of China for a constructive negotiation with the representatives of Central Tibetan Administration (formerly Tibetan government in exile) under the guidance of the Dalai Lama for the sustainable solution of the Tibet issue.
It also appealed to the international community to support the Dharamshala-based CTA in its relentless pursuit for a peaceful resolution to Tibetan issues comprising the quest of millions of Tibetans (inside and outside Tibet) for dignity, justice and peace in their land, which has been occupied by the Communist regime in Beijing since 1959.
The declaration insisted on complete freedom of language and culture pursued by the Tibetan Buddhists with an end to repressions over the people and exploitations of natural resources inside Tibet which might have severe ecological implications to various neighbouring countries like India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Thailand. Over 200 delegates from 21 States of India, while attending the two-day conference, strongly condemned the Chinese government for systemic violations of human rights under its illegal occupation over the land of Dalai Lama and also the militarization of the Tibetan plateau threatening the peace across the Indian sub-continent.
The conference commemorated the 60th year since the first-ever Tibet support convention held at Kolkata in May 1959 under the leadership of Loknayak Jayprakash Narayan soon after Pawanpujya Dalai Lama with many fellow Tibetans fled to India to escape Chinese oppression.
Mentioning the Kolkata convention, Dr Anand Kumar, general secretary of the India Tibet Friendship Society, commented that the little assembly of responsible citizens helped nurture a big river of consciousness, humanity, and solidarity for Tibetan causes in the present time. He also termed the Tibetan transition as remarkable for their wisdom, commitment, and resilience against the mightiest empire in the world.
Addressing the inaugural session, Indresh Kumar, patron of Bharat Tibbat Sahyog Manch, termed Beijing’s recent political and military advances as a threat to India’s national security. He disclosed that the conflict-ridden India-China border was once used to be a friendly boundary between India and Tibet. An ideologist of Rashtriya Swayang Sewak, Kumar however asserted that New Delhi won’t deter from taking strong actions against the Chinese advance.
Delivering the keynote address, Tibetan leader Dr Lobsang Sangay expressed his warmth and gratitude to India and its people for generous support to the Tibetan authority, saying that no other country has done (or can do) more than India and none could be more helpful for Tibet than the people of India. CTA President Sangay explained the Middle-Way Approach for resolving Tibetan issues.
A Hindi translation of Sangay’s ‘Tibet was Never Part of China but the Middle Way Approach Remains a Viable Solution’ was released at the function, where the bright and highly-educated Tibetan leader highlighted their demand for the genuine autonomy for Tibetan people with emphasis on constitutional rights for preserving their distinct language and culture.
Others who spoke at the conference included Dr Abanti Bhattacharya, professor on Chinese Studies in Delhi University; Prof Ramu Manivannam from Madras University; Thinlay Chukki; CTA information and international relations officer Dechen Palmo; CTA research fellow, Ajai Singh; president of India Tibet Friendship Association, Vijay Kranti; journalist from Doordarshan, Surender Kumar, co-convener of CGTC. The closing session was graced by Choekyong Wangchuk, heath minister in CTA, Dharamshala.
About the author
Nava Thakuria is a journalist and media commentator based in Guwahati, Northeast India. He has been covering socio-political developments of Northeast India, along with its neighbours Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, Myanmar, and Bangladesh, for various media outlets for more than two decades.
More articles by Nava Thakuria on Tibet Sun.