Tibetan activists with the 'Flame of Truth' near the recently renamed Elizabeth Tower in London.
DHARAMSHALA, September 14: The Tibetan ‘Flame of Truth,’ on its journey across continents calling for an end to the ongoing crisis inside Tibet, arrived in London earlier this week.
The torch, along with its bearer, Tibetan Member of Parliament from Europe, Ven. Thubten Wangchen were received by the Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Thubten Samdup and local Tibetans in London.
After campaigning throughout India, the second leg of the torch relay, initiated by the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, to express “solidarity with the courageous and selfless acts” of Tibetans inside Tibet, was flagged off simultaneously in North America, Europe and Australia on September 2, the 52nd Tibetan Democracy Day.
On Wednesday, the torch brought its campaign outside the10 Downing Street, the residence of Prime Minister David Cameron. The activists handed out leaflets and collected signatures for the campaign petition urging the United Nations to discuss the issue of Tibet based on its earlier resolutions, to send an independent international fact-finding delegation to Tibet and to take special responsibility to ensure that the basic aspirations of the Tibetans inside Tibet are fulfilled.
A memorandum to PM Cameron was also submitted, requesting his support on the Tibetan issue.
The torch delegation was then received by Fabian Hamilton, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet and other members of the British parliament at the Houses of Parliament. The British lawmakers signed the campaign petition and assured of their continued support for Tibet.
After stopping over at the iconic Trafalgar Square to collect signatures for the petition drive, the torch arrived at the Chinese Embassy, where a larger crowd of Tibetans and supporters gathered to protest.
MP Wangchen in his address, highlighted the critical situation inside Tibet, heralded by the ongoing wave of self-immolations, which has already witnessed 51 Tibetans set themselves on fire demanding freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile.
From left-right: Lama Dagba Ochirov, Nadya Berkengeym, XXIV Pandita Khambo Lama Damba Badmaevich Ayusheev and Kate Kosenko during the Flame of Truth torch relay in Ulan-ude, Buryatia.
While calling for more intensive campaigns, he urged Tibetans to show their support and solidarity by actively participating in the campaigns.
In the Buryatia Republic of Russia, Buryat Lama, XXIV Pandita Khambo Lama Dhamba Badmaevich Ayusheev led the ‘Flame of Truth’ torch relay.
After receiving the torch at a ceremony in Ulan-ude, the Buryat Lama carried the torch to Irkutsk, Siberia’s fifth largest city.
In Irkutsk, Nadya Berkengeym, vice-president of Tibet House in Moscow, presided over a discussion on the issue of Tibet and also led a signature campaign for the torch petition at the Buddhist center of Irkutsk.
The relay, after traveling around hundreds of cities all over the world will conclude on December 10, World Human Rights Day, with the submission of the petitions, simultaneously to the UN Headquarters in New York City, UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and UN information office in New Delhi.