Tibetan representatives with Maneka at the latter's residence in New Delhi
Dharamshala 22 November - Representatives of four Tibetan non governmental organizations Saturday met with animal activist and politician Maneka Gandhi following her statement on India TV
which left many Tibetans disappointed.
At a press conference held here today, the president of the Tibetan Women's Association said that there was a dire need for a dialogue with Ms. Maneka Gandhi on the controversial statement 'throw all Tibetans out of India, each one of them is a poacher". Maneka was one of the panelists at a TV news bulletin of India TV
which carried a report on poaching in India and its reported smuggling into Tibet. She was reacting to a question asked by the channel's anchor Rajat Sharma about the possible solutions to eradicate poaching from India.
The Tibetan team comprised of Ven. Ngawang Woeber of Gu Chu Sum, Mr. Karma Choephel of the National Democratic Party of Tibet, Mr. Lobsang Yeshi of the Tibetan Youth Congress and Ms. B Tsering.
The Tibetan NGOs told the media that they had expressed their concerns about the protection of wildlife in India and Tibet and the need to find a pragmatic solution to the problem.
The Tibetan team clarified however that Ms. Maneka Gandhi did not hold any personal vendetta against the Tibetans in exile, as there was no ground for such vindication. The team also said that Gandhi admitted that her statement controversial in nature and that there was not a single case of a Tibetan poacher filed under the Indian law.
Ms. Gandhi suggested that the Tibetan team should meet Mr. Ashok Kumar, the Vice-Chairman of Wildlife Trust of India, Mr.Tito Joseph and Ms. Onkuri Majumdar, the senior Project Officer and the legal Programme of the Wildlife Protection Society of India respectively. After a series of meetings with these people, the Tibetan NGOs said they knew how the Tibetans in Tibet have fallen victims to China's subtle policy. "In China, though the trade of Tiger, Leopard and other wild animals is illegal, China has decided to turn a blind eye to the upcoming fashion of decorating costumes with animal hides in occupied Tibet. In fact, it has come to our notice that Chinese administrators organize festivals and competitions to encourage the innocent Tibetans to go for wildlife hides," said the Tibetan NGOs.
"Considering the seriousness of this upcoming fashion in Tibet, the above Tibetan NGOs are committed to educate and create awareness among Tibetans both in Tibet and outside Tibet to curb this practice in Tibet starting from the upcoming Kalachakra in Amravati. The Tibetan NGOs seek support and co-operation from everybody including media to address this issue effectively".