By Phurbu Thinley Click Here
to download a high-resolution copy of the Tsepon Shakabpa’s passport
New Delhi: June 22: A highly focused “Conference for an Independent Tibet,” organised by Friends of Tibet (FOT), India, will begin tomorrow in the Indian Capital, New Delhi at the Gandhi Peace Foundation, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg.
Former Defence Minister of India, Shri George Fernandes will inaugurate the Conference on June 23, 2007 (Saturday) at 10:30 in the morning.
Unlike other closed-door forums, this one is kept open for Tibetans, Indians and foreigners.
“People from Kollegal, Dimapur, Dharamsala and Bangalore called to confirm their participation,” Genral Secretary of FOT, Mr Tenzin Tsundue told Phayul. “Support letters are coming from various Tibet support Groups,” Mr Tsundue said.
As part of the two-day conference, the passport of Tsepon Shakabpa Wangchuk Dedhen, the finance minister of erstwhile Tibetan government will be displayed. The passport, recovered by FOT from an antique dealer in Nepal three years ago, has visas of seven countries which prove Tibet was recognized as independent state by many nations before Chinese Communist troops marched into Tibet in 1949.
The historic document now in possession of the Dalai Lama's private office has visa stamps of United States, Britain, Switzerland, France, Italy, Egypt and Saudi Arabia as Shakapa visited these countries as part of a Tibetan trade delegation in 1948. The delegation had passed through India while going abroad and coming back.
"The passport proves that Tibet was an independent country and it was recognised by these countries," Tsundue says.
Along side the Conference, ‘Indian Cartoonists on Tibet’, an exhibition of selected cartoons on the Tibet issue (1950-2005) and the tumultuous Sino-Indian relations by renowned cartoonists will also be on display.
The latest conference comes in series to recent summits calling for an Independent Tibet held at various levels, which include;
1. “Declaration of Independence of the Nations of High Asia” (Washington, 19 September 2006)
2. “International Conference of Dhokham Chushi Gangdruk” (New York, 23 December 2006), which passed a resolution to restore independence for Tibetan people and emancipate them from the subjugation of Chinese Communist Colonization.
3. The International Forum for a Free Tibet held in Turin (Italy) on 26 May, 2007 to explore new strategies and to discuss the issue of Tibetan independence.
4. Resolution passed by International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY) Asia - Pacific Committee Meeting accepting Tibet as an independent state (held in the Mongolian Capital, Ulaan Baatar from June 8-10, 2007).
The ‘Conference for an Independent Tibet’ will be addressed by veteran Tibetan independent activists and other eminent scholars, writers and thinkers linked to or involved in Tibetan freedom activism.
Organisers can be contacted at; (Mobile): 9971448216 (Tsundue), 9833191592, 9418079832, 9810205217, 9234441956 / Email: email@example.com
For complete details of the conference and the speakers, visit:http://www.friendsoftibet.org/sofar/delhi/tsg_meet_june_2007