Members of Tibetan Parliament hold solidarity hunger strike at Parliament Street in New Delhi on Wednesday
New Delhi, March 19: All the 43 members of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile (TPIE) today held a day-long token hunger strike at Parliament Street in solidarity with the peaceful demonstrations staged by Tibetans all over Tibet against oppressive Chinese rule.
India’s former Defense Minister and a staunch supporter of Tibetan cause Shri George Fernandes and members of All Party Indian Parliamentary Forum for Tibet (APIPFT) visited met with the Tibetan parliamentarians to show their support.
At a press conference held at the venue, Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament Mr. Karma Choephel called on International community, who believe in Democracy and Human Rights, to go into Tibet and independently see the situation there.
He cautioned the international media to be more observant of the Chinese propaganda, which have tendency to distort the ground realities of the situation developing inside Tibet.
India’s former defense minister Shri George Fernandes speaks to media during the Tibetan parliamentarians’ hunger strike condemning China’s brutality inside Tibet
Mr Karma Choephel officially announced the formation of a “Tibet Crisis Committee” formed jointly by the Tibetan Parliament and the Executive Cabinet during an emergency meeting held in Dharamsala on March 18, to show their support and solidarity to the ongoing movement in Tibet.
Mr Choephel said Tibetans outside Tibet should henceforth organize and carry out solidarity movement under the newly constituted centralized committee.
The committee has setup a website stoptibetcrisis.net
in which updates about the movement would be published.
Responding to a media question on what TPIE would do after the hunger strike, Mr Choephel said that the crisis committee will monitor everything from Dharamsala and said other members of would travel to various Tibetan settlements around the world to organize demonstrations and hunger-strikes and other campaigns peacefully to draw “international attention on the crisis in Tibet”.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Shri Bashistha Narayan Singh, MP and Convenor of APIPFT, asked China to immediately release all Tibetans arrested for taking part in peaceful demonstrations since March 10. He also demanded China to immediately lift ban imposed by Chinese government on international media from covering the situation inside Tibet and asked China to allow independent fact-finding team to assess the real situation inside Tibet
Ladakhi MP, Shri Thubten Tsewang said many members of the ruling party, including himself, were of the opinion that Indian government’s policy on Tibet, especially in the context of the current crisis, as being too soft and disappointing. He said he and other members had demanded the Indian government to change its policy on Tibet and play a more proactive role.
Mr Thupten also said that most of the members of parliament felt that Indian Govt should impress upon china to immediately start a dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama to sort out Tibet issue.
Tibetans from Majnukatilla settlement stage protest demonstrations condemning China’s brutal crackdown on peaceful demonstrators in Tibet on Parliament Street in New Delhi on Wednesday
Earlier this week, opposition party in the house staged a walkout from the parliament protesting against Indian Government’s "hesitation to condemn the violence in Lhasa".'
Despite his health concerns, Shri George Fernandez came and spoke at the occasion along with Smt. Jaya Jaitley.
"George Sab, these are tears of sorrow, joy and courage on seeing you among us" Deputy Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament Dolma Gyari muttered out as she broke down emotionally on the lap of Shri. George Fernandez.
"We members of TPIE representing those Tibetans inside Tibet who are denied basic human rights have today come out in the streets of the parliament here in India to express on behalf of them that Human Rights must be restored in Tibet," she told the former Indian minister.
Mrs Doma said she could not understand when China thanked India for its cooperation in handling the Tibetan protesters saying, "I would definitely want to tell you that we stand before you here in the parliament street of India making this peaceful expression with the permission of Govt. of India".
The Tibetan parliamentarians concluded the hunger strike in the evening with a candle light vigil.
At the same premise, a demonstration was also being held by few hundred Tibetans from Majnukatilla against Chinese occupation of Tibet and condemning China’s brutal crackdown on Tibetan demonstrators inside Tibet.