By Phurbu Thinley
Dharamsala, October 31: Representatives from Chinese Embassy in Bangladesh on Thursday made vain efforts to cancel a week-long Tibet exhibition to be held in the Bangladeshi Capital Dhaka from Sunday.
Students for a Free Tibet, Bangladesh (SFTBD) in partnership with Drik Bangladesh
, a Dhaka-based picture agency representing a group of media professionals, is organising the exhibition themed “Into Exile | Tibet 1949-2009
” at Drik Gallery in Dhaka from November 1 to 7.
According to the organisers, the exhibition will display series of images to “portray, in whatever small fraction, the journey of Tibetans from their Homeland to Exile.”
This week, however, officials from Chinese Embassy approached Dr. Shahidul Alam, Founder and Managing Director of Drik Bangladesh, with gifts asking him to cancel the exhibition.
“On 29th October 2009, Qian Kaifu, Cultural Counselor, and Cao Yanhua, Cultural Attache, from the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Bangladesh visited Dr Shahidul Alam to ask him to cancel the exhibition,” a spokesperson from SFTBD, who asked not to be named, told Phayul.
“They brought Chinese gifts along with their request,” the spokesperson added.
“Upon Dr Alam’s refusal to cancel the event, they left and a certain Mr Helal, a Bangladeshi, called to request the same,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said the organisers are now looking to confirm the identity of the Bangladeshi caller.
Having ignored Chinese pressure, the spokesperson said the Tibet exhibition would now go on as planned.
Dr. Muzaffar Ahmed, Chairman, Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), will be the Chief Guest of the exhibition when it opens at the Drik Gallery at 5:30pm local time on Sunday. The exhibition will then go on everyday from 3 to 8PM till November 7.
“Tibetans, both inside and outside Tibet have demonstrated repeatedly for independence from China. The fate of Tibet’s unique national, cultural, environmental and religious identity continues to be seriously threatened and manipulated by the Chinese Government today,” the organizers said in their exhibition statement.
In March this year, Bangladeshi Tibet supporters held the first ever
"Free Tibet" protest in their country.
Some 40 activists, including famed musicians, writers, artists and University students, took part in the protest organised by the then newly formed Bangladesh chapter of Students for a Free Tibet.
The protesters had marched towards the Chinese Embassy in secured Baridhara area of Dhaka and lit candles raising slogans to demand for a free and peaceful Tibet before being arrested and detained by police.