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Indians to observe 2013 as ‘Year of Tibetan Independence’
Phayul[Monday, June 11, 2012 19:28]
By Tendar Tsering

(From left to right) J P Sharma, co-convener of Core Group at Delhi, Vijay Kranti, Core Group’s national co-convener, and Lama Choephel Zotpa, National Co-convener, Core Group for Tibetan Cause addressing the press in Dharamshala on June 11, 2012. (Phayul photo/Norbu Wangyal)
(From left to right) J P Sharma, co-convener of Core Group at Delhi, Vijay Kranti, Core Group’s national co-convener, and Lama Choephel Zotpa, National Co-convener, Core Group for Tibetan Cause addressing the press in Dharamshala on June 11, 2012. (Phayul photo/Norbu Wangyal)
DHARAMSHALA, June 11: At the conclusion of the three-day Fourth All India Tibet Support Groups Conference, organisers today said that Indian supporters will hold a massive rally for Tibet in the Indian capital New Delhi this coming February in commemoration of 2013 as the “Year of Tibetan Independence.”

“A massive rally will be organised in February in the Indian capital in which Indian Tibet support groups and supporters will actively participate,” Vijay Kranti, a long time Tibet supporter and one of the core conveners of the conference said. “We expect over one hundred-thousand supporters to take part in the rally.”

After his return from forced exile in India, His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama on February 13, 1913 declared Tibet’s independence by making the ‘Tibetan Proclamation of Independence,’ a five-point public statement reasserting Tibetan independence.

“Rallies will be organised in all the Indian states across the nation simultaneously,” Kranti added while speaking exclusively to Phayul at the sidelines of the conference.

Addressing the press on the final day of the conference, organisers released the conference Declaration and Action Plan, vowing to “encourage” the Government of India to adopt a pro-active police on Tibet.

“The Government of India should be encouraged to replace its old policy of gratifying China and to adopt a pro-active policy on issue related to India’s national interests, especially in relation to Tibet,” Indian delegates from all over the country resolved. “GOI should make serious efforts to revive its Indian consulate in Lhasa. GOI should strictly adhere to the policy of accepting the entire Tibet (Cholka Sum) as the ‘real’ Tibet and not PRC initiated Tibetan Autonomous Region as ‘Tibet.’”

Addressing the closing ceremony of the three-day conference as guest of honour, the Speaker of Tibetan Parliament, Penpa Tsering acknowledged India’s long standing support and urged the conference participants to take part in the upcoming “Flame of Truth” campaign being initiated by the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile.

“The Tibetan exile administration is going to organise the “Flame of Truth” campaign during which a torch will cross all the Indian states before travelling around the world,” Tsering said. “We hope you all will participate in the torch rally.”

Apart from the Speaker, Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay and few of his cabinet colleagues were also present at the closing ceremony.

Senior Indian Parliamentarian Bashith Narayan Singh and former member Satya Prakash Malveya attended the closing ceremony as chief guests.

Addressing the conference, Bashith Narayan Singh lauded the participants for their resolve to campaign for honouring the Dalai Lama with India’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna.

“The Indian support groups will campaign with Government of India to confer the Bharat Ratna on His Holiness the Dalai Lama in recognition of his great services to India and the humanity,” the action plan read.

The fourth All India Tibet Support Group conference was facilitated by the New
Delhi-based India Tibet Coordination Office in collaboration with the Department of Information & International Relations of the Central Tibetan Administration.

The exile Tibetan headquarters of Dharamshala hosted the conference for the first time. Earlier conferences were held in Chandigarh in 2003, Bodhgaya in 2006 and New Delhi in 2009.
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