T.N. Seshan, former Chief Election Commissioner holding the 'Flame of Truth' in Chennai, south India. Also seen in the picture, Karma Yeshi, member of Tibetan parliament and Aasha Reddy, Tibet supporter
DHARAMSHALA, July 12: Many prominent Indians, including former diplomats, sports person, and academicians have signed a petition urging the United Nations to send an international fact-finding delegation to Tibet as part of the ongoing “Flame of Truth” campaign.
The relay initiated by the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile began July 6, coinciding with the 77th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from three different points in India; Leh in the north, Shillong in the east, and Cochin in the south.
T. N. Seshan, former Chief Election Commissioner of India, V. Baskaran , India’s world cup winning hockey captain and Arjuna awardee, W. I. Davaram, former Commissioner of Police, and Thota Tharrani, eminent artist and filmmaker were amongst the many noted Indian personalities who showed their support for the Tibetan cause and signed the petition.
Educationists and academicians, along with students, in some of the leading colleges in India have also signed the petition urging the UN to discuss the issue of Tibet based on its earlier resolutions, to send an independent international fact-finding delegation to Tibet and to take special responsibility to ensure that the basic aspirations of the Tibetans inside Tibet are fulfilled
Karma Yeshi, Member of Parliament, who is heading the south India leg of the relay, also met with Gopalakrishna Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and briefed him on the issue of Tibet.
The former Tibetan youth leader said all the signatories expressed their concern over the suffering of the Tibetan people and showed sympathy towards the issue of Tibet.
“They also expressed their solidarity and urged Tibetans to continue their struggle,” Yeshi told Phayul.
Addressing a press conference in the south India metropolitan city of Chennai, the Tibetan parliamentarian yesterday briefed the media on the grave situation inside Tibet and the objectives of the “Flame of Truth” relay. He also spoke on the recent self-immolation by Tsewang Dorjee, a 22-year-old nomad on July 7 in Damshung, central Tibet in an apparent protest against China’s occupation of Tibet.
The Tibetan Parliament plans to collect a minimum of 3,00,000 signatures after touring major cities around in the world in the next six months.
The petition will be simultaneously submitted to the UN Headquarters in New York, UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and UN Information Centre in New Delhi on December 10 World Human Rights day.
The Tibetan parliament has appealed to all Tibetans and supporters “to provide wholehearted and cooperative support when the relay campaign takes place in their concerned areas.”
The south India leg of the “Flame of Truth” after travelling to Cochin, Coimbatore, Pondicherry and Chennai will now proceed to the Tibetan settlements in Bylakuppee in the adjoining Karnataka state.