Tibetans and Indian supporters participate in the 'Flame of Truth' torch relay in south India.
DHARAMSHALA, August 9: The south India leg of the ‘Flame of Truth’ torch relay brought its campaign to the ancient city of Mysore in Karnataka after a rigorous schedule in the major Tibetan settlements of Hunsur and Kollegal.
On its last day in the Kollegal Dhondeling Tibetan settlement, the torch relay took part in the August 8 Global Solidarity Vigil called by the Kashag (Tibetan Cabinet) to observe Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay’s first year in office.
The ‘Flame of Truth,’ during its stay in Kollegal from August 3-8, was received by a host of monasteries and institutions in the settlement. Led by the representatives of the Local Tibetan Assembly, Tibetan Freedom Movement, Tibetan Co-operative society, Regional Tibetan Youth Congress, and the Regional Tibetan Women's Association, the torch travelled to all 22 camps in the settlement.
With the support of local Indian groups, relays and signature campaigns urging the United Nations to discuss the issue of Tibet based on its earlier resolutions and to send an independent international fact-finding delegation to Tibet were also conducted in the nearby towns and villages.
In Chamraj Nagar city, headquarters of the Chamraj Nagar district, the relay was led by Racha Chariya, President of Indo Tibetan Friendship Society and Phuntsok Tsering, Tibetan Settlement Officer. The delegation later submitted a memorandum to the Additional Deputy Commissioner, who expressed his solidarity with the Tibetan cause.
Before its arrival in Kollegal, the ‘Flame of Truth’ rallied support in the Hunsur Rabgayling Tibetan Settlement and its surrounding towns and villages.
The 'Flame of Truth' being received at Hunsur Rabgayling Tibetan Settlement.
The entire population of the settlement gathered to receive the torch, which began its campaign on July 7, coinciding with the 77th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The reception was led by Tsering Youdon, member of the Tibetan Parliament.
Local Indian supporters, including William D'Souza, Executive Director of MYKATS, who was involved in the resettlement project of Rabgayling Settlement and had also served in the Tibetan Co-operative Society during its initial stages, took part in the campaigns.
Multiple rallies and signature campaigns were carried out in the nearby towns of HD Kote, Gurupura, K.R. Nagar Taluk, and Naganahalli village.
Leading the rallies, Youdon addressed the gatherings in the local language, along with other Indian dignitaries.
Leaflets in Kanada and English were also widely distributed.
Speaking to Phayul, Lukhar Jam, vice-president of the former political prisoners’ association, Gu Chu Sum, noted that vigils and rallies such as the ‘Flame of Truth’ were providing exiled Tibetans opportunities to express their solidarity with Tibetans inside Tibet.
“Solidarity movements like vigils and ‘Flame of Truth’ might not be hard hitting internationally, but at the least, such movements give a chance to the Tibetan masses to express their solidarity and support with the plight of people inside Tibet,” Lukhar said.
“There are many willing Tibetans but they are unable to contribute much due to lack of leadership,” the former political prisoner added.
The ‘Flame of Truth’ torch relay is an initiative of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile to express “solidarity with the courageous and selfless acts” of Tibetans inside Tibet.
The relay, after travelling around hundreds of cities all over the world will conclude on December 10, World Human Rights Day, with the submission of the signed petitions, simultaneously to the UN Headquarters in New York City, UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and UN information office in New Delhi.