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Tibet self-immolations raised in Indian parliament
Phayul[Monday, December 10, 2012 17:38]
Yashwant Sinha, Indian Member of Parliament and former foreign minister addressing the press at the conclusion of his three-day visit to Dharamshala on September 17, 2012. (Phayul photo)
Yashwant Sinha, Indian Member of Parliament and former foreign minister addressing the press at the conclusion of his three-day visit to Dharamshala on September 17, 2012. (Phayul photo)
DHARAMSHALA, December 10: The ongoing crisis inside Tibet found resonance in the Indian parliament today with a senior Indian leader urging the legislative body to “speak up” for Tibet.

BJP leader and former External Affairs Minister, Yashwant Sinha, in his speech on the critical situation inside Tibet, blamed China of carrying out the “grossest” violations of human rights in Tibet over the last 60 years. He was speaking in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the parliament during the Zero Hour.

Sinha said the ongoing wave of self-immolations in Tibet is a result of China’s "excessive use of military force, religious restrictions, disappearances and detentions, removal of nomads and degradation of ecological system” in the region.

Since 2009, as many as 95 Tibetans have set themselves on fire inside Tibet protesting China’s continued occupation of Tibet and demanding freedom and the return of Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile.

“Worse, the response of the Chinese is more repression,” said India’s former foreign minister.

He urged the Indian parliament to express “deepest heartfelt condolences” over Tibetans’ plight and called upon China to “listen to the anguish” and “ensure people (in Tibet) get their rights.”

“I call upon Parliament to speak up,” he appealed.

Sinha earlier visited the exile Tibetan headquarters of Dharamshala this September in his capacity as the Chairman of All Party Indian Parliamentarian Forum for Tibet and expressed hope that India will make a “course correction” on its Tibet policy.

“I hope in future there will be course correction and India will stand more firmly in support of the Tibetan cause and tell China in very clear terms that the genocide, the ethnic cleansing, the complete destruction of the Tibetan civilisation is not acceptable to India,” he told reporters at the end of his three-day visit.

Speaking about the wave of self-immolations, Sinha censured China of “crossing all limits” of oppression in Tibet

“Killing someone is perhaps easier than burning oneself,” Sinha had said. “The wave of self-immolations in Tibet goes to show that all limits of oppression have been crossed in Tibet.”
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