(From right to left) B. Tsering, Ven. Adruk Tseten, Gyari Bhutuk, Shri K.G. Bopaiah, Tsering Youdon, Lobsang Yeshi, and Jigme Jugney during their meeting in Bangalore, south India on January 1, 2013.
DHARAMSHALA, January 2: The month-long Solidarity with Tibet campaign has been formally launched in the south Indian state of Karnataka with the first in the series of planned meetings and lobbying campaigns with Indian dignitaries across the country.
A Tibetan parliamentary delegation in Bangalore called upon Shri K.G. Bopaiah, the honorable Speaker of the Karnataka State Assembly and apprised him of the “grave situation” in Tibet that has led to the wave of self-immolations and mass protests by Tibetans against China’s rule.
The six-member south zone delegation also presented a memorandum soliciting his support and solidarity with the Tibetan freedom struggle calling for an end to the ongoing crisis in Tibet.
Tibetan MP and member of the delegation, Lobsang Yeshi told Phayul that Shri Bopaiah, during the hour long meeting, assured his support to the Tibetan people and also offered a message of solidarity for the forthcoming public rally in the state’s capital city Bangalore.
“The delegation thanked him for the overwhelming support rendered by the Government and the people of Karnataka state to the Tibetan refugees and extended an invitation to the honourable speaker to visit the Tibetan Parliament in Dharamshala,” Yeshi said. Karnataka state shelters four of the largest Tibetan settlements in India.
The delegates will be addressing a press conference later today in Bangalore, and in the following week call upon several political leaders and eminent personalities in the city.
Yeshi said the first leg of the solidarity campaigns will conclude with a major public rally and a prayer vigil on the January 5 in the heart of the city.
The south zone delegation will then take the solidarity campaign to eight other states and will meet senior political leaders in the major Indian cities of Hyderabad, Thiruvananthapuram, Pondicherry, Chennai, Panaji, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, and Jaipur.
Last month, the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile announced the all-India lobbying campaign as part of the exile Tibetan administration’s attempts at garnering wider support for international intervention in the ongoing crisis inside Tibet.
From January 1 to 29, three Tibetan parliamentary delegations of six parliamentarians each will be travelling across India, taking the Tibet campaign state by state.
The Tibetan parliament said the delegations, apart from holding meetings with senior leaders, will also address press conferences and interact with the general masses to “spread awareness on the critical situation inside Tibet and garner their support.”
95 Tibetans inside Tibet have set themselves on fire since 2009 protesting China’s continued occupation of Tibet and demanding freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama.