Students from Ladakh and Zanskar regions of Jammu and Kashmir state carrying out a Tibet solidarity protest in Jammu city on January 2, 2013.
DHARAMSHALA, January 4: The all-India lobbying campaign initiated by the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile began its month-long campaigning in north India with a meeting with Omar Abdullah, chief minister of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The north zone Tibetan Parliamentary delegation called on the honorable Chief Minister on January 2 in the state’s winter capital, Jammu city. According to a release by the delegation, Omar Abdullah, during the meeting, expressed his support for Tibet’s cause.
“The leaders of the Chinese government very well know that the struggle carried on by His Holiness the Dalai Lama is for autonomy in Tibet,” Omar, who has met the Tibetan spiritual leader on several occasions, said. “Presently, Hong Kong and Macau enjoy a special autonomous status under the Chinese rule and I find China’s reluctance on Tibet hard to understand.”
The delegation also met with Ngawang Rigzin Jora, Minister of Tourism and Culture; Members of the State Legislative Assembly; and other high level India officials of the state, which shares its border with China occupied Tibet.
On January 2, as part of the lobbying campaign, around 150 students from the Ladakh and Zanskar regions of the state carried out a protest march in Jammu city in solidarity with the ongoing crisis inside Tibet. The students paraded Tibetan national flags and banners calling for solidarity with the demands of the Tibet self-immolators.
Following their visit to the state, the north zone delegation will then take the Tibet lobbying campaign to other north and central Indian states, including Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Chandigarh, Haryana, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.
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.
95 Tibetans have set themselves on fire inside Tibet protesting China’s occupation and demanding freedom and return of the Dalai Lama from exile.
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.”
The north zone parliamentary delegation comprises of MPs Dawa Tsering, Ghang Lhamo, Geshe Kalsang Damdul, and Mogru Tenpa.