Solidarity candle light vigil for Tibet in Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh.
DHARAMSHALA, January 7: A Tibetan parliamentary delegation leading a month-long lobbying campaign seeking support for international intervention in the ongoing crisis in Tibet met with the newly elected Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Virbhadra Singh in the state’s capital Shimla.
The Tibetan parliamentary delegation congratulated Virbhadra Singh for his record sixth term as the chief minister of Himachal Pradesh, the host state of the Dalai Lama and the exile Tibetan administration. The delegation made fervent appeals to both the Indian state and its people to put pressure on the Chinese government to address the grievances of the Tibetan self-immolators and resolve the crisis through dialogue.
CM Singh expressed his deep concern over the critical situation inside Tibet to the Tibetan MPs and vouched his support for Tibet and the welfare of the Tibetan people.
The parliamentary delegation later addressed the press and also led a candle light vigil in solidarity with Tibet self-immolators. Since 2009, as many as 95 known Tibetans have set themselves on fire inside Tibet protesting China’s rule and demanding freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama from exile.
After wrapping up their lobbying campaigns in Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, the north zone parliamentary delegation will then travel to Dehradun, the capital of Uttranchal state.
Elsewhere in the south Indian city of Bangalore, the first leg of the south zone parliamentary delegation’s lobbying campaign in Karnataka ended on January 5 with a major public rally and a prayer vigil.
Hundreds of Tibetans and supporters, including local Indian political leaders and students took part in the rally held in the heart of the city.
A mass candle light vigil in the south Indian city of Bangalore in solidarity with the crisis inside Tibet on January 5, 2013.
Shobha Karandlage, Minister of Energy of Karnataka state, Dinesh Gunda Rao, Member of Legislative Assembly, Surender Rappa and GKC Reddy, President and General Secretary of Karnataka Janta Dal (United), Prof. Khalid of St Joseph College were amongst those who attended the rally.
Shobha Karandlage in her address applauded the Tibetan peoples’ “undying spirit” and encouraged the Tibetans to remain strong in the face of growing Chinese might. “Tibetans should also try to take the fight to the Indian Parliament and seek India’s political support” the minister said. “I will certainly ask my colleagues to raise the issue of Tibet.”
The month-long all-India ‘Solidarity with Tibet’ campaign initiated by Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile is 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 will be travelling across India, taking the Tibet campaign state by state.