The Tibetan parliamentary delegation with West Bengal Governor and former National Security Advisor M.K Naraynan
DHARAMSHALA, January 10: A group of Tibetan parliamentarians on a month long lobbying effort in north east India for international intervention in the ongoing crisis in Tibet began their campaign in the Indian state of West Bengal.
Members of the Dharamshala based Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile met with the honourable Governor of West Bengal, M. K. Narayanan at the Raj Bhavan in the state capital Kolkata. Narayanan, who earlier served as National Security Advisor and led boundary talks with China, expressed “unflinching support” of the Indian government towards the Tibetan people and said the Tibetans inside Tibet have the “right to live with dignity.”
“India has and will never dither in championing the cause of Tibet, but in the wake of the rampant human rights violations inside Tibet, the Tibetan side must adopt a nuanced position and a forward strategy to resolve the crisis,” Governor Narayanan told the Tibetan parliamentary delegation.
The Tibetan parliamentarians also met with several national and local leaders, including Deepa Das Munshi, Union Minister of State for Urban Development; Pradip Bhattachariya, Member of Rajya Sabha and President of West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee; Rachhpal Singh, Minister of State for Planning; Dr. Ramendranath, MLA; Aboni Joardar, MLA; Samares Das, MLA; Sukhbilan Barma, MLA; Bani Singh Roy, Vice President of Trinamool Congress Party.
Member of the delegation and Tibetan MP Dhardon Sharling said the parliamentary delegation appealed to the Indian leaders for solidarity and support of the Indian government and its people amid the unprecedented spate of self-immolations by Tibetans inside Tibet. The Tibetan MPs also urged the Indian leaders to engage in urgent diplomatic actions pressuring the Chinese government on various fronts.
According to Sharling, the Indian leaders remained “unequivocal in condemning the repressive Chinese policies and demonstrated solidarity with the peaceful resistance of Tibetans inside Tibet.”
The Tibetan lobbying team will carry their efforts in Kolkata for the next two days with scheduled meetings with Biman Banerjee, Speaker of the West Bengal Assembly and the state Minister for Youth Affairs. The Tibetan MPs will also address the press and hold a solidarity rally in the city.
Following their visit to the state, the northeast zone delegation will take their campaign to Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Assam, Sikkim, and Nagaland.
Tibetan parliamentary delegation with Union Minister of State for Urban Development Deepa Das Munshi
The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile announced the all-India lobbying campaign last month as part of the exile Tibetan administration’s attempts at garnering wider support for international intervention in the ongoing crisis inside Tibet.
Three parliamentary delegations are currently lobbying in different parts of India and raising awareness on the critical situation in Tibet heralded by the 95 known cases of self-immolations in Tibet since 2009. The self-immolators have demanded freedom and the return of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
The northeast zone parliamentary delegation comprises of MPs Pema Jungney, Serta Tsultrim, Yangchen Dolkar, and Dhardon Sharling.