Tibetan Parliamentary delegation meeting with Chief Minister of Kerala, Oommen Chandy in Thiruvananthapuram on January 15, 2013.
DHARAMSHALA, January 16: A host of top political leaders and intellectuals in the Indian state of Kerala received the south zone Tibetan parliamentary delegation, currently lobbying in south India for international intervention in the ongoing crisis in Tibet, heralded by the ongoing wave of self-immolations in Tibet.
On Tuesday morning, the delegation called upon the Honourable Chief Minister of Kerala, Oommen Chandy at the Secretariat and apprised him of the critical situation in Tibet.
According to Lobsang Yeshi, Tibetan PM and member of the delegation, CM Chandy assured the delegates of his “full support, love, and affection” for the Tibetan people despite political limitations. “You are fighting for a good cause,” the chief minister of the most literate state in Indian told the Tibetan delegation.
During its week-long Tibetan solidarity and lobbying campaign in the state capital Thiruvananthapuram, the Tibetan MPs also met with an array of top state leaders, including the Honourable Governor Hansraj Bhardwaj, Speaker of the state assembly, G. Karthikeyan, and leaders from across political lines.
Speaker Karthikeyan vouched his “utmost support” for Tibet and assured that Tibetans can enjoy their freedom in exile in India for eternity. Later, he also told the press that the interaction with the Tibetan delegation proved fruitful in “unravelling numerous questions he had regarding the Tibetan struggle.”
The delegation also addressed separately, a prominent independent think-tank, the Kerala International Centre, and the students and staff of the Political Science Department of the University of Kerala.
The talk at the KIC was attended by its chair, former Ambassador T.P. Srinivasan and other eminent strategist and defence analysts, including a former Foreign Secretary, several former Ambassadors, and retired military personnel. Yeshi said the KIC members later affirmed the interaction proved to be “most revealing and an eye-opener”.
Speaker of the Kerala state assembly, G. Karthikeyan and Tibetan MPs jointly addressing the press in the state capital Thiruvananthapuram.
The delegates had begun their week-long campaign in Thiruvananthapuram by calling on spiritual Guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at a massive Satsang attended by over 50,000 followers. Announcing their arrival, the six Tibetan MPs were received on the dais along with CM Chandy and other dignitaries. According to Yeshi, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar later enquired about the health of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and asked the Tibetan delegated to convey his “warm greetings” to the Tibetan spiritual leader.
The Tibetan MPs also sought an audience with the Archbishop of Trivandrum and Archbishop of Phillipines, His Grace Dr Soosa Pakiam M, who lauded the peaceful struggle of the Tibetans and offered prayers for the success of the Tibetan struggle and peace for Tibetans inside Tibet.
Yeshi told Phayul that another highlight of their lobbying campaign in the city was a meeting with the Kerala opposition leader and the former Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan.
“As one of the founders of Communist Party of India (Marxist) and having close affinity with leaders in Beijing, Achuthananadan assured the Tibetan delegation that he would certainly ask Beijing to facilitate a dialogue with the Tibetan leadership,” Yeshi said.
Before heading to Pondicherry for the next leg of their lobbying campaign, the Tibetan MPs also met with other prominent personalities such as former Foreign Secretary of India K P S Menon, former Ambassador Thomas Abraham, Mauritius High Commissioner TP Seetharam, Colonel R G Nair (Retd), Her Majesty Princess Aswathi Thirunal Gouri Lakshmi Bayi of Travancore, internationally acclaimed director Shaji Karun, and Kerala’s renowned psephologist and political analyst Dr G Gopakumar.