Anurag Thakur, MP addressing the gathering at Jantar Mantar on February 2, 2013. (Phayul photo)
NEW DELHI, February 3: The four-day Tibetan People’s Solidarity Campaign in the Indian capital concluded Saturday with a strong show of support for the Tibetan struggle from Indian leaders from across party lines.
Prominent Indian leaders including former union ministers, representatives of major political parties, and stalwart youth leaders flocked to Jantar Mantar to express their solidarity with the ongoing crisis inside Tibet.
Also joining the mass sit-in protest of over five thousand were at least a thousand Indian supporters carrying photos of Tibetans self-immolators and placards calling for greater political support for Tibet from their government.
Opening the day’s proceedings, former Finance and Foreign Minister, Yashwant Sinha, pronounced the Tibet self-immolations as the “ultimate sacrifice” one can make for one’s cause.
Over a thousand Indian supporters joined the last day of the four-day Tibetan People's Solidarity Campaign in New Delhi on February 2, 2013. (Phayul photo)
The senior BJP leader, who is also the Convener of the All Party Indian Parliamentary Forum for Tibet, assured that he will put all his effort in inviting His Holiness the Dalai Lama to address the Indian Parliament in March this year.
Senior journalist and editor of The Pioneer, Chandan Mitra, assured that the non-violent Tibetan struggle will succeed in the end. He said that it is the responsibility of the Tibetan people to realise the dream of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to return to a free Tibet, while pledging full support of the Indian people.
Mitra, who is also a Rajya Sabha MP and nation spokesperson of BJP, said he will continue raising the issue of Tibet in the Indian parliament.
“A nation which is so determined to win its freedom can never be stamped upon,” Mitra said. “I am waiting for the day when you all return to an independent Tibet.”
Son of former Himachal Pradesh chief minister and youth leader and MP of BJP, Anurag Thakur in his inspiring speech said that no can stop Tibetans from achieving their ultimate goal as long as they believe in themselves.
“The people of Himachal have always supported you and I want to assure you today that the BJP and the youth of India will always stand by you,” Thakur said.
Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay addressing the gathering on the final day, February 2, 2013. (Phayul photo)
While condemning China’s occupation of Tibet, he expressed concern over China’s territorial aggression against India and called on Tibetans and Indians to unite in resisting and challenging China’s hostile moves.
Making a rare public appearance, MP and chief spokesperson of BJP, Ravi Shankar Prasad, said he came to show his solidarity with the Tibetan people “not only as BJP official but also as a concerned human being.”
Jayant Chaudhary, MP and General Secretary of Rashtriya Lok Dal lauded the non-violent Tibetan struggle as a “struggle for truth and justice” and assured that he will “raise the Tibetan issue in the upcoming Parliament session in March this year.”
Over 30 Indian leaders – members of parliament, party leaders, and youth leaders addressed the gathering, including, Ram Vilas Paswan, former Railway Minister and present MP & President of Lok Jan Shakti Party; Balbir Punj, MP and National Spokesperson for BJP; Bimla Kashyap, MP, BJP; Alok Tiwari, MP, Samajavadi Party; Inder Singh Namdari, former minister and former speaker of Jharkhand State Legislative Assembly; Vijay Kumar Malhotra, MLA, State Opposition leader of Delhi; SM Qamar Alan, National Secretary of RJD; Ranjeet Gupta, former Ambassador among many others.
Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, the elected head of the Tibetan people, concluded the four-day campaign, sending a strong message of unity and support with Tibetans inside Tibet.
“From the capital city of New Delhi, we have sent a clear message to Beijing that Tibetans in Tibet are suffering, they are being repressed, their rights are being denied, and 99 self-immolations have taken place in Tibet, of which 83 have died,” Sikyong Sangay said.
“Yet, the spirit of Tibetan people, the solidarity of Tibetan people, and the unity of Tibetan people is as strong as ever.”
“We have sent a message to Beijing that Tibetans inside and outside Tibet are determined, resolved and committed that till freedom for Tibetans is restored and His Holiness the Dalai Lama returns to the holy city of Lhasa, Tibetans will not rest,” the de facto Tibetan prime minister said.
Sikyong Sangay added that Tibetans are following the path set by Indian freedom fighters.
“The four-day rally is historic in the sense that for the first time Tibetan Parliament and Kashag have come out in the streets of Delhi and walked the path of Delhi where freedom fighters of India walked and restored their freedom,” Sikyong Sangay said. “We are following the path of Indian freedom struggle with the believe that India and the people of India will be with us.”