Gujarat CM Narendra Damodar Modi (in grey kurta and white pant, crossed arms) in conversation with the members of the Tibetan parliamentary delegation, Ghandhinagar, Sept. 6, 2013
DHARAMSHALA, September 9: A south zone Tibetan parliamentary delegation currently in Ghandinagar, Gujarat, on its 'solidarity for Tibet campaign' called on the Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Governor Dr. Kamala Beniwal and Speaker of the State Legislative Assembly (Gujarat Vidhan Sabha) Vajubhai Vala on Friday.
The four-member Tibetan delegation apprised Modi of the ongoing crisis in Tibet and the spate of self-immolation protests by Tibetans in Tibet while urging him to raise the issue of Tibet at various platforms.
Assuring his solidarity and commitment CM Modi said, “I lived in Himachal Pradesh for five years and I am well aware of the Tibetan people's struggle. I have extended my support for Tibet’s cause in the past and will continue to do so,” said the man who is looked upon as the BJP's favorite contender for the PM's post in next year's general elections though he himself has denied eying for the post, saying he wants to serve Gujarat till 2017.
Modi also sent his “heartfelt Greetings” to the Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who, he said, is "revered, loved and missed so much by the Tibetans inside Tibet." He said he secretly took photographs of the Dalai Lama to Tibet despite being asked not to by his staff during his visit to Mount Kailash several years ago. "The Tibetans I met were so happy and delighted to get my gift," Modi said.
Gujarat Vidhan Sabha Speaker Vajubhai Vala listens as Lobsang Yeshi makes a point during a briefing, Ghandhinagar, Sept. 6, 2013
The speaker of the Gujarat Legislative Assembly Vajubhai Vala expressed hope that the Tibetans will continue their struggle and not get discouraged. “Though the Tibetan struggle is very tough you must continue to struggle and learn from the Jews who fought for their nation for thousands of years. They were once scattered like today’s Tibetans but they were united and worked hard with the belief that they will achieve their goal one day.”
The delegation greets Gujarat Governor Dr. Kamala Beniwal, Ghandhinagar, Sept 6, 2013
Gujarat Governor Dr Kamala Beniwal expressed her admiration for the Tibetan people's firm determination and perseverance. “I am overwhelmed by your dedication and wish you all the best in your struggle. The Chinese Government is a Government lacking any human morality,” said Dr Beniwal.
Later today, the delegation comprising of Tsering Youdon, Atuk Tseten, Jigme Jungney, and Lobsang Yeshi will address a press conference and attend a public talk hosted by Tibet-supporters.
After lobbying campaigns in Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Pondicherry, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat, the delegation will visit Rajasthan where it is expected to meet with prominent leaders in the state.
The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile initiated the lobbying campaign as part of the exile Tibetan administration’s attempt at garnering wider support for international intervention in the ongoing crisis inside Tibet.