By Tenzin Dharpo
Tibetan Parliamentary Delegation with Pradeep Tamta, MP, Rajya Sabha. Photo/Tibetan Parliamentary Delegation
DHARAMSHALA, Dec. 22: The Tibetan parliament in exile based out of Dharamshala held a week-long ‘Tibet Advocacy campaign’ in a bid to bolster support and solidarity for the Tibetan cause from their Indian counterparts. The Tibetan delegation met many veteran Indian MPs as well as newly elected legislators, across party lines over the course of the last week.
The TPiE delegation led by Deputy Speaker Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok and lawmakers Lopon Thupten Gyaltsen and Lobsang Yeshi has met 35 Indian MP from 14 different states in India, most of whom are in the capital for the ongoing winter session of the Indian parliament.
Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok, who leads the delegation, said that the campaign is especially opportune as the margin of newly elected MP is unprecedented in the last three decades. “We are primarily focusing on reaching out to the Indian Parliamentarians who are newly elected to the 16th Parliament. Out of 543 Indian Parliamentarians elected to the 16th Lok Sabha, 315 (or 58%) are first time MPs. Therefore we deem it absolutely necessary to reach out to these Parliamentarians and apprise them on Tibet and the Tibetan freedom struggle,” he said.
The core agenda of the campaign, the parliamentary secretariat stated, was to sensitize the current situation of Tibet, garner individual and party support and request participation in the upcoming conclave of the All Party Parliamentarian Forum for Tibet and the 7th World Parliamentary Convention for Tibet. The parliamentary secretariat reported to have gotten positive reaction from Indian legislators.
The Tibetan delegation met with the former Defense Minister of India, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Subhash Chandra, Shanta Kumar, Bhagat Singh Koshyari, senior BJP leaders and chief Conveners of All Party Indian Parliamentary Forum for Tibet (APIPFT), Moti Lal Vora of Indian National Congress, K.T.S. Tulsi, Vivek K Tankha, senior lawyers of Supreme Court, Colonel Choudhary Sona Ram, Narasimham Thota, among others.