Popular South Indian film actress Ramya, participated as the chief guest of the closing ceremony of the TYC auspice Hunger Strike, in Bangalore on Friday, calling for the immediate release of Tulku Tenzin Delek. Ms Ramya, current superstar of South India, who has acted in Telegu, Kannada, Malayalam and Tamil films, is also a grand daughter of former Karnataka Chief Minister Shri S.M. Krishna. She is a member of Rotaract Club and Fords Foundation and supports social causes such as the Aids patient and prisoners.
Ms Ramya, who was supposed to leave for Coorg district on Thursday for a film shoot, postponed her trip, simply to lend her support to the Tibetan cause and attend the closing ceremony of the Hunger Strike.
Earlier, Ms Ramya was welcomed with a traditional scarf by Mr Lobsang Yeshi, Vice President, TYC. Ms Ramya then paid her respect to His Holiness the Dalai Lama by offering a scarf to His Holiness's portrait and lighted a lamp offering at the alter. A brief invocation prayer and an introductory speech by Mr Lobsang Yeshi followed this. Later Ms Ramya was offered a Memento by Mrs Asha Reddy, a Tibet supporter and a coordinator of the campaign. Ms Ramya in her address to the hunger strikers and the press reporters said, " I have known Tibetans when I was in college and have many Tibetan friends. I have found the Tibetans very warm, amiable and a very good human being. I have also learned of the Tibetan freedom struggle and I truly believe it to be a just and a noble cause. I offer my sincere support to your freedom struggle. Do not lose hope in getting a free Tibet. I am sure with God's grace and your dedication, China can't suppress Tibet for long and Tibet will be free soon. My prayers are with you all. God bless you all and save Rinpoche."
Later Mr Jigme Ghadong offered a vote of thanks to the chief guest and her friends. Following this was a photo session, as blinding lights of dozens of press photographers' flashed on Ms Ramya and the hunger strikers for over half an hour for press coverage.
The entire day, the participants exchanged views and thoughts regarding the Tibetan issue and the ongoing freedom struggle and the need to synergise the movement through more activities and campaigns. The participants were unison in expressing their concern over lack of involvement from a large section of exile community on the Tibetan issue. Many expressed joy and happiness over the participation of large number of Tibetans in the present campaign in Bangalore and urge to continue similar participation and dedication in future political campaigns. The discussion session proved informative, thought provoking and inspirational for all the participants.
The day saw hundreds of Indian supporters clamouring at the signature campaign desk to offer their sincere support to the cause of Tulku Tenzin Delek's release. Thousands were briefed on the unjust sentence on Tulku and the repression that prevail in Tibet. Over 10,000 Leaflets on Tulku were distributed to the inquisitive bystanders and many like Mr Tairon from America and Mr Samir from Bangalore sat along the Tibetans in the Hunger Strike supporting Tulku's release.
Mr K.Krishnamurthy, a former player and an umpire of International stature and presently the Manager of Indian Hockey Team and Joint Secretary of Indian Hockey Federation, graced the conclusion ceremony in the evening. The ceremony also included a Candle light vigil and a prayer session.
Later Mr Jigme la conducted the ceremony that included brief speeches by the representatives of different regions. Following this, Mr Lobsang Yeshi also addressed the participants and thanked everyone for their contribution in the Hunger Strike in Bangalore. But he further emphasized that, "the goal is not achieved until Tulku Tenzin Delek is released, until repression in Tibet ends and until Tibet becomes free. If we fail to save our innocent Tulku, China will kill many more in the name of a terrorist. This we cannot allow. I, therefore, seek similar support and participation from you all in future campaigns for a free Tibet."
Mrs Asha Reddy, a dedicated Tibet supporter, working with the Tibetan students of Chennai, Hyderabad, Vijayawada and Bangalore for the past over four years, not only sat on hunger strike but also actively participated in coordinating the campaign and arranging Guest speakers. She proved a great inspiration for all and the participants were overwhelmed with joy and gratitude on seeing her dedication and service to our cause. Participants thanked her for the great sacrifice and her love to the Tibetan people. Ven. Tsering Dondup, a disciple of Tulku Tenzin Delek from Gomang Monastery said, " Mrs Asha Reddy is more Tibetan than many of Tibetans I saw in our society". Mrs Asha Reddy, was also thanked for her love, sacrifice and dedication to our cause and offered a scarf and a Memento by Mr Jigme la of TYC and other participants. Mr Jigme la then addressed the gathering and thanked everyone.
The day saw over 400 participants staging their protest against the false sentence on Rinpoche and the ongoing massacre and repression in Tibet. The last day of the campaign have participants from Mangalore, Chennai, Bangalore, Bylakuppe, Kollegal, Mundgod, Hunsur, Dharwad and Mysore.
Prior to their departure, the participants of the Hunger Strike were entertained with a dinner at Karnataka Hockey Stadium's Club by Mr Ramesh Parmeshwaran and Mr K Krishnamurthy of Indian Sports Federation. The fourth phase of All India Relay Hunger Strike will be held in New Delhi from 20th November, 2004.