Tibetan activist marches on with eyes blindfolded
Phayul[Monday, May 07, 2012 08:55]
By Tendar Tsering

Sherab Tsedor (L) offers white scarf to Pema Khandu (R), Tourism Minister of Arunachal Pradesh. (Photo/YVFT)
Sherab Tsedor (L) offers white scarf to Pema Khandu (R), Tourism Minister of Arunachal Pradesh. (Photo/YVFT)
DHARAMSHALA, May 7: A Tibetan activist has been rallying across the length and breadth of India with his eyes blindfolded to highlight the “plight” of the Tibetan people inside Tibet and the “indifference” shown by the United Nations and world leaders.

Sherab Tsedor, a Tibetan youth, began his blindfolded march from the exile seat of Dharamshala on March 10 coinciding with the 53rd anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day.

For his all India Tibet awareness and support campaign, Sherab embarks on a day-long (9am to 5 pm) blindfolded march while carrying out a signature campaign in all the places he visits.

Last week, after covering hundreds of kilometers and crossing more than 43 major cities and towns, Sherab reached Tawang in the north-east Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. He met with the state Tourism Minister, Pema Khandu and Members of the Parliament from the border state.

“The Tourism Minister Pema Khandu assured his full personal help and sympathy to the Tibetan cause,” Sherab, also known as Migmar Tenzin, told Phayul over phone.

“I have crossed 44 cities and towns till now, and I still have to carry my awareness campaign to around 60 more cities and towns,” he said.

Sherab added that the Indian capital New Delhi will be his last destination.

“New Delhi is my final destination and I expect to reach the Indian capital by end of July,” Sherab said. “I will then submit the petition along with the collected signatures to all the embassies in New Delhi and to the UN office as well.”

When asked about his campaign plans at the completion of his blindfolded march, the Tibetan activist who last year attempted to burn himself in front of the Chinese embassy in New Delhi said “anything could happen.”

“Tibet doesn’t have oil reservoirs but we have spirit, truth and 53 years of non-violent movement on our side,” Sherab said. “It is the moral responsibility of people the world over to support and seek justice for Tibet.”

Sherab has so far collected more than 20,000 signatures for his petition urging the People’s Republic of China to respect the fundamental right of the Tibetan people and calling on Beijing to allow international independent fact-finding delegations and media to visit Tibet.

The petition also appeals to international governments and the UN to call on China to genuinely uphold international human rights standards and norms in Tibet.