DHARAMSHALA, December 9: More than 350,000 signatures collected from over 90 countries will be submitted tomorrow at various United Nations offices appealing for the global body’s intervention in the ongoing crisis inside Tibet.
The signatures, collected as part of the worldwide ‘Flame of Truth’ torch relay, will be submitted at the UN Headquarters in New York, UN Human Rights Council, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, and UN Information Centre in New Delhi on December 10, coinciding with the Human Rights Day. The day is also being marked as a Global Solidarity Day for Tibet called for by the exile Tibetan administration.
According to the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, the campaign organisers, the Flame of Truth relay travelled to over 30 countries spread out in five continents.
“During this five-month-long campaign, we have collected over 321,000 (three hundred twenty one thousand) signatures, including that of Chief Minister, Members of Parliament, Speakers and Members of Legislative Assembly, Mayors, educationists, journalists, social workers, activists, students and the general public,” the Tibetan parliament said in a release today. “We have also received over 30,000 (thirty thousand) signatures through our online campaign.”
“These combined signatures, numbering over 351,000 collected from over ninety countries are compiled in one hundred and seventeen books. We are submitting them simultaneously to the UN Headquarters in New York, UN Human Rights Council, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva and UN Information Centre in New Delhi.”
The Flame of Truth began its global journey on July 6, coinciding with the 77th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from three different locations in India, to express “solidarity with the courageous and selfless acts” of Tibetans inside Tibet.
The campaign calls on the United Nations to discuss the issue of Tibet based on its earlier resolutions, to send an independent international fact-finding delegation to Tibet and to take special responsibility to ensure that the basic aspirations of the Tibetans inside Tibet are fulfilled.
The parliamentary committee on the Flame of Truth Relay in the release said China’s “brutal occupation” of Tibet over the last six decades has resulted in the “killing, torture, and imprisonment” of Tibetans and the exploitation of Tibet’s natural resources.
“Since 2008 the Chinese security forces have particularly cracked down hard on Tibetans leading to numerous deaths and countless tortures. The situation is getting worse each day.”
95 Tibetans have set themselves on fire inside Tibet demanding freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile since the fiery wave of protests began in 2009.