Chennai: The "Flame of Truth" relay, which was launched from Kochi made its journey to Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu and reached the city on the morning of 7th July. At the beginning Mr. Karma Yeshi, Member of Tibetan Parliament-in-exile, who accompanied the torch, addressed the media in attendance. He elucidated about the campaign in English while a local woman of Tibetan origin, translated the same, in Tamil.
Later in the day, a group of Tibetans and local Indian supporters namely Mr. Anto, a member of Friends of Tibet, India gathered at the Collector's office and began the "Flame of Truth" relay march with the prayer of truth and Tibetan national anthem. The group then marched towards the city with the flame.
A representative of the Tibetan Sweater Sellers Association then carried forward the signature campaign to the nearby township of Ooty. The signature campaign focusing towards local Indian supporters will go on till November 15. The event was widely covered by local media.
On the evening of 7th July,the "Flame of Truth" relay continued its journey further into the state of Pondicherry via Chennai. The Flame of Truth reached the city on the evening of 9th July. On July 10 at 11:30 a.m. Mr. Yeshi, addressed the media at the Pondicherry Press Club. All media representatives were provided with documents, detailing the course of the campaign.
Mr. Karma then met a group of local Tibetan residents and spoke to them of the present situation inside Tibet along with importance of the "Flame of Truth" relay campaign. Mr.Yeshi later visited the nearby township of Auroville and met with a group of individuals. Tibetans and local supporters are expected to collect signatures to be submitted to the United Nations on the Human Rights day which falls on the 10th of December 2012.
The "Flame of Truth" relay then moved towards Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu (State), South India, where Mr. Yeshi addressed students during the morning assembly of Lady Andal School (one of the most prolific schools of the city) and briefed the attendees about the ongoing campaign. School prefects also initiated the signature campaign with the promise that students and staff would collect more signatures and submit the same to the committee by 15th November. The event generated tremendous support.
At a later event, Mr. Yeshi visited Loyala College and met with Rev. Fr. M. G. Selvin Raj SJ, the Director of the All India Catholic University Federation (AICUF) and spoke with him about the ongoing signature campaign. Rev. Fr. M. G. Selvin Raj SJ signed the appeal letter and promised to raise the issue of Tibet in the AICUF meeting which is to be held in August this year along with the promise of collecting thousands of signatures to support the issue of Tibet.
Mr. Yeshi and his delegation, including local Tibetan students and Tibet supporters such as Aasha Reddy visited the Madras University and Madras Christian College as well to spread awareness about the signature campaign.
Mr. Karma Yeshi will address the media in Chennai on July 12, 2012.
Through the "Flame of Truth" signature campaign, the Tibetan-parliament-in-exile will urge the UN member states and Secretary General to address following demands:
1. The United Nations must discuss the issue of Tibet based on the resolutions that it has passed in 1959, 1961 and 1965, and continuously make efforts to fulfill the substance of these resolutions
2. An independent international fact-finding delegations must immediately be sent to investigate the ongoing crisis in Tibet
3. The United Nations must take special responsibility to ensure that the basic aspirations of the Tibetans inside Tibet are fulfilled