New Delhi: - As the newly elected members of the Indian Parliament attended the First Session of the 16th Lok Sabha in the capital Delhi, a five-member Tibetan Parliamentary delegation called upon the Indian lawmakers from various political parties to felicitate them for their election victory and to garner their support for the Tibetan cause.
During the weeklong lobbying campaign that began on the 14th of July, the delegates met with the Indian lawmakers from various political parties including former Prime Minister, Mr. H.D.Deve Gowda of Janata Dal (S), Former Union Minister of State for External Affairs and Human Resource Development, Dr. Shashi Tharoor and Mr. Digvijay Singh of Indian National Congress (INC), Former Union Minister, Mr. Sharad Yadav of Janata Dal (United), Former Union Minister, Mr. Ajit Singh and Mr. Jayant Chaudhary of Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), Mr. P.D. Rai of Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF), Dr. Prasanna Kumar Patasani of Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Mr. Konakalla Narayana Rao of Telugu Desam Party (TDP), D Kupendra Reddy of Janata Dal(S) and Mr. Kirti Azad, Mr. Ajay Nishad and Mr. Thupten Tsewang of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The delegates also called upon Mr. Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs at the North Block.
During the meeting, the delegates congratulated the MPs on their recent election victory and thanked them for their support for the Tibetan cause. The delegates also request their participation in the All-India Parliamentary Forum for Tibet to help revitalize the Forum aimed at bolstering advocacy for Tibet in the Indian Parliament and various international platforms.
Mrs. Dolma Tsering, who led the delegation, apprised the Indian MPs of the current situation in Tibet and stressed, "In sheer contrast with the Chinese propaganda, the Chinese occupation of Tibet has led to the death of over 1.2 million Tibetans, destruction of over 6,000 monasteries and Tibet's natural resources and environment, and the ancient Tibetan culture and the civilization. Its forcible resettlement of over 3 million Tibetan nomads and farmers from their traditional land had virtually rendered them hapless, with Chinese demographic aggression in Tibet unabated".
The delegation further submitted a Memorandum specifying demands to the Indian lawmakers and the Indian Government that includes; 1) Call upon China to immediately end the human rights violation in Tibet and grant freedom, justice and human rights to the Tibetans. 2) Call for unfettered access to Tibet for the media, the United Nations and International fact-finding delegations to investigate and report on the real causes behind the self-immolations. 3) To urge the Chinese Government to resume dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration for early resolution of Tibetan issue. 4) Express your solidarity by raising the issue of Tibet in the Indian Parliament and help intensify diplomatic and international pressure on the Chinese government; and 5) Urge the Indian Government to make Tibetan issue a priority in India-China relationship and make India's position on Tibet more pronounced.
Mr. Choekyong Wangchuk, a member of the delegation while briefing on the current situation inside Tibet stated that "China's repressive policies have resulted in the growing resentment against the Chinese government, leading to massive protests and spates of self-immolations." He further added that "Already 130 Tibetans have self-immolated since 2009 and that these Tibetan protestors have called for the 'Return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet', 'Freedom and Independence for Tibet' and 'Preservation of Tibetan Religion, Culture and Language'. Sadly, all these efforts are being met with more and more harsh repressions instead of reforms and solutions."
The Indian leaders assured the Tibetan delegations of their unstinted support for the Tibetan people and stated that the sincere commitments to the Tibetan people by their political parties and the senior party members would be carried forward. While urging the Tibetan delegates to keep updating them of the Tibet situation in future too, the Indian lawmakers further reassured that they will do whatever possible at their disposal and raise the issue in the India Parliament during the sessions.
A week-long lobbying campaign by the Tibetan Parliamentary delegation concludes in New Delhi on Sunday following meeting with over 28 Indian MPs from 13 different political parties. The Indian lawmakers that the delegates called upon included 1 former Prime Minister, 9 former Union Minister, 5 former Chief Minister and 13 party leaders.
During the entire campaign, the Indian leaders accorded a heart-warming reception to the Tibetan MPs and assured them of their continuous support and solidarity with the Tibetans.
They expressed utmost love and reverence for His Holiness the Dalai Lama and vow to carry forward the commitments of their senior leaders and the party towards the Tibetan people.
The leaders unanimously acknowledged the importance of reviving the All Party Indian Parliamentary Forum for Tibet and expressed their willingness to participate in the same. They also urged the Tibetan delegation to keep them updated of the Tibet situation and to call on at regular intervals in future. They earnestly offer their valuable guidance regarding the future course of actions for Tibet etc.
The delegation comprising of Tibetan exile MPs; Mrs Dolma Tsering, Ven. Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok, Ven. Monlam Tharchin, Mr. Choekyong Wangchuk and Mr. Lobsang Yeshi is the preliminary group of the series of Tibetan Parliamentary Felicitation and Lobbying Team being launched through a resolution adopted by the Standing Committee following a discussion meeting of the Tibetan lawmakers during the 7th Session of the 15th Tibetan Parliament in Dharamshala, H.P. The delegation will continue to lobby the Indian lawmakers till the end of this week.