New Delhi: - Various representatives from Indian political parties among thousands of Tibetans and supporters gathered at the Talkatora indoor stadium in Indian capital New Delhi on Thursday, January 30, 2013, where the inaugural ceremony of 'Tibetan People's Solidarity Campaign' was held.
Over 5000 people, including 4500 Tibetans from India, Nepal and Bhutan and about 1000 Indian supporters from Delhi, NCR region and Ladakh were present at the function.
Shri L. K Advani, former Deputy Prime Minister graced the ceremony as the Chief Guest.
Shri, Priya Dutt, MP and Dr. E.M Sudarsan Natchiappan, MP were official Congress party delegates. Shri Hassan Khan, MP represented National Conference.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Penpa Tsering, the Speaker of Tibetan Parliament in Exile said that this mass campaign is 'first of its kind' and that it marks 'a historic moment for our struggle.'
He further remarked that 'If China is sincere in granting autonomy, then Tibet can play a positive role as a bridge of peace between the two most populous nations in South Asia-India and China.' While expressing gratitude to the Indian Government and people, the speaker requested the delegates from the ruling Congress party to 'remind China that resolving Tibetan issue is in the larger interest of Chinese people.'
Dr Lobsang Sangay, Sikyong (the democratically elected political leader of Tibetan people) in his keynote address mentioned that the holding of this campaign in India's capital city stands as a 'testament to India's love and sympathy for Tibetan people.'
The political leader of Tibet reiterated that 'freedom for Tibetans and return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet' remains the 'true aspiration of Tibetans inside Tibet and dream of Tibetans outside Tibet.' In his reasoning as to why Tibet deserves attention and support, Sikyong stated that 'Tibet stands as a catalyst and test for China' and that 'autonomy in Tibet will be the beginning of moderation for China.' Sikyong attributed the success of the Tibetan struggle to India, and expressed hope that Tibet could be made 'India's success story.' He concluded with a vision that 'Tibetans will one day go from the holy land of India to the holy city of Lhasa with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.'
Shri L.K Advani shared few excerpts from Sardar Patel's November 7, 1950 letter on Tibet addressed to the then Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Advani ji admitted with conviction that 'a resolution between China and Tibet, will make the 21st Century- India's Century.' He lauded the 'Tibetan spirit' and assured that 'Tibetans will see the light of the day.' Advani ji concluded by saying that 'just as His Holiness the Dalai Lama always refers to India as Tibet's guru, we hope to match up to that expectations.'
Ms Priya Dutt, expressed 'concern and solidarity for Tibetans inside Tibet and paid homage to 99 young lives sacrificed in a struggle to regain identity.' She thanked the Tibetan people for the presence and blessings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in India. "His Holiness is our guest, for us it is our duty to take care of our guest as much as we can," she added.
Dr. Hassan Khan encouraged Tibetan people to persevere and said that 'the day will come soon for Tibetans to return to their homeland.' "We must remember all those Tibetans who have sacrificed their precious lives for Tibet and Tibetan people," he said carrying photos of the Tibetan self-immolators.
Dr. E.M Sudarsan Natchiappan assured India's love and support for the Tibetan struggle and said that 'Tibetans are not just India's neighbors but also it's brothers and sisters.'
Ms. Dolma Gyari, Minister for Home, Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) was the master of the ceremony and Mr. Tempa Tsering, Representative, Bureau of His Holiness the Dalai Lama proposed the vote of thanks.