Delhi, India —“I request and urge the government of India to declare a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics, as the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia have done. We hope that the Indian government will heed this plea to prove that India is one of the superpowers." said Tsering Choephel, President of Regional Tibetan Youth Congress in Delhi, India.
An exclusive interview with Tsering Choephel, President of the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress (RTYC) Samyeling Delhi, who participated in the motorbike rally organised by the RTYC Samyeling Delhi on the eve of World Human Rights Day, 10 December 2021.
In the interview with Tibet Post International(TPI), Tsering Choephel, President of the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress, talks about their demands, the objectives of the campaign, and their motorbike rally campaign.
TPI: Can you please give a brief introduction of yourself?
Interviewee: My name is Tsering Choephel and I am the president of Regional Tibetan Youth Congress Samyeling Delhi. I have been a participant in the All India motorbike rally organised by RYTC in Delhi on the eve of World Human Rights Day, 10 December 2021.
TPI: Can you briefly explain the aims and demands of this campaign started on World Human Rights Day?
Tsering: The aims and demands of the motorbike rally campaign were to boycott the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, release the 11th Panchen Lama and all political prisoners imprisoned by China, and remind people of the Chinese government's atrocities in Tibet. There have been 167 self-immolations of Tibetans since 1998.
All participants in this campaign demand that the Chinese government release the 11th Panchen Lama of Tibet, the world's youngest political prisoner, and urge that His Holiness the Dalai Lama be allowed to return to Tibet. There are no human rights in Tibet today; it was an independent nation and it must be free.
TPI: How have the bikers involved engaged with the Indian media?
Tsering: It has been 33 days since this bike rally across India started and we have interacted with many local, regional and national media. They have been very sympathetic to our cause and have made our voice heard through their platforms.
TPI: How has the response been received across India and can you share some of the conversations you have had with people along the way?
Tsering: Yes, the campaign received support from the Indian public and prominent personalities including politicians. Today, in Chandigarh, we met Congress politician and member of Punjab legislative assembly Mr Navjot Singh Sadhu, and clicked pictures with him. We also met MPs in Goa who were very supportive of our cause.
TPI: What is your message to Indians who wish to get involved and support the Tibetan cause?
Tsering: We request Indians to support the complete independence for Tibet. Many people support the Tibetan cause but insist on issues like the McMahon Line and the Line of Actual Control(LAC). We urge Indians to focus on Tibetan independence first, which will automatically solve other issues such as the borders issue, without wasting Indian money on Tibet-India borders.
TPI: Do you have a message for China or the IOC?
Tsering: Yes, I ask the IOC, why was China allowed to host the Olympic Games again?, the spirit of the Olympic Games embodies peace, harmony, and unity, principles that China has failed to uphold and imbibe. China was given the chance to host the Games in 2008, but its policy towards Tibet and other oppressed peoples and territories has not changed. In the last two years, they have been the source of a virus that has killed a billion lives. Yet the IOC gave them the Games - do they deserve to host the Olympics?.
TPI: The #NoBeijing2022 campaign has gained support around the world. What is your message to the Indian government?
Tsering: I request and urge the government of India to declare a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics, as the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia have done. We hope that the Indian government will heed this plea to prove that India is one of the superpowers.