Mounting demand for conferring Bharat Ratna on Dalai Lama

Nava Thakuria| 21 June 2019.

Dharamshala: Indian supporters for a free Tibet have urged the Union the government in New Delhi to confer Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest
civilian honour, on the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama for his immense contributions in creating goodwill for India in the last six decades.

In a declaration, adopted in the 6th  All India Tibet Support Groups’ Conference held on 15 and 16 June  in Dharamshala township of Himachal
Pradesh under the chairmanship of Rinchin Khandu Khrimey, national convener of Core Group for Tibetan Cause (CGTC), it was accomplished that the Nobel laureate continues to be a holy ambassador of Indian culture enriched with non-violence, compassion and religious harmony.

The Dharamshala declaration also called upon New Delhi  to prevail over the People’s Republic of China for a constructive negotiation
with the representatives of Central Tibetan Administration (formerly Tibetan government in exile) under the guidance of Dalai Lama for the
sustainable solution of Tibet issue.

It also appealed to the  international community to support the Dharamshala based CTA in its relentless pursuit for a peaceful
resolution to Tibetan issues comprising the quest of millions of Tibetans (inside and outside Tibet) for dignity, justice and peace in
their land, which has been occupied by the Communist regime in Beijing since 1959.

The declaration insisted on complete freedom of language and culture pursued by the Tibetan Buddhists with an end to repressions over the
people and exploitations of natural resources inside Tibet which might have severe ecological implications to various neighbouring countries like India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand etc.

Over 200 delegates from 21 States of India, while attending the two-day conference, organized by the CGTC, an apex coordinating body
of Tibet support groups in India and facilitated by the India Tibet Coordination Office in New Delhi strongly condemned the Chinese
government for systemic violations of human rights under its illegal occupation over the land of Dalai Lama and also the militarization of Tibetan plateau threatening peace across the Indian sub-continent.

The conference  commemorated the 60th year since the first ever Tibet support convention  held at Kolkata in May 1959 under the leadership
of under the leadership of Loknayak Jayprakash Narayan soon after Pawanpujya Dalai Lama with many fellow Tibetans fled to India with an aim to escape Chinese oppression.

Mentioning about the  Kolkata convention, Dr Anand Kumar, general secretary, India Tibet Friendship Society, commented that the little
assembly of responsible citizens helped to nurture a big river of consciousness, humanity and solidarity for Tibetan cause in the present
time. He also termed the Tibetan transition as remarkable for their wisdom, commitment and resilience against the mightiest empire in the
world.

Addressing the inaugural session, Indresh Kumar, patron of Bharat Tibbat Sahyog Manch termed Beijing’s recent political and military
advances as a threat to India’s national security. He disclosed that the conflict-ridden India-China border was once used to be a friendly
boundary between India and Tibet. An ideologist of Rashtriya Swayang Sewak,  Kumar, however, asserted that New Delhi won’t deter from taking
strong actions against the Chinese advance.

Earlier delivering the keynote address, Tibetan leader Dr Lobsang Sangay expressed his warmth and gratitude to India and its people for
generous support to the Tibetan authority saying that no other the country has done (or can do) more than India and none could be helpful
for Tibet than the people of India. CTA President Sangay explained about the middle way approach for resolving Tibetan issues.

A Hindi translation of Sangay’s boot tilted ‘Tibet was Never Part of China but the Middle Way Approach Remains a Viable Solution’ was
released in the  function, where the bright and highly educated Tibetan leader highlighted on their demand for the genuine autonomy
for Tibetan people with emphasizes on constitutional rights for preserving their distinct language and culture.

Khrimey, a former Parliamentarian from Arunachal Pradesh, expressed confidence that Dalai Lama would get the opportunity to return to
Potala of Lasha in his life time with dignity and pride. He, however, disclosed that people of northeast India would prefer His Holiness to return to Lasha through the same route through Arunachal borer as he took sixty years back.

Others who spoke in the conference included  Dr Abanti Bhattacharya, a professor on Chinese Studies at Delhi University, Prof Ramu Manivannam
from Madras University, Thinlay Chukki, CTA information & international relations officer, Dechen Palmo, CTA research fellow,
Ajai Singh, president of India Tibet Friendship Association, Vijay Kranti, a journalist from Doordarshan, Surender Kumar,  co-convener of
CGTC, where the closing session was graced by Choekyong Wangchuk, the health minister in CTA, Dharamshala.

Nava Thakuria is a Guwahati (Northeast India) based journalist who contributes to various media outlets throughout the world.

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