By Tendar Tsering
His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressing the Fourth All India Tibet Support Groups Conference in Dharamshala on June 9, 2012. (Phayul photo/Norbu Wangyal)
DHARAMSHALA, June 9: Speaking to a group of over 150 Indian supporters from all over India, including members of the Indian parliament and former civil servants, Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay said success for Tibet would mean India’s success as well.
Dr Sangay was addressing the Fourth All India Tibet Support Groups Conference in the presence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama earlier today in Dharamshala.
Referring to the chain of self-immolations in Tibet, Dr Sangay said Tibet needs India more than ever.
“For decades, India has been the most durable and most reliable supporter of Tibet, and we need India’s help now more than ever before,” the democratically elected Tibetan leader said. “Tibet’s success will be India’s success too.”
Expressing his gratitude to the people of India, Dr Sangay remarked on the common bond Indians and Tibetans share.
“Not just Buddhism, but Tibetan democracy, our method of struggle - ahimsa and almost all the Tibetan leaders, including myself and Speaker Penpa Tsering, all are made in India,” the 43-year old Harvard law graduate said.
Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay addressing the Fourth All India Tibet Support Groups Conference in Dharamshala on June 9, 2012. (Phayul photo/Norbu Wangyal)
Addressing the opening ceremony of the three-day conference as chief guest, the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama said that the ongoing situation inside Tibet shows China “can physically bully and rule Tibet but cannot rule the hearts of Tibetans.”
His Holiness spoke in detail on Tibet’s strong spiritual bond with India, stating that “Tibetans are like students and Indians are like teachers.”
“When students are suffering, teacher has to take care of the students,” the Dalai Lama said.
Vowing to table effective resolutions during the three-day conference, Ajay Singh Mankotia, a long-time supporter based in Dharamshala called on the participants to “think clearly, think strongly, think without fear and be strong enough to speak up for Tibet.”
Echoing similar calls for action, Indresh Kumar, a prominent Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha leader said that India needs to give “active support” to the Tibetans and not just “verbal support.”
In the course of the three days, the participants will hold discussions on the present situation inside Tibet, the Tibetan plateau’s fragile eco-system and Tibet and Sino-Indian relations.
The delegates will also deliberate on ways to strengthen Tibet support groups in India and raise awareness on the Tibetan issue amongst the Indian youths in schools, colleges and universities.
The conference, on the final day, will adopt a Declaration and an Action Plan.
The fourth All India Tibet Support Group conference is facilitated by the New
Delhi-based India Tibet Coordination Office in collaboration with the Department of Information & International Relations of the
Central Tibetan Administration.
Prominent Indian supporters, including members of parliament, Shrimati Chandresh Kumari and Bashisht Narain Singh and former Foreign Secretary of India, Lalit Mansingh will be speaking at the conference.
The exile Tibetan headquarters of Dharamshala is hosting the conference for the first time. Earlier All India Tibet Support Group conferences were held in Chandigarh in 2003, Bodhgaya in 2006 and New Delhi in 2009.