Tibetan members of parliament, settlement officers, and representatives of local organisations marching with the 'Flame of Truth' after it arrived in the Tibetan settlement of Bylakuppe in south India on July 20, 2012.
DHARAMSHALA, July 21: The south India leg of the “Flame of Truth” torch relay reached the largest Tibetan settlement of Bylakuppe to a rousing reception by local Indian supporters and Tibetans Friday morning.
The torch, which began its journey from Kochi on July 6, coinciding with the 77th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama was received at the settlement gate by members of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, Jigme Jungney and Lobsang Yeshi, Sadha Shivappa, president of the Indo-Tibetan Friendship Society, the two settlement officers and representatives of various local Tibetan organisations.
The torch relay, initiated by the Tibetan Parliament in “solidarity with the courageous and selfless acts” of Tibetans inside Tibet, then made its journey to the Palace grounds for the formal reception ceremony. Hundreds of Tibetans lined the streets to greet the torch with khatas (white scarf) and slogans of ‘victory to Tibet’ and the ‘long-life of the Dalai Lama.’
J.P. Urs, chief guest of the reception ceremony and Convenor, South Zone, Tibet Support Group carried the “Flame of Truth” Torch to the podium.
Jigme Jungney in his introductory remarks expressed “immense appreciation and respect” for the Tibetans inside Tibet, who continue to make sacrifices for the cause of Tibet and offered solidarity to their families.
While pledging to make every effort in realising the “sacred aspirations of Tibetan martyrs,” Jugney urged Tibetans in exile to make consorted efforts in contributing towards the Tibetan freedom struggle.
In his address, J. P. Urs expressed his support for the torch relay and called on friends and supporters of Tibet to launch solidarity movements all over the world to put pressure on their governments to take a firm stand in support of Tibet.
The formal reception of the 'Flame of Truth' in Bylakuppe after it arrived from Chennai on July 21, 2012.
“I hope that the ‘Flame of Truth’ relay will serve as a useful campaign in making people understand the reality of the Tibetan problem and strongly appeal the United Nations to take firm actions and deliver justice to Tibet and its people,” Urs said.
In the next few days, the torch will tour the entire Tibetan camps, schools and monasteries in Bylakuppe, following which rallies will be carried out in neighbouring towns.
“The Flame of Truth will rally through the major neighbouring towns of Periyapatna, Medikeri, and Kushal Nagar on the 26th, 27th and 28th respectively, with the support of local Indian groups,” Lobsang Yeshi told Phayul.
“Public talks, signature campaigns, press conferences and public rallies will be organised in each of the towns with the participation of students from local schools and colleges and local dignitaries and supporters,” Yeshi added.
The South India leg of “Flame of Truth” relay, following its launch from Kochi has so far travelled to Coimbatore, Pondicherry, Auroville and Chennai.
The Relay, after traveling around hundreds of cities all over the world will conclude on December 10, World Human Rights Day, with the submission of appeal letters and signatures, simultaneously to the UN Headquarters in New York City, UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and UN information office in New Delhi.