By Tendar Tsering
Staff and students of the Tibetan College for Higher Studies, Sarah raise the "Flame of Truth" on July 24, 2012.
DHARAMSHALA, July 24: The north-India leg of the “Flame of Truth” torch relay reached the Tibetan exile headquarters of Dharamshala today in the evening.
Hundreds of local Indians and Tibetans received the torch in Nurpur, a small town in Kangra district, around 56 Kilometers from Dharamshala. The Tibetan Settlement Officer of Dalhousie handed over the torch to his Dharamshala counterpart.
Member of Legislative Assembly from Nurpur, Rakesh Pathnia was present at the handing over of the torch. Speaking on behalf of the local Indians, he assured support for the Tibetan cause and expressed his concerns at the critical situation inside Tibet.
Pathania later flagged off the torch relay for its onwards journey to Dharamshala. Dozens of vehicles, carrying Tibetan national flags, accompanied the torch to the Tibetan College for Higher Studies, Sarah for its first halt.
The northern-leg of the torch relay was inaugurated by Rigzin Palbar, Chief Executive Councillor of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council on July 6 in Leh, coinciding with the 77th birthday of the Dalai Lama.
The torch then traveled to Kargil, where members of the Tibetan Muslim Community along with other Tibetans organised campaigns.
In a release, the Dharamshala Tibetan Settlement Office said it will organise a full-day signature campaign, a peace march and a candle light vigil on July 26 as part of the “Flame of Truth” relay.
The torch relay, initiated by the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile in “solidarity with the courageous and selfless acts” of Tibetans inside Tibet began simultaneously from three different locations; Cochin in south-India, Shillong in northeast India, and Leh in north-India.
A number of prominent Indian personalities have signed the petition urging the United Nations to discuss the issue of Tibet based on its earlier resolutions, to send an independent international fact-finding delegation to Tibet and to take special responsibility to ensure that the basic aspirations of the Tibetans inside Tibet are fulfilled.
The petition can also be signed online.
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 the petitions, simultaneously to the UN Headquarters in New York City, UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and UN information office in New Delhi.
The Tibetan parliament has appealed to all Tibetans and supporters “to provide wholehearted and cooperative support when the relay campaign takes place in their concerned areas.”