‘Walk With Us On The Rocky Road To Liberty’
by Express News Service
(Indian Express. December 11, 2000)
Hope Flickers For Tibet (IE Photo: Ramesh Prabhu)
If the world wants non-violence to succeed, then it will have to
help Tibetan people in their struggle'
(Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Laureate)
With more than 1.5 Tibetans living in exile and gross human rights
violations taking place in Tibet, the people who live by the Buddhist
creed of non-violence appealed to Indians to help the Tibetans in
their struggle for freedom. Addressing a crowd, consisting largely by
Tibetans, on Human Rights Day, Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok, president of
the National Democratic Party of Tibet, in almost faultless Hindi,
explained Tibet's current position and the Dalai Lama's vision for
its future. Emphasising the premium it has always out in peace,
the country that inspired the concept of
wants to be parliamentary democracy like its neighbour.
It wants to free its people from arbitrary rules imposed by China.
The Acharya requested Mumbaikars to join the struggle on humanitarian
grounds, because what is happening in Tibet is 'an insult to human
dignity' and must be stopped. 'Please remember that before China
invaded our country, India did not have to worry about any border
problems with China because Tibet served as a buffer state. However,
after the invasion in 1949, India has to deploy thousands of soldiers
to protect its northern and north-eastern borders, spending more
money than it currently does protecting the borders with Pakistan,'
said Acharya Phuntsok.
The Friends of Tibet (INDIA), who had organised the talk, also
screened Garthwait & Griffin's film
'Tibet's Stolen Child',
a documentary on the alledged abduction of the tenth Panchan Lama
of Tibet days after the Dalai Lama recognised the six-year-old as
the spiritual leader and the second most revered person for the
Tibetans in May 1995.
Tracing the events that led to the kidnapping and the various
versions put out by the Chinese officials, including the claim
that they had already found the real Panchen Lama and that the
Dalai Lama had no authority to appoint the spiritual leader, the
film also documents the views of various Noble peace laureates and
China scholars across the world.
John Hume, Nobel peace prize winner from Northern Ireland said in
the film that intolerence of differences and diversity was the root
of all conflict. Jose Ramos-Horta, another Nobel peace laureate from
East Timor drew a parallel between Indonesia's strategy in East Timor
and the Chinese offensive in Tibet. Mairead Macguire, Nobel peace
prize winner from Northern Ireland, stressed a totally different
aspect that the Tibetan conflict had given rise to. 'Governments
that oppress religions give it a fuller meaning, a fuller purpose,
much against their original intentions.'