Days after Chinese FM Wang Yi visit, top Tibetan official Dolma Tsering Teykhang meets 30 Indian MPs, Taiwan envoy in Delhi
Dolma Tsering said the focus of her visit was to, "appraise them about the critical human rights situation inside Tibet and the other thing is culture and religion situation in Tibet is getting extinct in its birthplace" and also "environment situation inside the Tibetan plateau".
- The top Tibetan official met MPs from all major national parties of India
- The last Tibetan Parliament in exile delegation visited Delhi in December
- The delegation had met Indian MPs riling up the Chinese embassy which had sent a strongly-worded letter about the development
New Delhi: Deputy Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in exile Mrs Dolma Tsering Teykhang met over 30 Indian Parliamentarians or MPs and Taiwan's ambassador to India in a high-level engagement starting 4th April. The meeting comes days after Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi was on an India visit.
Speaking to Zee Media's Diplomatic Correspondent Sidhant Sibal, Mrs Dolma Tsering said the focus of her visit was to, "appraise them about the critical human rights situation inside Tibet and other thing is culture and religion situation in Tibet is getting extinct in its birthplace" and also "environment situation inside the Tibetan plateau". The top Tibetan official had met MPs from all major national parties of India--BJP, AAP and Congress with a large number of MPs from India's northeast.
The last Tibetan Parliament in exile delegation visited Delhi in December. During that visit, the delegation had met Indian MPs riling up the Chinese embassy which had sent a strongly-worded letter about the development. New Delhi had then asked the embassy to behave and that such letters are inappropriate. In her meeting with the Taiwan envoy, the Deputy Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in exile said, "We had a great exchange of views on how best we have the exchange of students, how best we can make the Taiwanese people interact with the Tibetan people, so that people to people relation is built and friendship is flourished. "
During the Delhi meeting, she met Kiren Rijiju who is the convener of north-eastern Parliamentarians, Dr Rajkumar Ranjan Singh who is also minister of state in the Ministry of external affairs. She slammed the recent visit of Chinese FM, explaining, "visit was just kind of a drama to show, you can do business but we can talk about the border later on."
Q: What Brings you here to Delhi?
A: Dolma Tsering Teykhang: we are here because Tibet is in such a critical situation under the occupation of China. So, the Tibetans in the free world, we are the voice for the voiceless. Therefore we are doing the job for our brothers and sisters in Tibet.
Q: In Delhi, what were the engagements like?
A: Dolma Tsering Teykhang: We come to Delhi when the Indian Parliament is on. The most important mission is to reach out to the new Parliamentarians, who are new faces in the Parliament. To appraise them about the critical human rights situation inside Tibet and other thing is culture and religion situation in Tibet is getting extinct in its birthplace. Also to have a stable and peaceful border between India and China, resumptions of talks between China and representatives of his holiness Dalai Lama. And the environmental situation inside the Tibetan plateau. The world is crying about climate change and unless you fix the roof of the world, there will not be fixing of the environment. The world needs to give a fair share of its importance to the Tibet plateau and we urge the UN framework on climate change to have scientific research to understand what is happening in Tibet plateau impacting global climate change so that we can have research proof to give the Chinese counterpart so that they are convinced to fix Tibetan plateau environmental crisis.
Q: Who all did you meet during Delhi visit, the Parliamentarians, MPs or Foreign Delegation?
A: Since the 4th of April we started our mission and till today, we were able to meet, like 35 Indian Parliamentarians from the national 4 big parties of BJP, Congress, AAP, National people's party, and from the regional political parties, almost all the northeastern Parliamentarians we met, we had talked in detail about the depletion of Brahmaputra river, Dams, and how the lives of people in that part of India is getting impacted because of the wrong policies of China. We met number of Indian parliamentarians who are very supportive and vocal about human rights crisis, and environmental destruction happening in Tibetan Plateau. Coming to envoys, we met the Taiwanese, his excellency the Ambassador. We had a great exchange of views on how best we have the exchange of students, how best we can make the Taiwanese people interact with the Tibetan people so that people to people relation is built and friendship is flourished.
Q: Your met MPs from the ruling BJP party as well during your engagement?
A: Some of the ruling Naresh Bansal, Mitesh Patel, Pradan Baruah, Kiren Rijiju who is the convener of northeastern Parliamentarians at the Parliamentary Annexe. These are some of the names. From the northeastern side, we had a number of BJP MPs like Rameswar Teli, Dr Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, Bhubaneshwar Kalita, Kamakhya Prasad Tasa, Horen Sing Bey, Topon Kumar Gogoi, Queen Oja, Rajdeep roy. We had a number of people who were very supportive and very receptive of what we were trying to convey to them. That was a very encouraging interaction with them.
Q: Your visit comes even as Chinese FM had visited. Last time a Tibet delegation had visited Delhi, Chinese embassy had reacted in a very strong way. How do you see the visit in this context?
A: Importance of India in the international political arena is being seen, within a very short time you have seen a lot of international foreign ministers coming and visiting. Though the Chinese counterpart visit was just kind of a drama to show, you can do business but we can talk about the border later on. When there can be no security and peace at the border area, how can India manage to do business with China? That is a big issue, so I think the world has let loose China so freely that they do what they want to do, it's like, we have spoiled China to bully who does anything against their will. Whatever China dictates, sovereign states succumb to it, that is why they dictate all the time. Even the sovereign Parliamentarians are dictated, who they can or cannot meet. But when we talk about human rights violations, it's all about the internal matter. You are intruding in the domestic affairs of the Chinese; these are like 2 different things. We need to make China accountable for what wrong they are doing in Tibet, not only there but also in Hong Kong, Taiwan.
We all are coming together on one platform where we are going to raise our voices against Chinese atrocities, against the invasion of Taiwan, its airspace, which is a kind of intimidation. They dictate about One China policy, when China dictates a one-China policy, why can't they say Arunachal is an inalienable part of India. We should also put conditions on them. To the far west, where people and government don't even know the history of Tibet, they are ready to do peace with China and agree on a one-China policy. When you don't know the history of Tibet, how can you agree to such a dictate? That is a big question and we are questioning their credibility towards human rights, when there was holocaust people were told us enough is enough but what is happening in Tibet, Xinjiang (Uyghurs), Hong Kong and Taiwan is similar violations of human rights.. People are suffering. Being Tibetan is criminal, being able to talk about conservation of the environment in Tibet, put into jail. China tries to show to the world, that we are the leader in climate change, but in their own home, in Tibet, when conservation is talked about you land up in jail. These are double standards in China.
The world must look at China with a pinch of distrust and doubt, so that you know the reality of China because China will tell you what they want you to hear and show what they want you to see but the ground reality is different. Not only Tibet but even the Chinese people are suffering under the communist regime. If China has to open up and change, it will explode from within, where there is oppression there is bound to be revolt and that molten lava will come from within China itself and show people can bring the change.
Q: More such engagements being planned by the Tibetan side?
A: of course, we are looking to meet ambassadors where pockets of Tibetans are residing, we want to thank them to taken care of Tibetans, and really helped them to improve the financial conditions, to have modern education for youth and open up Tibet youth to the world to advocate for the cause. Wherever you are, US, Canada, Japan, or Europe--France, Germany, Tibetan people are the voice of people in Tibet. The presence of Tibetans everywhere is a force for the Tibet issue, so we are looking forwards, though we are yet to get some of the appointments, we look forward to more such engagements.
Q: Any plans by the Tibetan govt in exile to meet the PM?
A: Of course, we dream to meet the Lok Sabha speaker, the environment minister Bhupinder Yadav ji, because we have passed a resolution on the critical environmental situation inside Tibet. Since the environment is nonpolitical, it will be looked at from that perspective. Of course, we dream to meet Shri Narendra Modi Ji because at this point of time, he was so busy with foreign dignitaries, we dare not approach and put up a request for an appointment but in future, we dream to meet PM and have the narrative of Tibet change.
Tibet was a sovereign state for 200 years, India and British Raj were the witnesses to it. It was illegally occupied, so to have the narrative changed, India needs to change Tibet policy, we need to change to an occupied nation. On the basis of this, we are asking for genuine autonomy, we are ready to stay with our Chinese counterparts provided they give us meaningful autonomy to keep our identity and cultural heritage intact in our own land.