Dharamsala : As per the designation of this year as the ‘Thank you India’ by Central Tibetan Administration, Tibetan Refugee Trader’s Association (TRTA) hosted ‘Thank-you India’ event to express their gratitude to the Lala Tibetan Hosiery Association (LTHA) and Indo-Tibetan Hosiery Association (ITHA), Ludhiana, Punjab on Aug 15, which is also celebrated as ‘Independence day of India.’ Present at the event as its ‘Special Guest’ was the Deputy Speaker of 16th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, Ven. Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok, in accordance with the invitation accorded by TRTA.
Commencing the program at 10:30 in the morning, more than 500 Tibetan sweater sellers from all over India attended the event.
Addressing the audience, Deputy Speaker Ven. Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok elucidated on the urgent situation inside Tibet; on 152 self-immolation inside Tibet; on the imprisonment of around 5000 Tibetans by Chinese government; restrictions and curtailment over the religious and cultural activities of the Tibetans inside Tibet as well as on Chinese immigration into Tibet via both railways and airways, stating that around 7 million Chinese has immigrated into Tibet.
While applauding audience on the voluntarily contribution of the Tibetan Green Book as well as donations by TRTA from their annual profits contributed towards Central Tibetan Administration, he illuminated them on the context of the Tibetan struggle movement and the procedure of budget approval during the budget session. He reminded them on the endeavors and hardship of the elder Tibetan generations, primarily of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, due to which the establishment of Central Tibetan Administration and the self-reliance of each and every Tibetan’s livelihood in exile is possible today.
Continuing further, he stated,’Through the 59 years of exile in India, Tibetans first toiled as daily wage laborers in road-laying and construction site, then as farmers and thereby, gradually engaging in the business of sweater-selling. And for 50 years till now, the facilitation and assistant of the woolen traders and merchants of Ludhiana has enabled the Tibetans all over India to engage in commerce of summer and winter sweater selling business. They are the genuine benefactors of livelihood of Tibetans and Central Tibetan Association and thus, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to them.‘
‘With the commercial expansion of Tibetan sweater-selling, subsequent challenges has arisen as well. Since form 1997-1998, I was able to succour to the best of my best abilities while also experiencing the same challenges. At times, there are conflicts within the Tibetans and particularly during the winter sweater-selling season, when there would be conflicts over communication with outsiders. Thus, I would like to request you all to cautious over such things, for all of our activities are dependent on others and so, be wary and attentive.’
At 2: 30 in the evening, while expressing his gratitude to the Presidents of the LTHA and ITHA, other guests and Indian tradesman and merchants on behalf of Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, he said,’I am very pleased to be able to meet you all through this opportunity on behalf of Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile. Due to the illegal occupation of Tibet by the Communist China in 1959, border issues has arisen between China and India, for instance the recent Doklam issue. The Chinese government constantly generated conflicts all over the Himalayan region and it is primarily the substantial cause of Chinese occupation of Tibet.’
‘The deep bond shared between India and Tibet historically, especially the special facilitation to the Tibetan cause by both the people and government of India, has pivoted the issues of Tibet on the global platforms. Through this occasion, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to LTHA and ITHA of Ludhiana for their facilitation and assistance to the Tibetans over the last 50 years on behalf of all the Tibetans. I pray and hope for the continual of this commercial relation between you and the whole of Tibet, the day Tibet issues are resolved. Once again, a very heartfelt thank you to all ! Victory to Tibet! Victory to India!’
Thereafter, he spoke on the urgent situation and self-immolation inside Tibet as well as on the construction of railways to maximize Chinese immigration into Tibet.
Sh. Ravneet Singh, member of Lok Sabha, also addressed the audience on the atrocities subjected by the Chinese government to the Tibetan people as akin to problems faced by Indians under the British occupation. He also shared the sad incident of his late father’s demise due to terrorism. While offering his solidarity to the issues of both inside and outside Tibet, he professed that he and the whole of of India revere and respect His Holiness the Dalai Lama profoundly. He further solicited the tradesman and merchants of Ludhiana for the continued facilitation to the Tibetan people.
Following him, Sh. Surinder Kumar Dawar (MLA) also addressed on the similar context and Sh. Shyam Sunder Malhotra, Senior Deputy Mayor of Ludhiana also spoke on Tibetan struggle movement and while offering his solidarity with the Tibetans, he assured his continual assistance to the Tibetans.
Thereafter, the two Presidents of the LTHA and ITHA, Sh. R.K.Waderia and Sh. Naveen Sood respectively, spoke on His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s visit to Ludhaina and the opportunity to listen to His Holiness’s talks as well as the visit of former Kalon Ven. Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche and the opportunity to listen to his speech. They also briefed the audience on the subsequent visits and meetings with dignitaries from Central Tibetan Administration over the past years and especially, the occasion to learn about the urgent situation inside Tibet, Tibetan struggle movement and Tibetan livelihood. They also conveyed their gratitude to the guests from Central Tibetan Administration and assured their continued and unwavering facilitation to the Tibetan sweater-sellers.