Chennai: As per the program of the 17th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, Parliamentarians Khenpo Kada Ngedup Sonam and Lobsang Gyatso Sither successfully concluded their official visit to Chennai, Auroville, and Pondicherry from 25th to 28th September 2022. During their visit, the parliamentarians paid courtesy calls on Shri. N. Rangaswamy, Chief Minister of Pondicherry; Shri. Embalam R. Selvam, Speaker of Puducherry Legislative Assembly; Director General Ben Wang of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre in Chennai (TECC); and Consul General Judith Ravin of the United States America in Chennai. They also met with the Tibet supporters and Tibetan students studying in the aforementioned places.
On reaching Chennai on 25th September, the parliamentarians accompanied by South Zone Chief Representative Jigme Tsultrim met with long-time Tibet supporter Smt. Asha Reddy, who had hosted a dinner in honor of the visiting parliamentarians. Extending their heartfelt gratitude to Smt. Asha Reddy for her unflinching support to the cause of Tibet and for the assistance provided by her to the Tibetan students studying there, the MPs urged Smt. Reddy’s continued support and presented her with a memento of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile.
The next day, the MPs had a meet-up with Tibet supporters Pastor Michael Hubert, Prof Ramu Manivannan of Madras University, Smt. Asha Reddy, Shri D.V Dhasaratha Sha (President of Chennai Bharat Tibbat Sahyog Manch), South Zone Chief Representative Jigme Tsultrim, and three staff members. They discussed issues pertaining to the cause of Tibet including the objective of the Tibet support group, future projects, and others.
Later that day, the MPs visited Men-Tsee-Khang and met with the Tibetan students studying in Chennai. They interacted with the students and answered the questions raised by students after their public talks. On the same day, they also had a meeting with Advocate Arvind and discussed the situation of Tibet, the laws of the state, and the welfare of Tibetans.
The parliamentarians on 27th September visited the Indian Institute of Technology of Madras (IITM). They interacted with the students of IITM’s introduction to contemporary Tibet course and met with the Head of the Department of Humanities and Social Science, Dr. Jyotirmaya Tripathy. Parliamentarian Khenpo Kada Ngedup Sonam spoke on the current critical situation inside Tibet and the repressive policies adopted by China in Tibet in the context of the Covid19 pandemic, while parliamentarian Lobsang Gyatso Sither spoke on the status of the issue of Tibet on the international platform, support and assistance provided by India to Tibetans, and other topics related to the issue of Tibet. They answered questions on the Middle Way Approach (MWA), the reincarnation process of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the repressive policies of China, and others.
Thereafter, the parliamentarians paid a courtesy call on Director General Ben Wang and Director Juliana Chin of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre in Chennai (TECC) in Chennai and interacted on issues of common interest. The Director was presented with a memento of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile by the MPs.
They also paid a courtesy visit to Consul General Judith Ravin and Political Economic Chief Virsa Perkins, and Political and Economic Specialist Geetha Gopalkrishna of the Consulate General of the United States America in Chennai. The Consul General was also presented with a memento of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile by the MPs.
On 28th September, the parliamentarians were received by Shri. Adhvan, the President of the regional Indo Tibetan Friendship Association on reaching Pondicherry. They met with the Director of the Aurobindo Ashram who graciously presented two of his books to the parliamentarians.
They then paid a courtesy call on Shri. N. Rangaswamy, Chief Minister of Pondicherry, apprised the CM of the issue of Tibet in general and the situation of the Tibetan diaspora in particular. The parliamentarians then paid a courtesy visit to Shri. Embalam R. Selvam, Speaker of the Puducherry Legislative Assembly and discussed the issue of Tibet. Later that day, the MPs visited the Pavilion of Tibetan Culture in Auroville and met with its director Claude Arpi, Ms. Kelsang, and others.
Parliamentarians Khenpo Kada Ngedup Sonam and Lobsang Gyatso Sither successfully concluded their official visit to Chennai, Auroville, and Pondicherry. They will continue their official visit in South India.