Dharamshala: As part of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile’s advocacy campaign for Tibet across various Indian states, parliamentarians Geshe Lharampa Atuk Tseten, Dhondup Tashi, and Tsering Yangchen visited the state of Maharashtra. During their advocacy tour, they met with the Governor, Shri Ramesh Bais, and the Speaker of the State Legislative Assembly, Shri Rahul Narwekar.
With coordination from the National Campaign for Free Tibet Support (NCFTS)’s regional convenor from Pune and Sangli, Shri Bala Saheb Raste, the Tibetan parliamentary delegates received a visit from Dr. Rajaram Bhonsle, a staff member of the District Malaria Officer, on January 19, 2024.
In the afternoon, they conducted a press conference at the Mumbai Marathi Patrakara Sangh, emphasizing the significance of Tibet to India and shedding light on the current critical situation within Tibet. Expressing gratitude to India and its citizens for their steadfast support for the just cause of Tibet, the parliamentarians addressed each of the media’s questions regarding Tibet. Subsequently, they met with Shri Rahul Narwekar, the Speaker of the Maharashtra Assembly, advocating for Tibet and presenting him with a souvenir from the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile along with relevant documents.
Shri Girish Wankhede, a distinguished expert in the film and media industry, organized a meeting with film and music artists on the next day. In the meeting, MP Geshe Lharampa Atuk Tseten spoke on the religious connection between India and Tibet, while MP Dhondup Tashi focused on the geopolitical connection of the border between the two nations, and MP Tsering Yangchen delved into the intricate relationship of the Tibetan diaspora with India and its citizens. The talk was followed by a Q&A session.
On January 22nd, they met with the Governor of Maharashtra, Shri Ramesh Bais, to discuss the historical status of Tibet as an independent nation currently occupied by China. Emphasizing that recognizing Tibet as part of China could impede the resolution of the Sino-Tibetan conflict through non-violent means, they advocated for the Middle Way Approach. This approach advocates dialogue between the envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and its Chinese counterparts to address the conflict.
In addition to highlighting the environmental challenges facing Tibet, they underscored the importance of the Tibetan plateau and rivers flowing into South Asian countries, including India. They urged for unrestricted access for media and researchers to Tibet and the release of Tibetan political prisoners, including Panchen Rinpoche, Gendhun Choekyi Nyima.
Governor Bais shared his prior meeting with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamshala and conveyed the discussed matters to the then PM of India, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He assured the delegation that he would relay their message to the current Indian PM, Shri Narendra Modi.
Having successfully concluded their official advocacy tour in Maharashtra, they proceeded to Telangana.