'Tibet: Eyewitness Accounts'
Prof Prabodh Parikh (third from left) Moderating the Discussion
'Tibet: Eyewitness Accounts' by two travellers and a native seminar organised by Friends of Tibet (INDIA) was held at the YB Chavan Centre, Nariman Point, Bombay on February 3, 2001. The seminar included talks and slide-show presentations by Shankar Menon (India, a retired IAS officer who visited Tibet in 1998); Beatrice Gibson (UK, who travelled in Tibet in 1998) and Phuntsok Wangchuk (Tibet, who escaped to reach India in December 2000) followed by a discussion moderated by Prof Prabodh Parikh. Dr Ramu Manivannan (Delhi University) and Tenzin Chokey (Researcher, Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, Dhraramshala) joined the discussion with other participants.
Later Shankar Menon, Beatrice Gibson and Phuntsok Wangchuk, the three witnesses shared their experiences with a crowd gathered at the venue. They talked briefly about what they 'saw' and 'experienced' in the Chinese occupied Tibet. All agreed with the fact that the illegal occupation of Tibet in 1959 by communist China systematically destroyed a country with unique culture. "The most difficult part of the prison life, was when we were forced to go against our beliefs, our values. The prison authorities would try to convince us that China was instrumental in developing Tibet to a large extent. We were forced to agree in spite of knowing that it wasn't true. Freedom is the most treasured experience we can possess" stated Phuntsok Wangchuk, a 27 year old student from Lhoka, who faced five years of imprisonment for pasting 'Free Tibet' posters. Phuntsok escaped Tibet to reach India in December 2000.
Pimmi Pande presents the film 'Promised Land: The Tibetan Story'
The event also included the screening of 'Promised Land: The Tibetan Story', a 45-minute film written and directed by Pimmi Pande on the present situation of the Tibetan Refugees in India.
Discussion: Phuntsok Wangchuk, Ven Tashi, Dr Ramu Manivannan,
Prof Prabodh Parikh and Beatrice Gibson
Major Gen D'souza makes a statement during the discussion
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