‘Tibetan Youth Urged to Carry on their Freedom Struggle’
by DH news service
(Deccan Herald | October 9, 2003)
The youth in Tibet are determined to take the Tibetan struggle for
freedom to its logical end and no power of suppression or curtailing
the freedom of expression by the Chinese authoritarian rule could
stop Tibet from becoming a free country, said Tibetan writer and
activist Tenzin Tsundue, here today.
Speaking on "New Generation Tibetans" at the end of a three-day
Festival of Tibet, Mr Tsundue recalled his experiences in a Tibetan
jail for three months when he visited that country unauthorisedly
after he finished his education in India. He said he saw youth
activists in jail who were fired by the spirit of patriotism and
who were ready for any scrifice for the sake of freedom.
The youth among the Tibetan refugees in India were suffering
from a crisis of identity as they were not being educated in
their traditional style and the infuence of the western pattern of
education being imparted in India and influence of the cultures and
languages around them could be seen in their life, the activist said.
However a deep longing for the land of their ancestors and their
culture was in them and he expressed the confidence that the youth
would carry forward the torch of the struggle for Tibetan freedom.
Mr Tsundue said his most valuable gift to his parents would be to take
them back to the land in Tibet where they were born.
He expressed wonder that despite the fact that there were over 300
Tibetan students in Mangalore, many Indian youth who interacted
with him did not know much about the Tibetan cause although the
Tibetan youth mingled with the local youth and shared many things in
social and culture life. He wanted the Tibetan youth to play their
effective role in propagating the Tibetan cause with the people of
the region where they lived in.
Mr G Giridhar Prabhu, National Secretary, Indian Liberal Group
while participating in the programme said there was a great need for
building strong public opinion for the cause of Tibetan Independence
and the public opinion should move the national government to take
a firm stand on the issue.
Mr CA Kallianpur, All India Co-ordinator, Friends of Tibet (India)
speaking on “Why Tibet Matters to India” said it mattered a
lot as Tibet is an immediate neighbour for India. “Throughout
histroy India has never had common borders with China. It is only
after Tibet’s occpuation by China that we have had common borders
and all the problems with China like the Sino-Indian war of 1962
and the tremendous increase in defence expenditure."
"Tibet has a very strategic location in the heart of Asia and its
also the source of Asia’s major rivers. It is for this reason
that the Chinese have gone about methodically by first building the
Aksai-Chin highway in the 1950’s connecting Sinkiang to Tibet and
the Gansu-Tibet, Sichuan–Tibet and Yunnan-Tibet highways. Then
the Karakorum highway in the 1970’s through the Khunjerab pass
in Pakistan-occupied part of Kashmir connecting Pakistan with
China. They are now speeding the railway line to Lhasa which they
are planning to complete by 2007 even before the Beijing Olympics
in 2008”, Mr Kallianpur said.
Quoting the Chinese statement to Indian Defence Minister that they
planned to become number one financial power by 2020, Mr Kallianpur
said their activities in Tibet portended that China wanted to
becomme a number one military power even before that.
Mr Kallianpur quoted the remaarks of General (Retd) SK Sinha
once saying that the status of Tibet is the first line of defence,
thereby meaning that if one is clear about the status of Tibet,
half the battle is won.
Mr Sonam Tenzin, General Secretary, Tibetan Students Association
Mangalore, proposed a vote of thanks. The Tibetan food festival held
today as part of the programe attracted many local citizens.