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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Himalayan Region Underlines Tibet's Autonomy for Peace in India

July 6, 2008

July 5, 2008

Dharamshala - Hundreds of delegates from the entire Himalayan region
of India voiced their strong support for peace and stability in
Tibet, during the function marking the 94th anniversary of Shimla
convention signed to mark the boundary between China, Tibet and India
on 3 July 1914.

The Trans Himalayan Parliamentary Forum and the Himalayan Parivar
jointly organised the function at Peter Hoff in Shimla on 3 July. The
event was organised with an objective to raise the issue of Tibet on
the basis of the McMohan Line that was drawn 94 years ago at the
historic convention in Shimla.

Participants from Ladakh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand,
Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti attended the function.

Speaking on the occasion, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar
Dhumal said having peace and stability in the Himalayan region was a
must for ensuring India's security for which Tibet's autonomy was a

He said it is only after India wholeheartedly supports the Tibetan
cause that the international community will raise its voice in
support of human rights violations inside Tibet.

He said peace inside Tibet was a sure guarantee for India's security.
"Protecting the Himalayas from security point of view as well as
saving it from environmental degradation was important for India," he
asserted. He said had India supported the Tibetan cause, way back in
1950's the scenario could have been totally different today.

He also said that safeguarding the interests of the people of the
Tibet was important for maintenance of peace in the Himalayan region
and amicable solution was required to be found to maintain the
autonomy of the area.

He appreciated the endeavour of the organizers to organize a
conference on the vital issue to draw the attention of the global
community towards the genuine problem of the Tibetans.

A Tibetan Parliamentary delegation headed by Speaker Karma Chophel
and Dolma Gyari, deputy speaker, and members of Parliament, including
Ven Beri Jigmey Wangyal, Ven Tse Ringpo, Sonam Damdul, Dolker Lhamo
and Dolma Tsering attended the convention.

Kiren Rijiju, MP from Arunanchal Pradesh and National President of
the Trans Himalayan Parliamentarians Forum, Ven. Tsona Rimpoche,
former Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Phuntsok Rai, former Minister
of Himachal Pradesh and others delved into the historical importance
of the Shimla convention of 1914 and its importance in the present day context.

Dr Mallika Nadda, Convenor, Himalaya Parivar, Himachal Pradesh,
welcomed the chief minister and other dignitaries and said that such
forums must to be created to draw the attention of the world towards
the genuine problems of the Himalayan countries so that environment
of the region was protected.

Lama Chosphel Zotpa, Secretary, Trans Himalayan Parliamentarians
Forum proposed the vote of thanks.

Tulsi Ram, speaker of HP Vidhan Sabha, Khimi Ram, deputy speaker, Jai
Ram Thakur, president, State BJP, members of the Legislative
Assembly, former members of Parliament, former MLAs, representatives
from different religious and social organizations, NGOs and senior
officers from different areas of the state were present.

A photo exhibition by Tibet Museum of the Department of the
Information and International titled 'A Long Look Homeward', provided
vivid perspectives of Tibet's rich history and culture, Tibetan
people's struggle for freedom, and their hopes for the future.

On 2 July, the Dharamshala chapter of Tibetan Solidarity Committee
held a candle light vigil in Mall, attended by Vidya Strokes, Leader
of Opposition Party, H.P. Vidhan Sabha and Tsono Rinpoche, Congress
MLA, Arunachal Pradesh. Deputy Speaker Dolma Gyari along with members
of Parliament Dolker Lhamo, Beri Jigmey Wangyal, Dolma Tsering also
joined the procession.

Report compiled from The Tribune and ANI news service
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