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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Panel Discusses Tibet's Quest for Feedom

June 3, 2008

India Post
June 2, 2008,

NEW YORK --  With an aim to create a dialogue concerning the status
of Tibet and its relationship to the world, a function was organized
at the Akbar Restaurant in New Jersey on May 17, under the auspices
of Friends of India Society International (FISI) with Dr. Bhishma
Agnihotri, former Ambassador-at-large of India and International
President of FISI, as chief guest.

In his keynote speech, Dr. Bhishma Agnihotri referred to the Chinese
carrying of the Olympic flame to the summit of Mount Everest as a
message to the world that China's resources, technology, and power
are now supreme. Dr. Agnihotri discussed several historical facts
dating back 3,000 years to a time when Tibet was a large,
independent, and sovereign state and China a small province, which by
virtue of its expansionist strategy has now become an imperialistic power.

He reminded the audience of China's "demographic aggression" in the
form of Han Chinese migration into Tibet, China's cultural oppression
of Tibet by destroying thousands of monasteries over past several
decades, and China's military buildup in Tibet of medium-range
missiles which threaten India. Dr. Agnihotri referenced a recent Time
Magazine report which noted the creation of numerous dance halls and
brothels on the main street of Lhasa.

Finally, he lamented that India and the world community did very
little for Tibet over the years, despite several attempts to initiate
inquiries through the UN and other international agencies into
violations of human rights in Tibet. Dr. Sudhir Parikh, a prominent
community leader reminded the audience that the Dalai Lama is not
seeking independence for Tibet, but autonomy, so that Tibetans can
follow their religion based on teachings of Lord Gautam Budha and
Vedanta and continue their peace loving, environmentally friendly
traditions with pride and dignity.

He also cautioned Chinese not to squander the upcoming opportunity of
dealing with the Dalai Lama. Rajiv Malhotra, President of Infinity
Foundation and an eminent philanthropist and scholar, revealed how
China has cunningly devised a grand strategy directed at India. He
argued that China is preparing for future resource wars over water by
advancing territorial claims over Arunachal Pradesh through which
passes the Brahmaputra, a river rising in eastern Tibet and supplying
40 percent of India's fresh water.

He also highlighted the importance the Chinese attach to oil pipeline
and highway construction through Tibet, which is a critical location
in Chinese geo-strategic planning. Malhotra urged concrete steps that
India could initiate, including questioning China's control over
Tibet now that China has called the border between Tibet and India
into doubt. Professor Jagdish Vyas, an expert on Tibet and a
distinguished Sinologist, declared that China is not a civilized
state, but a country ruled by Communists who assumed power by
terrorizing the Chinese people.

He demanded that China accept reality, as suggested by the Dalai
Lama, and immediately bring about a genuine autonomy for Tibet. He
commended the Dalai Lama's peaceful effort over last 50 years to
convince the world that China is a trouble maker and predicted that
China would soon engage in a misadventure with India, one reminiscent
of the 1999 events in Kargil. He urged that India claim sovereignty
over such Hindu shrines as Kailas, Manas Sarovar and Amarnath.
Tsering Palden, the President of Tibetan Youth Congress, who was
visibly emotional over Tibet's fate, discussed the torture and
killing of Tibetans.

He claimed that the 40,000 members of the Tibetan Youth Congress, who
are all over the world, are united in their desire to win freedom for
Tibet and establish a shining Tibetan democracy, even though China
claims to have destroyed Tibet as a nation. He cautioned the world
community that Tibet's fight for freedom is not for the benefit of
Tibetans alone.

Tibet, he argued, is being used as a dumping ground for China's
nuclear waste, which is slowly seeping into the region's fresh water
reserves. He suggested that this disaster can be prevented if the
world community recognizes the threat posed by China's environmental
policies in Tibet.

A lively question and answer session followed during which many
members of the audience expressed their dismay over Chinese policies
toward Tibet and urged other countries to support Tibet's freedom.
Earlier, in his welcoming remarks, Vivek Sinha, the US North-East
co-coordinator of FISI, explained FISI's objectives, which are to:
bring together friends of India worldwide, understand and safeguard
the interest of Indian Diaspora, and address the discrimination
experienced by the Indian Diaspora community in specific countries
around the world. In the end, a resolution was read and moved by Amit
Sarkar, President, SVT Inc.; it was seconded by Dr. Leonard Hochberg,
Executive Director of the Center for Geopolitical Studies, who
indicated that Tibet, formerly a free country, will be free again;
and then it was passed unanimously by those in attendance.
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