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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Feature: Frustration creeps in, yet faith in Dalai Lama keeps Tibetans going

November 23, 2009

By Azera Rahman,
November 22, 2009

New Delhi, Nov 22 (IANS) The red-blue-yellow
coloured Tibetan flags flutter everywhere in
Majnu Ka Tila, a Tibetan settlement in the
northern part of the capital. Five decades after
the Tibetans fled to India, members of the
community living here still have unflinching
faith in the Dalai Lama and that their homeland, Tibet, will one day be free.

However, the long wait has given way to hints of
frustration and hopelessness amongst some in the
community, especially the younger lot.

Tenzin Tsering, a 20-year-old Tibetan who lives
in the resettlement colony, said: "I don’t follow
the political news like my parents. I want to go
to Tibet and see all the beauty for myself that
my mother keeps talking about. But I don’t know when will that happen."

A student of Delhi University, Tsering, said she is content with her life here.

"I am born and brought up here. I have a number
of friends outside the Tibetan community who I
hang out with after classes in the university -
it’s just like any other youngster’s life," Tsering told IANS.

The Tibetan population in India is over 100,000
of the total 140,000 living in exile the world over.

Rinjin Dorjee, a 26-year-old Tibetan who lives in
Bangalore but often comes to Delhi for business,
said the only thing that is keeping the youth and
indeed others going is their belief in the Dalai Lama.

"You will never see the Dalai Lama talking in an
arrogant manner, showing off his power like other
leaders may do, and yet see the amount of respect
he commands. It has even made US President Barack
Obama urge the Chinese for peaceful talks with him," Dorjee said.

"It’s because of him and his belief that Tibet
will finally be free, and we believe that it
will. That unflinching faith - you just know that
whatever the Dalai Lama says is true," Dorjee told IANS.

Fifty-seven-year-old Sonam Lhazon, who runs a
popular eatery in the colony called Dolma House,
acknowledged the growing frustration among the young Tibetans.

"It’s natural, isn’t it? They are born and
brought up in India, but are daily fed with
stories of Tibet and the Tibetan struggle for
their motherland’s freedom. Year after year, it’s
the same story, so of course there will be a
little frustration," Lhazon told IANS.

A mother of four daughters - three of who stay
abroad - Lhazon was quick to add that the
community has implicit faith on their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

"His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, never speaks ill
of anyone - not even of China who is depriving us
of our homeland. We keep reading in the
newspapers, how much respect he gets the world
over. Therefore, I am sure that Tibet will get autonomy soon," she said.

The Dalai Lama was in Delhi University Saturday
to give a valedictory address on Tibetan culture
and history. He will be in Delhi until Nov 23
after which he will return to Dharamsala, the
seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile.

Rani Dolma, another 45-year-old restaurant owner,
said: "Last year before the Beijing Olympics,
there were many cases of violence by members of
the Tibetan Youth Congress. But after indulging
in such activity, they apologised to the Dalai Lama."

"We keep telling ourselves that India took so
long to gain independence. So we will gain
freedom for our motherland too someday. This
generation’s kids are a little impatient that’s
why they sometimes try and resort to other means,
but at the end they realise that the way that
Dalai Lama has pointed is the right one,” she added.

Lhazom, who was one of the thousands of Tibetans
fleeing to India in 1959, said she will never lose hope.

"I will live to see the day. I am just 57. China
will not be able to withstand the pressure for
long. We have the rest of the world supporting
us," she said, sitting under a smiling picture of Dalai Lama in her restaurant.
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