Indian Catholic News

Indian Churchmen vow to highlight Tibet’s plight

Council seeks to spotlight Tibet rights abuses.

Tibetan activist Yangchen Dolkar

Listing a range of accusations against Tibet’s Chinese occupiers, the National Council of Churches in India has resolved to offer its people every possible support.

“The council will highlight the Tibetan issue at both national and international levels, through campaigns and advocacy programs,” said Reverend Solomon Rongti, executive secretary of the NCCI’s Unity, Mission and Evangelism department, while speaking at their national assembly in Bangalore.

Rev. Rongti said the NCCI would be sending a delegation to the Indian federal government, requesting its intervention.

“We will ask the government to impress upon the Chinese authorities that steps must be taken to protect and safeguard the religious and cultural freedom of Tibetans.

“We will also be seeking the support of ecumenical organizations like the World Council of Churches,” he added.

“The NCCI is deeply concerned about the denial of Tibetans’ basic human rights, such as the right to learn their own language and preserve their culture.”

Some of the major concerns he raised included the Chinese government’s use of cheap Tibetan labor to make consumer products. He promised that “the NCCI will launch a campaign to boycott Chinese products in India.”

Rev. Rongti was also alarmed by reports of nuclear waste being dumped in Tibet and vowed that this issue would be put in the spotlight.

The assembly was attended by two members of the Tibetan parliament in exile, Karma Yeshi and Yangchen Dolkar, who were specially invited.

In their presentation to the assembly, they touched on the ecological crisis in Tibet, the curtailment of religious freedom and the catalog of human rights abuses by the Chinese government.

“The support from Indian Christians will definitely boost the morale of the Tibetans,” said Dolkar, who lamented the apparent lack of interest and cooperation from the world community.

“This is why young Tibetans are losing patience and opting for actions like self-immolation,” she said.

According to her figures a total of 35 Tibetans, most of them young monks and nuns, have immolated themselves since 2009, with 27 dying as a result.

The most recent was Jampe Yeshi, a young Tibetan who set himself alight in front of massed TV and press cameras, on the eve of Chinese president Hu Jintao’s India visit in March.


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