Dharamshala (The Tibet Post): One of the three ‘flame of truth’ torches has reached the outskirts of the community of Dharamshala, arriving in the College of Higher Tibetan Studies (CHTS) on July 24th, to a jubilant audience of students and staff. The North India zone leg of torch has been passed through long way from Ladakh, J.K to Dalhousie, it is being now passed on to Dharamshala Tibetan settlement office by Tibetan Settlement Office Dalhousie, Chamba District in Nurpur, H.P.
On Tuesday, July 24, Dharamshala Tibetan settlement office has organised an official opening function at the Nurpur Town Press Club, around 62 kms from Dharamshala, over hundred Tibetans and supporters, including chief guest, Mr. Rakesh Pathania (MLA of Nurpur) and Dharamshala Tibetan welfare officer Sonam Dorjee, and representatives of Tibetan NGOs were attended the first leg of Dharamshala of Flame of Truth Torch opening ceremony being held in the town.
“The flame of truth torch relay is an important event to highlight the current human rights violation inside Tibet that taking place by the people’s republic of China, it is also one of activities which conducted by the standing committee of Tibetan Parliament in exile,” said Sonam Dorjee, Dharamshala Tibetan welfare officer gesturing while addressing the event in Nurpur..
Throughout its history, the Nurpur represented as a symbol of freedom from Britain. The current city in district kangra of Himachal Pradesh. It is famous for its Ancient Nurpur where the Indian freedom fighter Ram Singh Pathania was born. He was also known as the first freedom fighter of India who stood against the British might and fought bravely against British rulers.
“Nurpur has being land of brave worriers, in fact the first worrier who fought against British as Tibetans against China now, Pathania was the first man at very young age to pickup the sword against enemy, this area known as for long face battles and lots of bloodshed which took place for the movements of independence of this country, we have very proud people who belong to this area,” said Mr. Rakesh Pathania, chief guest of the opening function.
On behalf of Himachal State and all representatives of every villages in Nurpur who are gathering here today, I welcome all our Tibetan friends in this city, as being a long term friend of Tibet, we also welcome the flame of truth for Tibet in the city in order to spread the peace and nonviolence messages all over the world,” said Mr. Rakesh Pathania.
The symbolic torch relay, which was organized by the Tibetan Parliament in Exile, is to appeal to the international community to support the issue of Tibet with a signature campaign. The petition will appeal to the United Nations Headquarters in New York, the U.N Human Rights Council in Geneva and the U.N Information Centre in New Delhi on December 10, 2012. The three demands of the petition are:
1. The United Nations must discuss the issue of Tibet based on the resolutions that it has passed in 1959, 1961 and 1965, and continuously make efforts to fulfill the substance of these resolutions
2. An independent international fact-finding delegations must immediately be sent to investigate the ongoing crisis in Tibet
3. The United Nations must take special responsibility to ensure that the basic aspirations of the Tibetans inside Tibet are fulfilled.
Arriving at the Language Institution to an envoy of Tibetan officials and Parliamentarians, the torch served as a symbolic reminder to the community of young students the duty each Tibetan must observe for their homeland, amid a year and a half of unrest across the country.
Having begun its journey in Ladakh to a glittering ceremony on the occasion of 77th Birthday Anniversary of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, the flame has travelled through Kashmir and Northern India, inspiring interest and action on the worsening situation in Tibet with a delegation of engaging speakers.
Students at the Sarah College were able to have photographs taken individually with the torch, and listened eagerly to the inspiring words of the delegation. The recognition of those who had sacrificed their lives in self-immolation against Chinese rule, and for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to return to Tibet, was emphasised. The appeal was also made to ‘put pressure on governments, to take a firm stand for Freedom, Truth and Justice in support of Tibetan struggle’.