‘Dalai Lama deserves Bharat Ratna’June 11th, 2012 - 8:14 pm ICT by IANS
Dharamsala, June 11 (IANS) India should confer its highest civilian award - Bharat Ratna - on Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama in recognition of his services to humanity, a group of Tibetans in exile and Indians said here Monday.
“The Indian support groups will campaign with the government of India to confer the Bharat Ratna on His Holiness the Dalai Lama in recognition of his great services to India and the humanity,” said an action plan passed by the fourth All-Tibetan Support Groups Conference.
The three-day conference, being attended by over 150 Indian supporters, including parliamentarians Chandresh Kumari and Bashisht Narain Singh and former Indian foreign secretary Lalit Mansingh, was convened by the Core Group for Tibetan Cause, India.
It has also decided to campaign with the members of parliament (MPs) and political parties to invite the Nobel peace laureate to address the Indian parliament.
The elderly monk, who considers himself a son of India, has spent more than half a century in India after he was forced along with some 80,000 Tibetans to flee his homeland Tibet March 17, 1959.
Among the foreign nationals whom India has so far honoured with Bharat Ratna are Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela and Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan.
On India’s Tibet policy, the conference felt that consistent campaign should to be run at national level in India to positively influence India’s policy on issues related to Tibet and China.
“The government of India should be encouraged to replace its old policy of gratifying China and to adopt a pro-active policy on issues related to India’s national interests, especially in relation to Tibet,” the meet observed.
“It should be asked to boldly take up the Tibetan issue with People’s Republic of China and to pressure the Chinese leaders to restart a meaningful dialogue with the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government in exile (in Dharamsala),” it said.
India recognises Tibet Autonomous Region as a part of China.
The Dalai Lama, who believes in the “middle-path” policy that demands greater autonomy for the Tibetans while accepting Beijing’s sovereignty, is viewed by the Chinese as a “traitor” who is bent on splitting Tibet from China.
Some 140,000 Tibetans now live in exile, over 100,000 of them in different parts of India. Over six million Tibetans live in Tibet.
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