good. i hope george, claude arpi et al will inspire at least a few
people to work hard towards the eventual freedom of tibet.
tibet, and jammu-kashmir, deserve our sympathies, not those warring
let me also take a wager that the entire ELM in india will completely
ignore this conference.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Friends of Tibet <email@example.com>
Date: Jun 19, 2007 10:35 PM
Subject: Invitation/ 'Conference for an Independent Tibet'
'Conference for an Independent Tibet'
A two-day 'Conference for an Independent Tibet' organised by Friends of
Tibet will be inaugurated by former Defence Minister of India Shri George
Fernandes on June 23, 2007 (Saturday) at 10:30am at the Gandhi Peace
Foundation, New Delhi.
The conference will have a sharper focus and seek to bring in
organisations and individuals who are genuinely opposed to the Chinese
occupation of Tibet and support the on-going Tibetan struggle for
independence inside Tibet. The Conference will try seeking answers to
questions surrounding the Tibetan movement and work towards building a
stronger network of organisations and individuals who aspire for a free
and an independent Tibet.
The 'Conference for an Independent Tibet' will be addressed by eminent
scholars, writers and thinkers like: Jamyang Norbu (Author, The Mandala of
Sherlock Holmes); Lhasang Tsering (Former President, Tibetan Youth
Congress); Claude Arpi (French Writer and Commentator) Dr Alka Acharya
(Member of National Security Advisory Board and Associate Professor,
Chinese Studies, JNU); Rajiv Vora (Gandhian and Educator); Lawrence Liang
(Legal Researcher, Alternative Law Forum); Vijay Crishna (Avid Mountaineer
and Managing Director, Godrej Upstream Limited); Tenzin Tsundue (Tibetan
poet-activist); Shri Raghav Mittal (Brij Foundation, International Forum
for India's Heritage); Vijay Kranti (Photo journalist and writer);
Phuntsok Wangchuk (Former Political Prisoner); Dr Niru Vora (Director,
Swarajpeeth, Formerly with Department of Chinese and Japanese Studies,
Delhi University), Prof Iqbal Hadi Rizvi (Aligarh Muslim University).
For the first time the historical passport used by the former Chief of the
Finance Department of the then Government of Tibet, Tsepon Shakabpa
Wangchuk Dedhen will also be on public display at the Gandhi Peace
Foundation, New Delhi from June 23-24, 2007. The passport was recovered by
Friends of Tibet in 2004 after missing for many years. The document had
received recognition from about seven countries in 1948 when the Tibetan
Minister travelled abroad. The first and the only surviving passport of
independent Tibet, which is now in the safe custody of HH the Dalai Lama
is clear evidence of the historical nationhood of Tibet.
Along side the Conference, 'Indian Cartoonists on Tibet', an exhibition of
30 selected cartoons on the Tibet issue (1950-2005) and the tumultuous
Sino-Indian relations by renowned cartoonists Shankar, Ranga, OV Vijayan,
RK Laxman, Ravi Shankar, Mario Miranda, Rajinder Puri, Prriya Raj,
Yesudasan, Nanda Soobben, Abe Gowda, Kaak, Madhu Omalloor, Balu, Thommy,
Ponnappa, Morparia and Prakash Shetty will also be on display.
Introduction and text by Claude Arpi, author of 'The Fate of Tibet' and
'India and Her Neighbourhood: A French Observer's Views'.
'Two bands and a Tibetan solo artist will also perform during the New
Delhi Conference. 'Dharma Bums' - founded by songwriter-activist Phil
Void in the early 70s and has performed all over the world for cause of a
Free Tibet. The Indian band belongs to the Aligarh Muslim University,
Uttar Pradesh. Tenzin Jampa is a professional singer who has devoted his
talents to singing for a Free Tibet.
Hope to see you there.
Conference Venue: Gandhi Peace Foundation, 221-223, Deen Dayal Upadhyay
Marg, New Delhi 110002, India. Date and Time: June 23-24, 2007; 10am .
5pm. Contact numbers- Aprajita Sarcar :98990-86964 Shibayan
Raha:9891849844 Tarini Mehta:9810513969 Tenzin Tsundue:9971448216
To know more, visit:
Background: Ever since His Holiness the Dalai Lama
announced the Strasbourg proposal on June 15, 1988, in order to seek a
negotiated settlement with China the Tibetan movement has lost its focus.
Since then the struggle has no longer been for an Independent Tibet. As a
result The Tibetan Government-in-Exile and also most Tibet Support Groups
(TSGs) also relinquished their demand for Independence . abandoning their
support to the demand for independence which is the sole wish of the six
million Tibetans who continue to struggle for it living under China's
During the last two decades, some of the crucial questions concerning the
Tibetan struggle have found no answers: What is the future of the Tibetan
struggle led from exile? What is the direction? What is the role of the
global exiled Tibetan community and Tibet Support Groups in the movement?
Why is the Tibetan movement getting diverted form its initial goal to
unrealistic initiatives? With no alternative thinking, does the debate on
Tibet remain merely on an intellectual level . without leading to any
practical plan of action?
Key Speakers of the 'Conference for an Independent Tibet'
George Fernandes: Former Defence Minister of India, George Fernandes is
also a trade unionist, political activist and a journalist. As President
of the All India Railwaymen's Federation George Fernandes led the Railway
strike involving 1.5 million workers in 1974, resulting in thousands being
sent to jail. This was one of the events that led to the imposition of the
Emergency in June 1975; during the Emergency he went underground and
fought the existing rule; arrested in June 1976 on the charge of overawing
and overthrowing the Government in what came to be known as Baroda
Dynamite conspiracy case; fought the 1977 elections from jail. After
appointment as India's Defence Minister in 1998, Fernandes won the
soldiers' respect for his honesty, administrative savviness and frugality
- he himself uses just one room in the mansion for working, eating and
sleeping. India's military brass has been equally impressed by Fernandes'
outspoken criticism of perceived Chinese attempts to tighten the clamps on
India. While most politicians have avoided risking Beijing's ire,
Fernandes has openly accused the Chinese of providing parts for Pakistan
to build its missiles. He also has criticized the Chinese for
strengthening their military might across the Himalayas in Tibet.
Rajiv Vora: Born into a Gandhian family in Gujarat, Rajiv Vora is a
writer, speaker and educator, is a pre-eminent interpreter of Gandhi's
works and in particular his root text, Hind Swaraj. He received his
primary education in the alternative Gandhian residential rural schools. A
scientist and keen student of Indian classical music, he earned his
reputation as a writer, commentator, and public speaker. He is frequently
interviewed in national and international press and is known for his
lucid, fresh, insightful, and unorthodox interpretation of Mahatma
Gandhi's thought and practice. In 1977, Vora walked away from power
politics and joined the Gandhi Peace Foundation. In 1992, he founded
Swarajpeeth with his wife Dr Niru Vora. Swarajpeeth brings a fresh
approach to Gandhian vision, thought, and methods and is involved in
dialogue on non-violence at the community and national level.
Jamyang Norbu: Jamyang Norbu has worked with the Tibetan
government-in-exile in India and was briefly a member of the Tibetan
Resistance Force in Mustang, Nepal. He was the creator of
Tibetans-in-exile taxation scheme (the green book system), which has been
the main source of funding for the exile government since 1972. Norbu has
regularly commented on Tibetan and Chinese affairs. A collection of his
political essays were published as a book, Illusion and Reality (1989), by
the TYC. Chinese authorities in Tibet have, on the other hand, derided his
writings as being inconsequential as "the wings of a fly beating against a
boulder". He has written and produced five plays: The Chinese Horse
(1970), Yuru (1981), The Claws of Karma (1982), Official Problem (1984),
Titanic II (1998) and a traditional opera libretto The Iron Bridge (1983).
His novel 'The Mandala of Sherlock Holmes' has become a best-seller and
has received unanimously enthusiastic reviews in the Indian press. Jamyang
Norbu was the editor of 'Mangtso' (Democracy) the largest independent
Tibetan language newspaper and the founding director of the Amnye Machen
Vijay Crishna: Vijay Crishna is an industrialist, theatre personality and
an avid mountaineer . a person of many facets has done many exploratory
trips to the Chinese-occupied Tibet. He is the Managing Director of Godrej
Upstream, a subsidiary of the Godrej Group. In 1991 he established Naoroji
Godrej Centre for Plant Research in Satara district which researches and
propagates rare and endangered species of medicinal plants endemic to the
Western Ghats. 'Tibet Of Our Minds: A Journey's End' . Vijay Crishna's
audio-visual presentation based on his trips to occupied-Tibet where he
shares his perspectives of Tibet's ancient and modern history and how
these impact us today has been presented across the country. He has been
active in theater since 1965, taking occasional bit role in films . like
Gandhi and Devdaas.
Claude Arpi: Born in France, Claude Arpi's real quest started thirty-three
years ago with a journey to the Indian Himalayas. Since then he has been
an enthusiastic student of the history of Tibet, China and the
subcontinent. He is the author of The Fate of Tibet (Har-Anand
Publications, 1999), Tibet, le pays sacrifié (Calmann-Lévy, Paris, 2000),
La politique française de Nehru: 1947-1954 (Pavilions Series, Auroville,
2001), Cachemire, le paradis perdu (Editions Philippe Picquier, France,
2004) and Born in Sin: the Panchsheel Agreement (Mittal Publications, New
Delhi, 2004), India and Her Neighbourhood (Har-Anand Publciations, 2005).
Claude Arpi has been the Guest Editor of the La Revue de l'Inde (No 4)
Special Tibet-Buddhism and No 7 - Special Kashmir. He writes regularly on
Tibet, China, India and Indo-French relations in The Pioneer, the New
Indian Express, Rediff.com and other Indian and French publications.
Lhasang Tsering: Graduated from Wynberg Allen School, Mussoorie, Lhasang
Tsering was offered a scholarship to study medicine in the US. However, he
refused to accept the offer and joined the Tibetan resistance who were
then operating from Mustang in Western Nepal instead. After the guerrilla
base was closed in 1974 he returned to Dharamshala and worked for the
Tibetan Government-in-Exile in the Department of Security and also, the
now defunct, Tibetan Office of Research and Analysis. In 1986 Lhasang was
elected President of the Tibetan Youth Congress and it was in this
capacity that he became the first Tibetan to publicly question in 1988 the
so-called Middle Way Policy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to seek only
'Genuine Autonomy' for Tibet within China and not to continue the struggle
for independence. Among other magazines and newsletters, Lhasang was the
Acting Editor of the 'Tibetan Review'; Editor of 'Rangzen' and Editor of
Prof Iqbal Hadi Rizvi: After LL.M from Kashmir University, he joined
second LL.M programme in Continental Law in University of Rome, Italy.
After returning to India in late 80s, he taught Law at the Delhi
University and Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. During the course
of teaching in Delhi University, he worked as a consultant with SC-ST
Commission. Since last one decade, he is teaching Law in Aligarh Muslim
Raghav Mittal: After graduating from IIT Kharagpur in the year 2004
securing his B-Tech and M-Tech degrees in Computer Science & Engineering,
Raghav worked for a while in the industry. But his heart was elsewhere in
the developmental sector. He soon joined the ongoing drive to conserve the
rich cultural heritage of Braj region . the land of Lord Krishna.
Currently he is based at Mathura and has founded a pan-indian students'
organisation namely Students' Forum for India's Heritage. He is also the
convener of Bharat Bandhu Network . an initiative to network all those
individuals and organizations dedicated to Indian resurgence.
Tenzin Tsundue: Tenzin Tsundue published his first book of poems 'Crossing
The Border' while studying in Bombay and won him the first-ever
'Outlook-Picador Award for Non-Fiction' in 2001. He represented Tibet in
the Second South Asian Literary Conference in New Delhi in January 2005.
He is the General Secretary of Friends of Tibet (India). In January 2002
his profile peaked when he scaled scaffolding to the 14th floor of the
Oberoi Towers in Mumbai to unfurl a Tibetan national flag and a banner
which read "Free Tibet" down the hotel's facade. China's Premier Zhu
Rongji was inside the hotel addressing a conference of Indian business
tycoons. The world's media featured Tsundue's feat and Indian police
officials reportedly congratulated him in prison for standing up for his
rights. Recently, in April 2005 he repeated a similar feat with a stunning
protest that captured the imagination of the world. Single-handedly, he
snatched the world media attention from the visiting Chinese Prime
Minister Wen Jia Bao in the south Indian city, Bangalore.
Vijay Kranti: Vijay Kranti is a prominent journalist and a long-time
friend of Tibet. He is the first ever Indian journalist who travelled
inside China controlled Tibet for eight days as an ordinary tourist
without Beijing's patronisation or direct control. He is also the editor
of Tibbat Desh, a bi-monthly magazine in Hindi.
Lawrence Liang: A graduate form National Law School subsequently pursued
his Masters degree in Warwick, England on a Chevening Scholarship. His key
areas of interest are law, technology and culture, the politics of
copyright and he has been working closely with Sarai, New Delhi on a joint
research project Intellectual Property and the Knowledge/Culture Commons.
A keen follower of the open source movement in software, Lawrence has been
working on ways of translating the open source ideas into the cultural
domain. Lawrence Liang is the author of 'Guide to Open Content Licenses'
published by Piet Zwart Institute. He works with the Alternative Law
Forum, Bangalore as a legal researcher.
Dr Niru Vora: Formerly with the Dept. of Chinese and Japanese Studies,
Delhi University, among the founders of Delhi unit of Sangharsha Vehini
under JP Narayan's guidance, founder member of Mahila Dakshata Samiti and
Swarajpeeth Compiled and edited "Gandhi's Dialogue with Christianity".
Phuntsok Wangchuk: Phuntsok Wangchuk is a former political prisoner from
Tibet who was sentenced to five years imprisonment for counter
revolutionary activities. In the prison, he was one the youth leaders who
refused to salute when the jail authorities were forcing all prisoners to
stand and respect the China's national flag which flared up what is now
known as the "1998 Drapchi prison protest". This resulted in police
shooting leaving behind two deaths and many injured. Phuntsok Wangchuk
lives in Dharamshala and works with Gu-Chu-Sum, an ex-political prisoners
Dr Alka Acharya: Alka Acharya is a member of the National Security
Advisory Board of the Government of India and Chairperson/Associate
Professor of Chinese Studies in the Centre for East Asian Studies, School
of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. She has been
teaching courses on Chinese Foreign Policy and Political Economy to the
Masters and M.Phil students and guiding doctoral research since 1993. She
is also an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Chinese Studies and the
Editor of China Report, a journal of East Asian Affairs. She is the joint
editor of the book "Crossing A Bridge of Dreams: 50 years of India-China",
published in 2002, has contributed chapters to many books and regularly
features in the Economic and Political Weekly, published from Mumbai,
India. She has written widely on India-China Relations and other aspects
of China's foreign policy. Her current research focuses on the settlement
of the PRC's territorial disputes, India-China-Russia Trilateral
Cooperation and the Chinese strategic response to the post-cold war
globalising politico-security architecture, with special reference to
. . .
Friends of Tibet, PO Box: 16674, Bombay 400050, India.
. . .
Friends of Tibet is a global movement to keep alive the issue of Tibet
through direct action. Our activities are aimed at ending China's
occupation of Tibet and the suffering of the Tibetan people. Friends of
Tibet supports the continued struggle of the Tibetan people for
independence. To know more, visit: www.friendsoftibet.org
. . .