(TibetanReview.net, Oct31, 2017) – The deputy Speaker of the Tibetan parliament in exile took part as guest of honour at a rally in New Delhi on Oct 29 held to mark the culmination of a two-year campaign calling for boycott of Chinese goods and carried out across the country by an Indian coalition called Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM). A memorandum was submitted to several Indian government leaders which among other things also called for support on the issue of Tibet.
Around 100,000 people took part in the ‘Swadeshi Maha Rally’ held on the Ramlila Maidan, including some 500 Tibetans from across the Indian capital.
The Tibetan Deputy Speaker, Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok, said he supported the Chinese goods boycott campaign not just because Tibet was annexed by China in 1959 but also for a number of other reasons, including the fact that those goods were known to be hazardous especially for children, on account of their being made by forced labour by prisoners without pay, and because the dumping of such cheap goods threatened the survival of Indian manufacturers of similar goods.
At the conclusion of the rally, the 15 core committee members of the collation submitted an eight-point memorandum India’s Defence Minister Ms Nirmala Sitaraman, junior Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mr Vijay Goel, and the General Secretary of India’s ruling BJP Mr Arun Singh.
The memorandum’s eight points included a call for the Government of India to take initiative in resolving the Tibet issue by garnering international awareness on it and mobilizing international support through creation of global alliances to stop human rights abuses in Tibet as well as China.
The campaign, called Rashtriya Swadeshi-Suraksha Abhiyan’ (RSSA), had gathered 25 million signatures on a petition calling for boycott of Chinese good.
The Swadeshi Jagran Manch was established on Nov 22, 1991 at Nagpur in Maharashtra state as a joint initiative of five national student, farmer, trade union and other groups, namely the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS), Akhil Bharatiya Grahak Panchayat (ABGP) and Sahkar Bharati.