Tibetan parliamentarians announcing the launch of the second leg of the 'Flame of Truth' torch relay in Dharamshala, north India on August 22, 2012. (Phayul photo/Phuntsok Yangchen)
DHARAMSHALA, August 22: The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile today announced that the second leg of the Flame of Truth Relay will begin from September 2, coinciding with the Tibetan Democracy Day.
The relay organising committee told reporters that the torch will take its campaign to more than 30 countries in North America, Europe, South-east Asia, Africa, and Australia.
Some of the Asian countries through which the torch will travel are South Korea, Japan, Philippines, Taiwan, and Mongolia.
In Europe, the 23 countries where the torch will take its campaign includes Spain, England, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Russia, France, and Italy.
Relays will also be organised in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States of America.
The Flame of Truth began its journey on July 6, coinciding with the 77th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, to express “solidarity with the courageous and selfless acts” of Tibetans inside Tibet.
The campaign calls on the United Nations to discuss the issue of Tibet based on its earlier resolutions, to send an independent international fact-finding delegation to Tibet and to take special responsibility to ensure that the basic aspirations of the Tibetans inside Tibet are fulfilled.
Since its simultaneous launch from three different places in India, the torch has travelled to 48 regions, covering nearly a dozen Indian states. Presently, the north-India leg of the torch is in Shimla, while the northeast leg of the torch is in Darjeeling and the south India leg of the torch is in Bangalore.
The Tibetan Parliament in a release noted that Indians and Tibetans have “actively’ participated in the relay and also signed the petition calling on the UN to address the crisis inside Tibet.
The Tibetan lawmakers said the situation inside Tibet is “getting worse each day” with the harsh crackdown on Tibetans by Chinese security forces, particularly since 2008, leading to “numerous deaths.”
“Consequently, the Tibetan people have been setting themselves on fire one after another to demand a peaceful resolution of the Tibetan issue, return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet and to let the UN and the international community know about the Tibetan people’s aspirations and the sorrows hidden deep within their hearts. Tibet today is like hell on earth.”
The relay will conclude on December 10, World Human Rights Day, with the submission of the petitions, simultaneously to the UN Headquarters in New York City, UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and UN information office in New Delhi.