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Home > India > News > Report

'We have Dalai Lama in heart & Gandhi in mind'

Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi | April 17, 2008 00:07 IST

Tenzin Tsundue
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Want to know who is the angriest man in New Delhi on the eve of the Olympic torch's arrival in New Delhi? His name is Tenzin Tsundue, a Tibet [Images]an poet, rebel and general secretary of the Friends of Tibet.

Coverage: Tibet Revolts

He sports a red band around his head to remind people of his pledge that he would spend his life for the freedom of his country. He will wear the red band till Tibet is free.

When asked about the possibility of violence on Thursday when the Olympics [Images] torch rally will be conducted, an anguished Tenzin said: "Why is the media doing this? Because of the media, the entire event is heightened. The media is depicting the torch relay ceremony as if it is a war. The government has pitched in 15,000 security people for a ridiculous torch, which is not even worth Rs 2. Because of the security, the torch has lost all value."

When told that security was due to concerns of attacks by Tibetan activists and fear of a suicide bomber, Tenzin lost his cool.

He said, "What are you saying? Who told you this? If you believe it, then shame on you! Show me just one example of such violence by Tibetans? Why do you believe propaganda of the Chinese government? We have Dalai Lama [Images] in heart, Gandhiji in mind and we are Buddhists. There will be protests on Thursday, but it will be non-violent."

He added, "Of course, we will protest. We must speak out against the clampdown by Chinese government against Tibetans."

"The turn of events started with the rising of Tibetans inside Tibet. That exemplary self-less sacrifice of Tibetans, who were shot by Chinese police, fired the imagination of world. People all over the world now know that there is no freedom in Tibet. It's a shameful act of Chinese government. I am hopeful that the awareness will help the cause of Tibet. This is our freedom struggle and it will continue beyond Olympics," believes Tenzin.

He refused to accept allegations of some critics that the American government is backing the Tibetan movement all over world.

"Neither Americans nor Indians are behind it. The movement picked up because people living within Tibet took bullets on their chest. That shook the world," he said.

When argued that India genuinely wants peace with China and there is a limit to help India can extend to Tibet movement, Tenzin responded, "I know India has its own problem. India is hugely complex and a highly political country. It has different history too. But, I think, in a larger interest India covertly supports Tibetans while overtly it is saying Tibet is a part of China."

 "Tibetans are not asking India to take up guns and fight with China. However, I believe that in the long term interest of India until Tibet is freed, the 4075 km long Himalayan borders will never be safe again," he added.