Tibet always shared strong ties with India which transcended religion and language, Ms. Youdon Aukatsang, Member of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile said.

            On their visit to Odisha Ms. Aukatsang said  “Buddhism, the religion of the Tibetans, had its roots in India as also our language”.

            Ms. Aukatsang and two other Members of the Tibetan Parliament –in-Exile, who were on a visit to Odisha to interact with university students, spoke about the ties of Tibetan people with India and the present situation in their country. The other two members of the group were Ven. Geshi Monlam Tharchin and Mr. Tashi Dhondup who spoke on the subject ‘India and Tibet—Shared Heritage and Shared Future’.

            Ven. Tharchin and Ms. Aukatsang spoke about the situation obtaining in Tibet at present saying that their country was under Chinese occupation since 1959. Many Tibetans including the spiritual leader Dalai Lama had shifted to India and were living here for the last 64 years, they said.

            “The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile is located at Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh and we have been trying to create awareness about the situation in our country,” Ms. Aukatsang said.

            Ven. Tharchin said the Tibetan people were thankful to successive governments in India who had supported them and allowed their religion and culture to flourish here. The Dalai Lama was highly impressed by the vibrant democracy in India, he said.

            Ms. Aukatsang said the Tibetan government-in-exile had its own currency and passport.