Friday, June 22, 2007

Historic Tibetan Passport to Be on Display in Delhi

From the Press Trust of India

New Delhi, June 21: A Tibetan group has claimed to have dug out a passport of 1948 with visas of seven countries to "prove" the plateau region's independence and its recognition by many nations.

The passport of Tsepon Shakabpa Wangchuk Dedhen, the Finance Minister of erstwhile Tibetan government, was recovered by 'Friends of Tibet' from an antique dealer in Nepal three years ago, the organisation said here.

The Tibetan group paid USD $10,000 to the dealer in Kathmandu, which they raised mostly through donations from Tibetans in exile. The document, which the group claims is "historic" and now in the possession of the Dalai Lama, will be on display for two days in the capital this weekend.

The passport has visa stamps of seven countries -- United States, Britain, Switzerland, France, Italy, Egypt and Saudi Arabia -- as he visited these countries in 1948 as part of a Tibetan trade delegation.

"The passport proves that Tibet was an independent country and it was recognised by these countries," Tenzin Tsundue, General Secretary of 'Friends of Tibet', said here.

The document will be on display at the Gandhi Peace Foundation during the two-day 'Conference for an Independent Tibet' beginning June 23.