Indians petition to name road to Chinese embassy 'Dalai Lama Road'

Indians launch online campaign to rename road near Chinese embassy after Tibetan leader

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Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama. 

Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — More than 900 Indians, including government officials and bureaucrats, have embraced an online petition to rename the road leading to the Chinese embassy in New Delhi as "Dalai Lama Road."

As border tensions between China and India continue, Om Prakash Mishra, Delhi's former special secretary in the home department, started a campaign earlier this week to urge Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to rename the Panchsheel Marg by the Chinese embassy, according to New Talk. As of Friday morning (July 17), 979 people had signed the petition on change.org.

In the petition, Mishra explained that "Panchsheel" was a treaty signed between India and China in 1954 to advocate for mutual respect of each other's territorial integrity. He said the treaty was formed on the basis that both countries would not interfere in each other's internal affairs and would co-exist peacefully, but recent developments had led him to believe that Beijing had no intention of respecting the bilateral agreement.

Mishra accused the Chinese government of violating India's territories and said it was time to abandon the name Panchsheel Marg. He said renaming the road after the Dalai Lama would not only honor the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, but also send a strong message to Beijing about its aggressive expansionism.

The Indian official joked that it would be a delight to see the Chinese ambassador pass along the Dalai Lama Road every day to work. He added the name change would give Tibetan communities much needed encouragement.

Since it was shared on Twitter, the petition has garnered huge support from internet users in India and around the world. Some users said the plea symbolically supported the Dalai Lama, who has been labeled by Beijing as a separatist, while others said it would give the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) a strong lesson about its human rights violations.


The Panchsheel Marg near the Chinese embassy in New Delhi. (Flickr, vm2827 photo)