Asia Regional Meeting of Tibet Support Groups in Dharamsala

DHARAMSHALA, India: Around 50 Tibet supporters from Asia, Europe and America are taking part in the third Asia regional meeting convened by the International Tibet Network, which began this morning at the TCV school in upper Dharamsala.

The meeting aims to generate new strategies, strengthen unity and co-ordination among the Tibet Support Groups across the globe towards restoring freedom for Tibetans inside Tibet. Participants from Nepal, England, Peru, Australia, Belgium, Spain, the US, Taiwan and India have gathered for the meeting.

The meeting of Tibet supporters at this moment is significant in view of the grim situation prevailing in Ngaba in northeastern Tibet and other Tibetan areas. Since this March, six young Tibetans in Ngaba in northeastern Tibet and one from Tawu in Karze in eastern Tibet have set themselves on fire in protest against China’s occupation and repression of Tibet.
In his address, Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay said the meeting is an indication of Tibet supporters’ strong commitment to the Tibetan people and Tibet. He appealed to the supporters across world to keep their support stronger in the years to come.

Speaking on the devolution of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s political authority to the elected Tibetan leadership, Kalon Tripa said “His Holiness has transferred his political powers to the elected leaders”. Dr Sangay said he deliberately used the word “transfer” instead of “devolve” in view of the different interpretation in the media that an old chapter has closed and a new chapter has begun. “Rather the transfer of political powers to the elected leaders is the continuation of the Tibetan political leadership and its legitimacy since 1642,” he said.

Kalon Tripa said: “the Tibet Support Groups must come up with productive and result-oriented action plans, adding that the Central Tibetan Administration will not influence their agendas and dominate their actions. TSGs have to formulate their own action plans and execute it autonomously,” he added.

“The CTA has to conduct its work autonomously. But the administration would fairly remain accessible to TSGs to share their thoughts and exchange information, so that we could maintain transparency in our relationship. We will try that what we do will not undermine the TSGs and hopefully the latter will extend its co-operation in the same way,” Kalon Tripa said.

Describing the prevailing situation in Ngaba county in northeastern as “urgent” following the self-immolations by six monks of the Kirti monastery, Kalon Tripa called on Tibetans and supporters around the world to join a day-long prayer and fasting on next Wednesday, 19 October, to express and show our solidarity with Tibetans inside Tibet.

“Kirti Rinpoche would partake in the prayer service at our invitation and all the CTA staff would attend the day-long event,” Dr Sangay added.

He said the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile would also hold a series of campaigns in Delhi from 18 – 21 October, which include a day-long hunger strike on 18 October.
 
In her brief remark, Ms Dicki Chhoyang, Kalon for the Department of Information & International Relations, said she was very happy to join the first TSG meeting since taking charge as Kalon. As the meeting coincides with the beginning my term, hopefully it augurs very well for the building of our relationship over the next five years, she added.
“We believe in keeping an open channels of communication with TSGs across the world, respecting the fact that we are mutually autonomous,” Kalon Dicki Chhoyang said.

“As the situation unfolds in Tibet, I hope we would work together to keep the existing initiatives going and find news ways so as to take the movement forward to improve the situation inside Tibet,” she said.

Responding to questions from members of TSGs, Kalon Tripa reaffirmed the Kashag’s commitment to pursue the Middle-Way Policy towards resolving the issue of Tibet.

He stressed that the negotiations with the Chinese government should be based on the reality  in Tibet.

On being asked about the Kashag’s efforts to reach out to the Indian community, Kalon Tripa said “we would be travelling to different parts of India to reach out to Indian youths including students to garner their support.”

He said the Tibet Policy Institute is being set up and the institute’s secretary or director would announce its completion and launch next week.