NEW ZEALAND: Kalon Phagpa Tsering of the Department of Security, Central Tibetan Administration, attended the advanced 83rd birthday celebration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Auckland, New Zealand on 30 June. The celebration was organised by the Tibetan community of New Zealand. Along with the birthday celebration, the Tibetan community also thanked Tibet supporters in the region as part of the ‘thank you year’ announced by the Kashag to mark 60 years of Tibetan exile. The celebration was attended by around 100 people.
Kalon Phagpa Tsering who is accompanied by Secretary Karma Rinchen and Representative Lhakpa Tshoko of OOT Canberra addressed the Tibetan community around 5:30 pm of the same day. First, Representative Lhakpa Tshoko spoke about the thank you year announced by the Kashag. He said that despite the minuscule Tibetan population in New Zealand, he said the community has always stood steadfast in working for the Tibet cause.
Kalon Phagpa Tsering spoke briefly about his personal life from a newly-arrived Tibetan in 1992 to working as a researcher in Research wing of the Central Tibetan Administration and then gradually becoming the secretary and Kalon of Department of security. He explained the structure of the Central Tibetan Administration and briefly talked about the functions of the CTA’s seven departments. He spoke about the main functions of the department of security and promised to work wholeheartedly for the remaining duration of the 15th Kashag’s term.
Secretary Karma Rinchen spoke about the importance of Tibetan unity and urged Tibetan parents to encourage their children to speak Tibetan in their homes. He discussed the case of a Tibetan charged by Sweden for spying on fellow Tibetans and urged the Tibetan community to be wary of such cases.
The talks were followed by a general interaction with the audience. The interaction covered a wide range of topics including China’s economic investments in the country, Tibetan voluntary contributions, Middle Way Approach, publication of news on the official website of the Central Tibetan Administration, the issue of replacement of North America Representative, etc.
The actual birthday celebration began around 7:00 pm in the evening. Thuten Kelsang, President of the Tibetan Community of New Zealand, gave the introductory remarks of the celebration. A video message from CTA president Dr Lobsang Sangay was also screened to the people.