Tibetan Information Office (TIO) is based in Canberra.

Worldwide Support for Tibet Growing Tremendously: DIIR Kalon at ITN Regional Meeting

DHARAMSHALA: “The worldwide sympathy and support for the just cause of Tibet is growing tremendously across the world,” said Kalon Dicki Chhoyang of the Department of Information and International Relations. She was addressing the final day of International Tibet Network’s (ITN) Asia Regional Meeting at Norbu House, Mcleod Ganj.

“As we take a hard look at where we stand in terms of Tibet support groups, I notice that the interest and support for Tibet is growing tremendously. Therefore, we have to be organised in such a way that we can harness that support to highlight the Tibet issue,” she said.

Underlining the importance of making the Tibet issue relevant to current trends of the world, DIIR Kalon said that we have to find a way to make the Tibet issue topical. “For instance in the case of environment, we made a concerted effort to link Tibet to COP21 by drawing on the importance of the Tibetan plateau to south Asia and other parts of the world,” she said. “The recent All-India Tibet Support Groups Meeting was held in Assam. Assam is significant as the Brahmaputra flows from Tibet into their backyards. Therefore, even if the people of Assam is not interested in politics, they are interested about their access to water because it’s going to affect their livelihood,” she added.

Highlighting the importance of the Tibet issue to sustain non-violence in the world, she said, “In a world constantly confronted with violent conflicts, we need to sustain and support non-violent political movements. Tibet is probably one of the oldest non-violent political movements and support for the Tibetan movement is crucial to encourage other peaceful movements.”

Clarifying the Chinese government’s allegation that the unrest in Tibet is due to the insidious conspiracy from the exile community, she explained that the Tibetan movement is led by Tibetans inside Tibet and not by exiles. “The Central Tibetan Administration and other Tibetan groups are just amplifying the aspirations and wishes of the Tibetan people to the free world on their behalf,” she explained.

Emphasizing the role of Central Tibetan Administration as the legitimate and democratic representative of the Tibetan people, she said, “The older generation of the Tibetan people has invested tremendous effort in setting up this institution and it’s imperative that we don’t lose sight of their hard work and sacrifice.”

“Moreover, we have to think of the big picture. We all hope for a quick resolution of the Tibet issue but at the same time, we have to be ready for a scenario where His Holiness the Dalai Lama may not be with us and we are still in exile. In such a scenario, the Central Tibetan Administration is the only institution that will have the legitimacy and loyalty of the Tibetan people to fill the vacuum and keep us together as a movement. No other individual or organization will be able to play that role,” she said.

DIIR Kalon also spoke about the increasing role of the educated Tibetan youth, the role of Tibetan woman in the Tibetan movement and the minor ideological conflicts arising between the Middle Way Approach and rang-zen proponents.

The Asia Regional Meeting was convened to enhance the coordination and capacities of the diverse Tibet support groups across the world. The three-day meeting resolved on three campaigns to be implemented by Asia Tibet Groups with the support of the network secretariat. These were: Tibet Advocacy Week in Delhi in July 2016; Tibet: Third Pole, a campaign to build public and political support in India and other 9 downstream countries; and Free Tibetan Heroes, a campaign to draw attention to former political prisoners and a proposal for ‘Heroes Day’ to be observed in the Tibetan political calendar.

Forty-six delegates from 14 Tibet support groups based in ten countries including the US, UK, Bangladesh, Taiwan, Kenya, Malaysia, Philippines, Italy and India took part in the meeting. The meeting was inaugurated by Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay.