By Tsering Choephel
DHARAMSALA, 13 November: A three-day Voluntary Tibetan Advocacy Group (V-TAG) India strategy meeting and training was launched today by the Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR) of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) at Dharamsala. The program will run until 15 November.
Former CTA Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche and Kishan Kapoor, a Member of Indian Parliament from the Kangra Lok Sabha constituency of Himachal Pradesh, were the chief guests of honor at the opening ceremony. Around 35-40 members of V-TAG India are participating in the meeting.
Addressing the gathering, Samdhong Rinpoche emphasized that the Middle Way policy pursued by the CTA is mutually beneficial for China and Tibet. He noted that the pursuit of genuine autonomy for the Tibet people is outlined within the constitution of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
“As long as that constitution remains unchanged, our Middle Way policy will endure. However, if the constitution undergoes changes, it will be time to review the Middle Way policy as well.”
The V-TAG, initiated by the 16th Kashag, aims “to provide every Tibetan the opportunity to optimize their potential in contributing to the non-violent, mutually beneficial, negotiated, and lasting solution to the Sino-Tibetan conflict.”
CTA expects V-TAGs to act as one of the main vehicles of Tibetan movement, that will work in close coordination with Parliamentary Friend of Tibet, Tibet Support Groups, Tibetan Associations, and other stakeholders resulting in more concrete support for the Tibetan movement from across the world until the aspiration so fTibetans are fulfilled and freedom is restored in Tibet.
The CTA envisions V-TAGs as a key driving force within the Tibetan movement, operating in collaboration with Parliamentary Friends of Tibet, Tibet Support Groups, Tibetan Associations, and various stakeholders. This collective effort aims to garner substantial support for the Tibetan cause globally, working towards the realisation of Tibetan aspirations and the restoration of freedom in Tibet.
This event marks the first regional V-TAG meeting and training program in India following the International Tibet Youth Forum held in July. The V-TAG Europe meeting and advocacy training was concluded over a week ago, in Frankfurt, Germany.
While the broad goals of V-TAG remain same across its various chapters, Dukthen Kyi, DIIR’s Deputy Secretary and head of the Tibet Advocacy Section, highlighted, “the focus of advocacy and approach differs from region to region according to the host countries.” She added, “During this meeting, we will discuss the subjects of advocacy to focus on and determine the timeline for execution. Essentially, we are outlining our action plans for the coming times.”