DHARAMSALA, 19 Aug: The President of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) has called on Tibetan youth not to be deterred by the critics.
“You don’t go by criticism and critics, go by what you believe in,” CTA President Dr Lobsang Sangay in his concluding remarks at the ‘Second Five-Fifty Youth Forum, Shaping Tibet’s Future’.
President Sangay made the remarks as the Tibetan-ness of the participants were questioned over them speaking in English by the armchair critics. Every third comment on the live stream of the forum questioned the English speaking Tibetans over their Identity.
He further cited his own experience of being the butt of many jokes that were doing the rounds when he ran for the top post of the exiled Tibetan Administration and encouraged them to work hard and prove them wrong as he did after facing the same criticism.
“The fun is in proving them wrong,” he added.
Speaking on the just concluded forum, he said: “all the recommendations are good but little less on political side; the forum is a political meeting to focus on shaping Tibet’s future.”
The political head of the Tibetan people further also highlighted the daunting task that lays ahead of the Tibetan youth.
“Your generation will have the toughest job because His Holiness is ageing, he’s not able to travel, that’s a fact. For the last 60 years we just rode on his bandwagon,” President Sangay said and added that the complex world that we presently live in and the rise of China on every front makes it all the worst.
“Look at the international scenario, during the 1990s, internationalism was the in thing, democracy, human rights, environmental issue, liberalism, were all very popular and we rode on the bandwagon. Now there is a conflict between internationalism and nationalism, liberalism and extremism. And in some quarters, Democracy and human rights are not that popular; it’s a complex world and we have to navigate in this very difficult global environment.”
He also appraised the participants in particular and Tibetan youth at large about the huge responsibility that they shoulder to carry forward the Tibetan movement and described the forum as an initiative from the CTA wherein Tibetan youth from all over the world will come and demonstrate that youth are of high calibre and that they can lead us.
“As you speak, you are showcasing your self and either raising confidence or discouraging some by your performance,”
Sonam Norbu Dagpo, the Secretary of the CTA’S Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR) said in his wrap-up remarks that there is no contradiction between rangzen(Independence) and the middle way.
“Historically Tibet has been an independent country hence we have adopted the Middle Way Approach to seek genuine autonomy, else we can stay like all the other Chinese states,” he said.
Highlighting on the importance and need of being able to speak and converse in Tibetan he said; “I don’t say that Tibetans who can not speak Tibetan are less patriotic, they are sometimes more patriotic than those who speak Tibetan but it is important to be able to speak in and converse in Tibetan otherwise with this same precedent, after 10-20 years we risk the Tibetan youth forum to look like a Tibet support group meeting,” he said
“The forum is not a language class, but to learn about Tibetan issue,” he said and further encouraged the Tibetan youths to learn to speak and converse in Tibetan.
A total of 100 Tibetan youth between the age of 20-35 from 13 different countries across the world took part in the ‘Second Five-Fifty Youth Forum, Shaping Tibet’s Future’ from 16-19 Aug. Of the 100 participants, 50 are from India, Nepal and Bhutan while the other half is made up of participants from overseas.