DHARAMSALA, Aug 12: Over a hundred participants from Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) Regional Chapters in India, Nepal and Bhutan have gathered in Gangtok, Sikkim for the 45th Tibetan Youth Congress Working Committee Meeting.
The opening ceremony was held this morning at Cho Ka Sum Hall in Gangtok and attended by high ranking officials and ministers of the Sikkim government including Chief guest Mr R B Subba (Human Resource Development Department/Youth Affairs Minister of Sikkim), Special Guest, Kasur Gyalo Dhondup (elder brother of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama), Mr Sonam Gyatso (Deputy Speaker of Sikkim Legislative Assembly), Mr Sangay Dorje (Additional Director General of Police), Thukchu Lachungpa (Former Forest Minister of Sikkim& Current President of Citizen Forum) as well as ex TYC Centrex members, representatives of local Tibetan assembly, Tibetan NGOs, representatives of local monasteries and Tibetans living in Gangtok.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Chief Guest Mr. Subba said it is an honor to hold the 45th Working Committee Meeting of Tibetan Youth Congress in Gangtok and wished TYC success in its work for Tibet’s freedom and independence.
Mr Subba also stated that the critical situation inside Tibet must be resolved soon and expressed his wish for the early return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet.
“I understand that Tibetan Youth Congress is the largest Tibetan NGO in exile and I know that the work you do is very important for Tibet. We believe that basic human rights and freedom should be something that all human beings enjoy. The situation inside Tibet must be resolved soon and I hope and pray that His Holiness will be able to return to a Free Tibet in the near future,” Mr Subba said.
Special Guest, Kasur Gyalo Dhondup spoke of the importance of youth participation and said that TYC is a very important organization in the Tibet movement because it provides a platform for the Tibetan youth to be involved in the struggle. He emphasised the importance of contributing to the cause of Tibet despite difference in opinions in the community.
“There will be difference in opinions in our society but most importantly we all must work for Tibet. Change is inevitable and change will come to Tibet,” he said.
TYC President Tenzing Jigme spoke about the organization’s aims and goals for the future and urged all members to make sacrifices and take responsibility for the movement. He added that TYC has to be more creative and strategic in its campaigns and recognize that everyone make a difference in the Tibetan struggle.
The 45th Working Committee meeting will be held for six days from Aug 11-16.
It is the first time that the meeting is being held in Gangtok, Sikkim. Apart from the examination of accounts of the TYC Centrex and the regional chapters, participants hold discussions on, among others, the following topics:
1) Spreading awareness among Tibetans as well as the international community, particularly students studying in various international universities about the facts pertaining to the historical independence of Tibet.
2) Garnering support from the world community, including the UN, various national parliaments and citizens on the current critical situation inside Tibet as well as the Tibetan cause at large.
3) How to coordinate strategic joint campaigns with other nationalities who also continue to suffer under the repressive policies of the Chinese government.
4) How to resist and counter Chinese government’s incessant vilification of the Tibetan spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama through baseless allegations and the policy of migrating Han Chinese into Tibet that threatens the very existence of the pure and fragile Tibetan ecology.
5) Strategic campaigns to pressure the Chinese government to release all arrested, sentenced and disappeared Tibetan political prisoners, including the 11th Panchen Lama, Gedun Choekyi Nyima.
6) Campaigns to be organized by Tibetan Youth Congress to fulfill the wishes of the brave Tibetans who have sacrificed their lives through self-immolation for Tibet.
7) Organization of campaigns to inspire the younger generation of Tibetans to preserve and uphold Tibet’s unique religion, culture, language and moral ethics.
8) How to improve the security of His Holiness the Dalai Lama as an added responsibility of Tibetan Youth Congress.
10) How to further develop and improve TYC’s network and there by strengthen the administration of both the TYC Centrex and the regional chapters.
Eight regional TYC chapters, who refused to attend the organization’s 15th General Body Meeting held in Dharamsala last year, are not participating in the 45th Tibetan Youth Congress Working Committee Meeting despite invitations being sent to them.
The eight regional chapters -Bangalore, Bylakuppe, Mundgod, Hunsur, Kollegal, Dalhousie, Pondoh and Ladakh refused to attend the meeting last year demanding that TYC change its stand to “Genuine Autonomy” from Independence which the organization had been advocating since its inception.