DHARAMSALA, August 17: Department of Information and International Relations of Central Tibetan Administration’s (CTA) ‘Five-Fifty Youth Forum, Shaping Tibet’s Future’ began today at Imperial Heights Resort near Dharamsala.
The inaugural ceremony of the four-day forum was attended by CTA President Dr Lobsang Sangay as the Chief Guest, Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel as the Special Guest along with Kalons(Tibetan Cabinet), secretaries and senior officials of the CTA.
“What an honour it is for me to welcome the best and the brightest of our Tibetan youth from across the world to Dharamsala, the residence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the headquarter of the CTA,” President Sangay said in his inaugural address.
Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel in his address spoke about the self-immolations and sacrifices Tibetans inside Tibet make for the cause of Tibet and further stated that ‘it is our responsibility to discuss at the forum on how we can make their aspirations materialise’.
Gyaltsen, a participant from SFT-India said he is taking part in the forum because Tibetan youth from across the world are attending the forum and that he is excited to know their views on Tibet.
He further stated that compared to Tibetan students from abroad, Tibetan students in India are perceived as inferior within our community and through this forum, he hopes to have a sound exchange of opinion with them.
The CTA maintains that the forum presents a unique opportunity for young Tibetans across the globe to converge in the beautiful town of Dharamsala, the headquarters of the Central Tibetan Administration. But more importantly, it presents an opportunity for the Tibetan youth to deliberate on CTA’s Five-Fifty vision in shaping Tibet’s political future and strengthening the Tibetan freedom movement.
The inaugural ceremony was followed by an ‘Open Mic’ session with President Sangay which was then followed by an expert presentation by Michael Van Walt.
A total of 100 Tibetan youth between the age of 20-40 from 15 different countries across the world are taking part in the forum.
The participants will deliberate and discuss on four themes at the forum to shape Tibet’s political future and strengthen the Tibetan freedom movement. The four themes are:
- Tibet and China: Historical ties, Establishing Dialogue with PRC—institutional, civil society, individual level
- Young Voices in the Tibetan Freedom Movement: Communications, Advocacy, and International Relations
- Homeland and diaspora—building linkages between Tibetans inside and outside Tibet
- CTA’s Leadership toward the Five-Fifty Vision- creating visionary leadership, and resource mobilization within and beyond CTA frontiers.