The usage of term ‘overseas Tibetans’ apolitical but for better communication:  CTA Chief planning officer

Dr Kunchok Tsundue, the Chief planning officer of the CTA

DHARAMSALA, Jan 9: The Planning Commission of Central Tibetan Administration’s (CTA) demographic survey of Tibetans living outside India, Nepal and Bhutan has received lukewarm responses.

The availability of survey form only in English and terming exiled Tibetans living outside India Nepal and Bhutan as ‘overseas Tibetans’ hasn’t gone down really well with the Tibetans who were earlier identified as Tibetans living in the rest of the world or Tibetans living in other countries in the records of the CTA’s previous surveys.

When asked about the availability of survey form only in English, Dr Kunchok Tsundue, the Chief planning officer of the CTA narrowed it down to the Tibetans residing in the rest of the world’s sub-standard of Tibetan language and told Tibet Express that it was solely aimed for better communication and that the decision was taken after a series of meetings conducted with their representatives.

“We have successfully concluded the demographic survey of Tibetans residing in India, Nepal and Bhutan. The forms are in Tibetan this round as well as during the previous survey. It is presently being reviewed,” he added.

The Planning Commission has started the second phase of the survey living outside India, Nepal and Bhutan in November last year and it is scheduled to be completed by April this year.

While the Tibetans have pointed out that label ‘overseas Tibetans’ used to categorize them in the survey is something that the Communist regimes often calls exiled Tibetans, the Chief planning officer maintained that the usage of the term in the survey is apolitical and solely for better understanding.

“It lacks merit of political significance to refer to the said Tibetans as ‘overseas Tibetans,’ because we never received any such opinions as the form has been distributed several months ago to various Tibetan emissaries and offices,” he added.

Dr Tsundue further maintained that the whole episode is accidental rather than them adopting the term from the Chinese regime.

The survey in question is the Planning Commission of the  CTA’s third worldwide Tibetan Demographic Survey. Conducted every 10 years, the first and the second survey was conducted in 1998 and 2009 respectively with the goal to know the status of all the Tibetans in exile in various aspects of development, including social, financial, educational and health for the last 60 years.

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