By Shyamal Sinha
Dr Lobsang Sangay expressed the Tibetan Community in France during his second leg of three-nation Europe visit yesterday. Representative Tashi Phuntsok and Secretary of Bureau du Tibet Namgyal Samdup also attended the talk.
In his address, Dr Sangay underlined the importance of following the laws and the ways of the host country but at the same time he added that it is of crucial importance that the Tibetans “integrate and not assimilate.”
Citing the cases of 151 Tibetans who have self-immolated in Tibet for the Tibetan identity and of Tashi Wangchuk who is imprisoned for voicing the need of Tibetan Language to be taught to Tibetan children, Dr Sangay added the importance of preserving our identity living in the democracies and he further urged the Tibetan community in France to shoulder the responsibility of incorporating Tibetan culture and to take initiative to send their children to the weekend Tibetan language schools.
Tibetan Language that serves as repository of the teachings of Buddha, Dr Sangay highlighted the importance of the Tibetan language as a bridge in learning, understanding and analysing of Buddhism that His Holiness the Dalai Lama has called for.
Briefing on the functioning of the Tibetan democracy in exile and freedom of speech as an important part of the democracy, Dr Sangay called for constructive criticism and at the same time urged the Tibetans to be wary of the misinformation and digital propaganda on the social media deliberately designed to cause discrepancies in the Tibetan community. Referencing the WeChat app, Dr Sangay added that viewing and sharing of such content promotes such misleading disruptive information and urged the Tibetans to refrain from doing so.
Speaking of the growing trend of political participation by Tibetans witnessed through the election process as a matter of great pride of the Tibetan democracy in exile, Dr Sangay urged the Tibetans in France to take part in the election process of their local Tibetan community association and to volunteer to be members of the community association.
He further acknowledged the Tibetans who have made voluntary contributions in Tibetan weekend language schools and in the promotion and preservation of the Tibetan identity amongst younger generation growing up in France and added the importance of continuation.
Prior to the interaction with the Tibetan community, Dr Sangay met with the members of Tibet Support Groups at the Bureau Du Tibet. Dr Sangay spoke of the untiring efforts and contributions of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Iterating the objective of his visit to meet old friends of Tibet and to make new friends. Dr Sangay highlighted the importance of Tibet Support Groups and thanked the group for voicing their support. The meeting coordinated by Secretary of Bureau du Tibet Namgyal Samdup and was attended by Representative Tashi Phuntsok along with members of 25 Tibet Support Groups.
– Report filed by Communication Officer Tenzin Lhakmon –