By Shyamal Sinha
At the invitation of University of Rochester College Republicans, NY, Representative Ngodup Tsering, Office of Tibet, Washington DC and Chinese Liaison officer, Tsultrim Gyatso, participated in an academic program titled ‘Tibet Dialogue: The future of Tibet Democracy in Exile’ on 21 September.
The event was moderated was by Se Hoon Kim, a Korean American student at the University lecture room and was well attended by students of the Rochester University, the Dean, and several professors. A number of Chinese students also attended and actively participated in the Q&A session.
Representative Ngodup Tsering, Office of Tibet, Washington DC spoke briefly on Tibet history pre-1959 and aftermath of Tibetans exodus to exile and establishment of Tibetan democracy and Middle Way Policy. He explained the success of the exile Tibetans under the leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the resilience with which the diaspora and the Tibetan leadership revived and restored the Tibetan religion, language and cultural identity.
Chinese Liaison Officer, Tsultrim Gyatso shared his experience of escaping from Tibet to India and emphasized the evolution of Middle Way Policy that helped bring exile delegations to Tibet and official dialogue with the Chinese government. He then shared the background of Chinese liaising work and its challenges as dialogue extends to the general Chinese public to the levels of government.
Some Chinese students from Mainland China were slightly critical of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the CTA and Tibetan people’s adherence to the non-violence citing cases of violence during 2008 Tibet wide protest.
Both the Tibetan speakers clarified how the Chinese army disguised as Tibetan monks and some in traditional Tibetan attire, Chupa, with hanging swords.
Few Chinese students tried to refute the presentations by giving out pamphlets, wherein they claimed the material progress in Tibet under the Chinese leadership, citing Wikipedia as a source. Then followed a serious and lively discussion on various topics ranging from the challenges and aspiration of Tibetan people including self-immolation protests to Reincarnation and Religious Freedom and Human Rights in Tibet.
Four Tibetan students studying in the University attended and actively participated in the conversation.
Several Chinese students appreciated the information as they said, they have no such knowledge and access.
Representative invited them to visit Dharamshala, the seat of Central Tibetan Administration for better understanding and also, advised them to find more information through research before drawing conclusions.
Towards the end, it was decided that a new Tibet-China students’ Friendship Group would be formed in the University of Rochester. Se Hoon Kim agreed to help coordinate the group. They were advised to meet more often and get to know each other better through a free and open exchange of ideas.
The Representative thanked Kim and the President of Republican students’ union for organizing the event.
-Filed by Office of Tibet, Washington DC
source – cta