News and Views on Tibet

Largest pro-independence group marks 50th anniversary in exile

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The meeting observes two minutes of silence for martyrs in Tibet (Phayul photo/Choekyi Lhamo)

By Choekyi Lhamo

DHARAMSHALA, Oct. 7: The largest pro-independence group Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) on Thursday celebrated its golden jubilee with 34 regional chapters that form the regional working committee. The five-day meet at the Imperial Heights hotel in Dharamshala will “discuss and deliberate on important TYC issues”.

The internal meeting plans to strengthen their four core objectives by introducing new strategies. “From today onwards, all our executive members from the regional working committee will sit together to discuss and deliberate on numerous issues concerning the TYC. Back in the year 1970 on this day, four energetic young Tibetans led this conference and organized a very important meeting in Dharamshala for the betterment of Tibetan cause, which was also graced by the presence of the His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama,” TYC President Gonpo Dhondup said in his address.

Former Kalon Tenzin Geyche Tethong along with late Kasur Gyari Lodoe Gyaltsen, Kalon Trisur Tethong Tenzin Namgyal and late Kalon Trisur Sonam Topgyal were the founding members of TYC. Many former centrex members and executive members of the last five decades were present at the ceremony.

One of the founding members of TYC, Tethong Tenzin Geyche addressed the gathering and noted the importance of the organization that has been identified as a “terrorist group” by the People’s Republic of China. “The exile Tibetan community has been able to sustain itself throughout these years in exile, as compared to other refugee communities. However, China has been growing stronger over the years, even our supporters in the West consider China a major threat. But ours is a small community and it distresses me to see how we have managed to sow discord amongst ourselves,” President Tethong noted.

The 50th Working Committee Meeting was postponed last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 89 executive members from 34 regional chapters of TYC have gathered for the five-day meeting to be held from 7th to 12th Oct. The largest group that advocates for independence in Tibet was founded on Oct. 7 in 1970, and now oversees 88 regional chapters across the world with over 35,000 members.

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