Delegates at the Second Special Meeting stand to sing the Tibetan national anthem below 51 Tibetan national flags raised in remembrance of Tibetan self-immolators. (Phayul photo/Norbu Wangyal)
DHARAMSHALA, September 27: “Please don’t plan to stay on in exile, make every effort to return to Tibet,” is the most prominent message sent by Tibetans in Tibet for the ongoing Special Meeting in the exile seat of Dharamshala.
Suggestions and remarks from over 360 Tibetans from around Tibet’s capital Lhasa region and areas of Kham, have reached the meeting, which began September 25 to discuss campaign ideas in response to the ongoing crisis in Tibet.
The messages from Tibet, broadly categorised into seven remarks, have been discreetly collected over the phone by Ven. Ngawang Woebar, a former political prisoner and Ven, Thubten Yangphel, a monk living in Dharamshala.
“We have tried to contact Tibetans from a wide range of background and ages,” Ven. Woebar, former president of the Gu-Chu-Sum Former Political Prisoners’ Movement told Phayul. “The remarks have been collected from monks, government officials, teachers, students, farmers, and nomads.”
In the collected remarks, Tibetans from inside Tibet have urged Tibetans in exile to organise “multiple campaigns internationally” in order to publicise the demands of the Tibetan self-immolators and various Tibetan writers of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s return from exile and freedom in Tibet.
“Please don’t plan to stay on in exile. Make every effort to fulfill our aspirations of reunion,” Tibetans in Tibet have said. “In order to end the ongoing crisis in Tibet, organise campaigns to win international support and solidarity.”
Concerns over the visible deterioration in the usage of Tibetan language by exile Tibetans have also been expressed.
“Although living under the yoke of repression, the majority of us here have tried our best in preserving the Tibetan language and cultural heritage,” one of the suggestions reads. “However, due to usage of other languages by those of you in exile, we are at times unable to fully understand you over the radio and videos that we occasionally get to see.”
“Please make greater effort in preserving our language and cultural heritage.”
Support for the elected leader of the Tibetan people, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay has also appeared in the remarks.
“Kalon Tripa Lobsang Sangay enjoys the full trust and confidence of the Tibetans in Tibet and we urge all of you to be united and support each other in fulfilling our common aspirations,” one of the remarks reads.
With China’s phenomenal increase in investment in mining in Tibet, especially in nomadic areas, Tibetans have urged for campaigns to halt China’s practise of forcibly removing Tibetan nomads from their grasslands.
“These days, with the increase in China’s mining activities in Tibet, we are facing great difficulty in sustaining our livelihoods on our own lands,” one the remarks reads.
“Please organise campaigns internationally to immediately halt these practices.”
Tibetans in Tibet have also called for more campaigns to put international pressure on China to release Tibetan political prisoners, including the XIth Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima.
The Second Special General Meeting of the Tibetan People will conclude tomorrow with the adoption of the final report and recommendations of the meeting.