By Tenzin Sangmo
The Inaugural Session of _Second Five-Fifty Youth Forum- Shaping Tibet's Future_ at T-Building, Gangchen Kyishong
DHARAMSHALA, August 16: The Central Tibetan Administration’s (CTA) President Dr. Lobsang Sangay in his introductory remarks at the inauguration of the “Second Five-Fifty Youth Forum: Shaping Tibet’s Future” at the CTA Secretariat this afternoon said Tibetans should integrate but not assimilate, expressing hopes that young participants would join CTA in the future.
Sangay said the Tibetan millennials now have the added responsibility of garnering support for Tibet and fill the gap usually covered by His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s efforts during his incessant foreign travels, now halted due to his advancing age.
The four-day forum being organized by the Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR) of CTA features 100 young participants, 50 from the West and 50 from India, Nepal, and Bhutan along with about 20 speakers.
In addition to three prominent keynote speakers, Kunchok Dolma, New York Emmy Award Winner, Jamyang Phuntsok, PhD Candidate, Pennsylvania State University and Kalden Chophel, founder director of Exile Creations among other speakers will cover themes ranging from “Tibet and PRC,” “Inclusion of and Responsiveness to Tibetans inside Tibet and Diaspora,” “Young voices in Tibetan Freedom Movement,” and “CTA leadership towards the Five-Fifty vision.”
Mr. Pema Jungney, the speaker of Tibetan Parliament-in-exile and the chief guest at the event, spoke on the need for Tibetans to speak Tibetan language retain Tibetan characteristics.
“Around 1991, a major shift occurred in how parents think and advise their children. Until then, the parents would advise their children to pursue education and serve the Tibetan government-in-exile, which then changed into a frenzy over moving abroad at any cost, irrespective of whether children manage to complete education or not.”
He said this had resulted in a change of attitude of the future generations and observed that the weekend schools across Tibetan communities in the West may not be enough to serve as the cradle of Tibetan culture and identity.
In the second plenary session, Kaydor Aukatsang, the chief resilience officer and head of Social and Resource Development Fund (SARD) introduced structure and working of CTA to the young participants.
This is the second Tibetan Youth Forum under the banner of President Lobsang Sangay’s second term flagship “Five and Fifty’ vision. Two other forums: ‘Shaping Tibet’s Political Future’ and Towards a Resilient Tibetan Community’ had also taken place so far.
The Five-Fifty Policy calls for a revitalization of the Tibetan people’s struggle to seek genuine autonomy through the ‘Middle Way Approach’ in the next five years while strategizing to embolden and sustain the Tibetan movement over the next fifty years as a contingency plan.
The first Five Fifty Youth Forum held in August 2018 came up with 34 recommendations that were made public in May 2019.