DHARAMSHALA, MAY 25: Over a hundred Tibetan activists, students and community leaders from India, Nepal, United States of America and Europe who are participating in the fifth International Rangzen Conference called on the Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama earlier today before beginning the concluding session of the conference.
Prominent Rangzen activists and supporters like Jamyang Norbu, Tibetan writer Tenzin Tsundue, Tibetologist Dibyesh Anand were among the audience with the Tibetan leader at the latter’s residence here.
Tenzin Tsundue, a member of the conference organizing committee said he felt good to be able to see the Tibetan leader. “Whether one supports Independence or the Middle Way Approach, it is for Tibet, and His Holiness is our leader,” said Tsundue.
Jamyang Norbu, who is often at the receiving end of public anger for his articles that are critical of the Tibetan leader’s views on Tibet’s future, said he was elated to have been able to get blessings of His Holiness. “I am very glad that the organizers have managed to arrange this audience with His Holiness, as I had wished to see His Holiness and seek his blessing,” said Norbu, who is often seen as somebody critical of the Tibetan leader’s views and the Middle Way Approach, the official policy of the Central Tibetan Administration.
“The conference went very good, and this audience was the topping on the ice-cream,” Norbu said.
The three-day meeting reviewed the Tibetan freedom movement and discussed issues ranging from the ongoing crisis in Tibet to finding creative and practical steps in the freedom movement.
The official position of the Tibetan exile government (officially known as the Central Tibetan Administration) is the Middle Way Approach, to seek genuine autonomy within the People’s Republic of China. However, there are people like Norbu and Tsundue who believe Tibet’s independence is the only solution.
In various exile communities, especially in New York city, there were confrontations in the past between Tibetans supporting the two different stands for future Tibet. In India, there have been cases of organizations, monasteries and institutes cutting off ties with bodies and individuals supporting Rangzen as there is a general belief that they disagree with the Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama, the proponent of the MWA.
The Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, came under criticism from within the community for renting their space out for a similar meeting in the past. However, the Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama has repeatedly made clear in the past that differences of opinion regarding future of Tibet was but natural and that Rangzen supporters have every right to hold on to their belief.
Former Kalon Tripa Prof Samdhong Rinpoche, on September 5, 2013, said, "The general view that those who do not support the Middle Way approach (Umey Lam) are against His Holiness the Dalai Lama is wrong. The MWA, no doubt, was proposed by His Holiness but it was through all the required democratic processes that it became the official policy with the eventual approval from the Tibetan parliament."