By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, Aug. 16: The third edition of annual conference for budding Tibetan academics organized by the exile Tibetan government’s (known as the Central Tibetan Administration) think-tank Tibet Policy Institute opened at the college of Higher Tibetan Studies, Sarah.
CTA President Dr. Lobsang Sangay who delivered the keynote speech said that the exile diaspora should seek to develop the core competency of Tibetan research community with the aim to make Tibet and Tibetan issues relevant on the global stage.
“The majority of the prominent voices on Tibet and related subjects in the mainstream narrative and research circuits are non-Tibetans. Tibetan researches should strive to make Tibetan issues relevant thereby garnering support for the cause,” Sangay said.
The Harvard educated scholar also urged the future researchers to represent the tiny exile Tibetan community as hoped and cherished by the bulk of Tibetans still in Tibet under Chinese rule rather than develop complacency.
Special guest and Senior Fellow of Vivekananda International Foundation Brig. Vinod Anand said it is necessary for young Tibetans to identify and research on multiple fronts related to Tibet for what he called “the long and arduous journey” towards the resolution of the Tibetan issue.
The former military man also said that the ongoing Doklam issue is an episode of geopolitical muscle flexing by China in an attempt to change the status quo in the region by waging “media, psychological and legal warfare."
Participants will broach wide range of topics from the military exercise on the Tibetan plateau, Chinese leadership and the strategic importance of the Yarlung tsangpo to exile Tibetan diaspora contingents such as the electoral system, Tibetan refugees in Nepal and health issues of old age in Tibetan settlements among others.
Thinley Gyatso, Ph.D candidate from Jawaharlal Nehru University who is researching on the identity crisis among nomads in eastern Tibet said, “There is a contradiction when Tibetan nomads have systematically been evicted from their grasslands over which their ancestors have manned for centuries and pushed towards lifestyles they are not familiar with. At the same time, China have placed tiny number of nomads to locations where there are tourist attempting to show nomad lifestyles as an integral part of local culture and heritage.”
The conference ‘Tibet and Tibetans: Prospects and Challenges’ broadly encompasses a wide range of Tibet and related subject matters pursued by Ph.D. and M.Phil. research scholars discussed and debated over the course of days (Aug. 16-18).