By Phurbu Thinley
Ven. Jampa Rinpoche presides over the opening function of the TYC's General Body Meeting
Dharamsala, August 28: The 13th General Body Meeting (GBM) of the Tibetan Youth Congess (TYC) began this morning at the Tibetan Children’s Village School’s Deckyi Tsering Hall.
The 6-day GBM will conclude on September 2. Among other agendas, during the meet, the members of the organisation will elect the next Central Executive Committee (CENTREX), which is the highest office of the TYC. The members of the CENTREX are elected for a term of three years by the General Body Meeting.
The CENTREX supervises the entire functioning of TYC, provides guidance to the Regional Working Committee; represents TYC in all national and international forums.
Tibetan Youth COngerss President, Mr Kelsang Phuntsok delivering key-note speech at today's opening function
“158 members from 48 regional chapters are attending the 13th GBM” the Organisation’s Secretary Mrs Pema Yangchen told Phayul.
The GBM, held every three years, is the highest policy making body of the Tibetan Youth Congress and it alone is empowered to amend the organisation’s written Constitution.
At a brief opening function this morning, presided over by the Chief Guest Kyabje Jampa Rinpoche, the outgoing President, Mr Kelsang Phuntsok Godrukpa read out the summary report of the organisation during his last 3 years leadership.
In his inaugural speech, Mr Kelsang said, “TYC has, over the years, emerged as the biggest and most active Tibetan organisation with firm commitment for the restoration of Tibet’s independence.”
“It is an organisation in line with the historical truth about Tibet” he said.
Chairman of the Tibetan Assembly presents TYC’s “2007 Geyche Pawo” (Martyr) Award to Jamyang Choekyi and Lobsang Choedon on behalf of their father, Rongye Adrak
Describing TYC as an indispensable organisation for the Tibetan freedom struggle, Mr Godrukpa called for renewed support for the organisation by Tibetans both in and outside Tibet.
On the other hand, he, however, said “The organisation on its part must now make efforts to bring about a renewed vigour and vitality in its approach by departing from its recurring traditional approach.”
In his speech, Kyabje Jampa Rinpoche of Drepung Loseling upheld Rongyal Adrak’s protest demonstration in Lithang
as courageous, truthful and selfless act for the freedom of Tibetan people. In his brief and simple speech, Ven. Rinpoche said “Only a united and common spirit of Tibetan can help realize our dream of a free Tibet”.
“Time is running out, but it’s not too late. If we are to succeed in our common struggle for freedom, it's time for us to stand together and not be divided into sects, groups, or organisations,” Ven. Rinpoche told the gathering. “My appeal for a strong Tibetan unity is my sole wish” Rinpoche said.
“China says there is religious freedom in Tibet, but monks continue to come out of Tibet freer spiritual pursuits. China says young Tibetan children receive proper education in Tibet, but Tibetan children are still coming into exile for education by leaving their family behind and very often risking their lives walking across the harsh Himalayan border to reach India,” he said.
Outgoing CENTREX members, former executive heads of TYC, Chairman of Tibetan Assembly Mr Karma Choephel, Deputy Speaker Gyari Dolma, and few other ATPD members were present at the opening function here today.
At the inaugural function regional chapters with exceptional contribution to the organisation’s work were felicitated with honorary trophies. Dickyiling RTYC bagged the best trophy. Two of Rongye Adrak’s daughters, currently studying in India were presented this year’s “Geyche Pawo
” (roughly translated 'Patriotic Hero') Award on behalf of their father.
In 6 days time, the members of the organisation will engage in a series of discussion on issues related to organisation’s working objectives, plans and programmes and resolutions.
The organisation earlier this month launched a Mass Movement by Tibetan people in New Delhi which culled in single largest Tibetan rally against China since 1959. More than 20,000 Tibetans reportedly gathered in the Indian capital to support the then ongoing Indefinite Hunger Strike by 14 Tibetans, which lasted for 33 days. However, verbally, many Tibetans who took part in it expressed that the final outcome of the movement on August 8 was not as much as they expected to be. They blamed the CENTREX for lack of strategic action plan.
TYC is a worldwide Organisation of Tibetans united in common struggle for the restoration of Tibet’s independence for the whole of Tibet, which includes the tradition three provinces of U-Tsang, Do-toe, and Do-med.
The organisation claims more than 30,000 members with 81 regional chapters worldwide.
Tibetan Youth Congress was founded on October 7, 1970 in Dharamsala with His Holiness the Dalai Lama delivering the inaugural address. The organisation was founded by prominent Tibetan leaders like Tenzin Geyche Tethong, Lodi G. Gyari, Sonam Topgyal and Tenzin N. Tethong.