New York: RTYC New York & New Jersey organized a public talk on May 10th by the 80-year-old Kasur Gyalo Thondup who was on a private trip to the United States. The second eldest brother to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Gyalo Thondup worked for many years to advance the Dalai Lama's efforts to begin talks with the Chinese leadership.
Giving a broad overview of his involvement, in the period following and before his meeting with the Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in 1979, Gyalo Thondup spoke about his epochal role in modern Tibet and efforts over the years to prevent a widening rift between Beijing and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Gyalo Thondup was much involved in the critical work of foreign affairs since 1959 after His Holiness the Dalai Lama's escape to India. He was also elected to the Kashag (Tibetan cabinet) and served as its Chairman and as Minister for Security in 1991. Since his departure from Kashag, Gyalo Thondup maintains an active interest in Tibet-China issues although he no longer serves in an official capacity.
He said that he is very optimistic about the future of Tibet. Comparing the time before and after he further added, " the Tibetans today are more educated and attempts to take more responsibilities in resolving the Tibet issue which is a very positive step forward. Fundamentally, I believe that we should find out a way to settle the issue between China and ourselves through talks and dialogue."
Against China's baseless allegation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama being a ‘Splittist’, Gyalo Thondup said China should be called a splittist instead since this is what they are trying to do. His Holiness is only seeking genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people.
Gyalo Thondup also fielded questions from the audience which comprised mostly of young Tibetans. He expressed his pleasure for the keen interest shown by the younger generation.
The event was later followed by a screening of a CNN interview of His Holiness the Dalai Lama by Fareed Zakaria.