DHARAMSHALA, October 20: Under the banner of the Tibetan Centre for Conflict Resolution (TCCR) and the Dharamshala Tibetan Settlement Office, around thirty heads of different Indian and Tibetan organisations, representing the two communities in Dharamshala gathered today in an effort to come up with united ideas to “bond Indo-Tibet friendship”.
The discussion, aimed at facilitating a platform for a reflective look and identifying lessons to take forward, shared ideas for strengthening the existing friendship and building partnerships towards a more supportive community.
The meeting agendas included discussions on the issues of environment, on which there were many inputs about the problems of garbage disposals and resolutions to make Dharamshala clean and green were unanimously agreed upon.
Discussing new ideas to make the already existing relationship between the Indian and Tibetan communities “more stronger”, Ram Swaroop, advisor of the Indo-Tibet Friendship Association (ITFA) proposed the idea of celebrating festivals together, including “Diwali and Losar to strengthen the bond of friendship”,
The leaders from the two communities, representing the local Taxi union, Shopkeepers’ Association, and different NGOs vowed to make Dharamshala a “zone of peace, friendship and tourism” instead of sensationalising “minor issues of conflict” between the two communities in the town.
"We have been living together for a long time, we know each other, so why should we sensationalise small issues of conflict," said Sonam Dechen, Associate Director of TCCR and Convener of the Indo-Tibet meet.
"We do encounter problems within a family, so why not within two different communities, but we should know the differences and respect the differences and look forward for greater friendship and peace in the society," added Dechen.
Requesting local Indians and Tibetans to register with the ITFA, Ramesh, the association’s president urged the “two communities to act as one holistic organisation”.
The representatives also noted the benefits of introducing local Indian laws to students in Tibetan schools while resolving on the need for the two communities to have a working knowledge of each others languages.