By Tendar Tsering
Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay pose for a picture with visiting Taiwanese students.
DHARAMSHALA, July 27: A group of Taiwanese students are in the Tibetan exile headquarters of Dharamshala, exploring Tibetan culture and the political movement, under the aegis of an awareness programme jointly organised by the Taiwan Friends of Tibet and Students for a Free Tibet, India.
The group of 16 students along with two professors hail from five different Taiwanese universities, including Shih Hsin University, National Chengchi University, and the Taipei National University of Arts.
SFT, India in a release yesterday said the awareness programme, now into its second year, was started with the aim of “introducing Tibetan culture, Tibetan political movement, Tibetan religion and Tibetan community in exile to young Taiwanese students.”
This year, the program include two weeks of intensive learning, with the first week mainly focusing on “acquainting the group with the administration of the various NGO’s, Tibetan Government-in-Exile, Tibetan schools, Men Tse Khang, Monasteries and cultural centers” followed by a second week of individual reporting and research through interaction with various Tibetan political prisoners.
“Before I came to Dharamshala, I thought Tibetans in exile would be going through hard time and unfavorable condition but I then realised Tibetans are strong, organised and committed to Tibetan freedom struggle, which inspired me a lot,” said Meng-huan, a student of Taipei National University of Arts, the country’s most prestigious university. “I am looking forward to work for the Tibet movement by joining Taiwan Friends of Tibet and Students for a Free Tibet-Taiwan.”
The students also had an opportunity to briefly interact with Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay and Kalon Dicki Chhoyang of the Department of Information and International Relations of the Central Tibetan Administration.
“I am very inspired to see the energy and commitment of Tibetan people towards their non-violent struggle despite five decades of tribulations,” said Chen Chien Fu, a student from National Taiwan University. “I strongly support Tibetan people's fight for their independence and express my solidarity and prayers for those Tibetans who have sacrificed their life for Tibet through numbers of self-immolation.”
Dorjee Tseten, National Director of Students for a Free Tibet, India said the programme proved important in understanding the parallels that Tibetans and Taiwanese share and also helped in “strengthening ties in building global force against the despotism of Communist China”
The awareness program began on July 18 and will conclude with an audience with Gyalwang Karmapa at the Gyuto Monastery on July 30.
Last month, Taiwan Solidarity Union Legislator Lin Shih-chia said she would propose officially inviting Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama to deliver a speech at the Legislative Yuan.
“To show that we’re in solidarity with the Tibetans in their quest for freedom, I will make a proposal to formally invite the Dalai Lama to deliver a speech at our legislature,” Lin said.