DHARAMSHALA, November 13: Tibetans and Tibet supporters from all over the world will gather this week in the Tibetan exile headquarters of Dharamshala to “explore ways to press the Chinese government to end its repressive policies” in Tibet.
Around two hundred members of Tibetan Support Groups from 43 countries will attend the Special International Tibet Support Groups Meeting from November 16 to 18.
The meeting is being convened by the Core Group for Tibetan Cause-India and facilitated by the Department of Information and International Relations of the Central Tibetan Administration.
In a release today, the CTA said the meeting will “explore ways to strengthen support of the international community to press the Chinese government to end its repressive policies that are pushing an increasing number of Tibetans to burn themselves to death in protest.”
The three-day meeting comes at a time when Tibet is witnessing an alarming escalation in self-immolation protests which began in 2009. As many as 20 known Tibetans set themselves on fire in the past two months alone, demanding freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile.
Dr N K Trikha, National Convenor, Core Group for Tibetan Cause-India, noted that the meeting has become “imperative in view of the urgent and critical situation inside Tibet and the need for all Tibet Support Groups to coordinate advocacy efforts.”
Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, the elected head of the Tibetan people, will preside over the opening session of the meeting, while Dahlip Mehta, former foreign secretary of India will attend the concluding session.
In September this year, over 400 Tibetans had gathered in Dharamshala to hold extensive discussions and brainstorming on campaign ideas and plans for activities by exile Tibetans in light of the critical situation inside Tibet.
After four days of deliberations, the Second Special General Meeting of the Tibetan People unanimously adopted 31 recommendations, meant to serve as an action plan for future activities.
The meeting had recommended the revival of the ‘Tibetan Solidarity Committee’ to head global Tibet activities and pushed for the creation of a ‘voluntary emergency fund’ to finance the campaigns.
In order to intensify Tibet’s international outreach, the delegates had also suggested the opening of representative offices of the CTA in countries where Tibetan representation is wanting and unanimously approved a recommendation to take Chinese leaders to international courts for their crimes against the Tibetan people on well-researched findings.
The first Special International Tibet Support Groups Meeting was held in November 2008 following the pan-Tibet 2008 uprisings.