Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay (l) with Tibetan Parliamentarians Choekyong Wangchuk (r) and Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok during the concluding day of the youth leadership workshop in Dharamshala on May 29, 2013. (Phayul photo/Phuntsok Yangchen)
DHARAMSHALA, May 29: A nine-day long workshop for Tibetan college students, titled “Today’s Youth, Tomorrow’s Leaders” concluded here today with a talk by Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, the elected head of the Tibetan people.
57 Tibetan students hailing from various colleges from Delhi, Mysore, Chennai, Chandigarh, and Varanasi attended the workshop organised by the New Delhi based Tibetan Parliamentary and Policy Research Centre.
In his address, Sikyong Sangay congratulated Tenzin Chokyi
, who emerged topper among Tibetan students with 95.4 per cent in this year’s all-India class XII examinations conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education.
He noted that it is for the first time in the history of Tibetan exile community that a Tibetan student scored above 95 per cent in the All India Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations.
Sikyong Sangay also expressed sadness over the continuing spate of self-immolation protests in Tibet.
“If given a choice, nobody would want to sacrifice their lives,” he said. “Yet, Tibetans are giving up their live.”
On May 27, Tenzin Sherab, a 31-year-old nomad became the latest Tibetan to set himself on fire in protest against China’s continued occupation of Tibet and demanding freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile.
Since 2009, as many as 118 Tibetans living under China’s rule have self-immolated despite repeated calls by the exile Tibetan administration to refrain from indulging in drastic actions.
Responding to a question on the ongoing General Body Meeting of the Tibetan Youth Congress and calls for a change in the organisation’s pro-independence stance, Sikyong said it was up to the organistion to decide their future course of action and work accordingly.
Tibetan college students taking part in the nine-day leadership workshop organised by TPPRC in Dharamshala. (Phayul photo/Phuntsok Yangchen)
He further called TYC “an important part” of the Tibetan community and said that many Tibetans have worked for TYC and support its stance for complete independence.
The workshop was earlier inaugurated by Speaker Penpa Tsering, who spoke about the exile Tibetan polity, Tibet’s history, and the policies of the Central Tibetan Administration especially with regard to the Middle Way Approach.
Other speakers at the workshop included Khenpo Sonam Tenphel, Deputy Speaker of Tibetan Parliament; Jamphel Chosang, Chief Election Commissioner; Rigzin Choephel, Additional Secretary of Audit; and Tibetan Parliamentarians including Karma Chophel, Bawa Kelsang Gyaltsen, Sonam Gyaltsen, Ven. Atuk Tseten, Lobsang Yeshi, Ghang Lhamo and other officials from the CTA, Men-tsee Khang and Library of Tibetan Works and Archives.