By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, Dec. 27: The members of the recently shut New York/New Jersey Tibetan Youth Congress chapter on Saturday voted to determine conclusively if its member’s carried the mandate of the TYC Centrex’s pronouncement.
Earlier this month on Dec. 16, TYC Centrex President Tenzing Jigme announced the decision to temporarily close down the New York/New Jersey chapter and the appointment of a four-member interim committee to oversee operations during the handover.
Videos of a chaotic voting process and people making speeches were immediately visible on social networking platforms.
However, the results of the voting confirm an overwhelming backlash to the decision of the Centrex; out of the 360 members who voted, 342- voted against the TYC (Centrex) decision while 16- voted to support the TYC (Centrex) decision and 2- Blank votes were cast.
TYC NY/NJ Chapter became a subject of controversy earlier this year in March when its President, Ngawang Palden, was suspended for failing to hold up the objectives of the TYC during March 10 procession and openly supporting Middle Way Approach, a position contrary to the goal of TYC.
Comments on social media sites reflect opinions of people from both the camps. “Tibetan Youth Congress of NY & NJ belongs to the general public and public decides their fate,” writes a Tibetan youth.
Another Tibetan youth has expressed that such punitive measures are bound to create further complications within the TYC. He wrote, “Abide by Centrex framework and ideology. Make a dignified exit instead of creating rift and disharmony in society.”
One user has even indicated that the current situation in New York is a culmination of CTA’s curtailing of space for political pluralism. “In the last few years, Central Tibetan Administration has allowed & even tacitly nurtured and supported exclusivist & fundamentalist political position, curtailing the space for political pluralism. Now we are seeing its results in the form of anarchist tendencies that besets the recent RTYC NYNJ turmoil. The Middle-way zealots are becoming Frankenstein's monster for CTA,” writes another Tibetan.
In 2013 Working Committee meeting, eight RTYCs – Bengaluru, Bylakuppe, Mundgod, Hunsur, Kollegal, Dalhousie, Pandoh and Ladakh - demanded TYC change its stand of independence to Middle Way Approach. This led to their expulsion as a member in 2014 for ‘violation of TYC’s rules and regulations’.