By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, April 23: The first ever international conference of the Sino-Tibetan Friendship Association titled ‘Finding Common Ground’ was held in the Taiwanese capital Taipei starting yesterday. The initiative organised by the Taiwan Office of Tibet is a project of the Department of Information and International Relation’s ‘China Desk’.
The opening ceremony of the three day conference held at the Fortunehiya Hotel was attended by more than 150 Tibetans and Chinese people from across the world. Noted individuals such as Taiwanese legislator and rockstar Freddy Lim, Kolas Yotaka and Yu Mei-nu and also former DPP Legislator Chen Chieh-Ju, who has been a strong supporter of Tibet, attended and addressed the conclave.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama, in a video message, expressed hope that the conference will set a precedent for an open and conducive platform on the possible ways to resolve the collective problem in a realistic manner between the Tibetan and Chinese peoples. He also spoke on the historical rapport between the Tibetans and Chinese people for over a thousand years. He further said that there should now be a collective effort to find a common ground to establish a friendly and mutually-beneficial relation in the future.
Secretary of the Department of Information and International Relation, Sonam Norbu Dagpo, in his welcome note, presented a broad overview of the evolution of the past engagements between Tibetans and Chinese people. Mr Dagpo said, “That the growing level of Sino-Tibetan interaction in the post-Tiananmen era has created better awareness and understanding about the situation in Tibet, which in turn has rejuvenated the quest for finding a common ground for the peaceful resolution of the Tibet issue.”
The conclave participated by scholars, intellectuals, writers, activists and students from different parts of the world, including the US, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, India, Spain, Hong Kong and Taiwan is expected to form a new resolve in ushering an understanding on issues related with Tibet and China.
The proceedings of the ‘Finding Common Ground’ conference were streamed live for viewers on the internet.