By Tenzin Dharpo
L to R- DIIR Secretary for International Relations Sonam Norbu Dagpo, CTA President Dr. Lobsang Sangay and DIIR Secretary of Information, Dhardon Sharling at the Press Conference at Dharamshala on Oct. 5, 2017. Phayul Photo- Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, Oct. 5: The exile Tibetan government’s (Central Tibetan Administration) ‘Five and Fifty vision’ conference will begin tomorrow behind closed door, organizers said today.
The ‘Five and Fifty’ vision, one of Dr. Lobsang Sangay’s flagship policies, was introduced in May last year at the swearing-in ceremony of his second term as the Sikyong or President, the head of the Tibetan polity. The policy calls for a revitalization of the Tibetan people’s struggle to seek genuine autonomy through the ‘Middle Way Approach’ in the next five years from Beijing while strategizing to embolden and sustain the Tibetan movement over the next fifty years as a contingency plan.
Today, Dr. Sangay announced that the three-day conference would be kicked off tomorrow here behind closed doors and in attendance of what he called “influential people” who are “sympathizers to the Tibetan cause”.
The President said that the conference will be attended by intellectuals, Tibet experts as well as prominent individuals who are although not as deeply involved with the Tibetan struggle, but have valuable insight in their respective fields in the international arena. He said that the meeting is “essentially a brainstorming session” to strategise new plans and inputs to revitalize the 5/50 vision through “outside-in” perspective gauging the mainstream international community’s view of the said policy.
The ideation during the 3-day meet will be along the lines of ‘Middle Way Approach’, the official stand of the exile government. Dr. Sangay said that every idea will be considered as long as it is not “contradictory to the MWA.”
A spokesperson from Bharatiya Janta Party, a former White House staffer, former Ministers, will be key attendees at the conference. However, the organizers refrained from giving out names.
A total of 184 people including 82 non-Tibetans from 21 different countries will engage in the conference which will discuss four major topics; Resumption of dialogue with Beijing with the MWA as the core topic, relation with Asian nations with emphasis on India, Global support and network and CTA’s role in the 5/50 vision.
Representatives from all the Office of Tibet branches, Cabinet members and Secretaries from all the Departments of CTA will be in attendance while Tibetan Members of Parliament, representatives of the Tibetan non-governmental organization as well as members of the press will be kept away from the meeting.
Secretary of Information of the DIIR, Dhardon Sharling informed the press that the conference would follow the “Chatham house rule” where information disclosed during a meeting may be reported by those present, but the source of that information may not be explicitly or implicitly identified. The Secretary also said that no mobile phones or any recording devices would be allowed in an attempt to promote openness and fluency of suggestions at the conference.
Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama will also make a short visit to the conference during one of the three days.