By Tenzin Sangmo
'CTA 5 under 35' youth ambassadors. From left- Lharong, Tenzin Norzin, Lhaning Kalsang Dorjee, Tenzin Nordon, Gonpo Tashi
DHARAMSHALA, Oct. 1: Five young Tibetans from the recent 5-50 Youth Forum appointed as 5-50 youth ambassadors were announced this afternoon at a press conference led by Dr Lobsang Sangay, the president of Central Tibetan Administration (CTA).
Lharong(India), Tenzin Nordon (USA), Gonpo Tashi (Australia), Tenzin Norzin (Canada) and Lhaning Kalsang Dorjee (Switzerland) were selected under the banner of ‘CTA 5 under 35’ program.
Nominations were submitted by the participants of the second 5-50 youth forum from which the CTA selection committee picked the final five.
All five have all been active in the community, studying and working in the community at the same time.
“The selection also considered the size of Tibetan population in nominee’s region among other things,” said Sangay.
Lharong and Gonpo Tashi are both law students and past recipients of the Gadhen Phodrang scholarship. Lharong is a founding member of All India Tibetan Student’s Association Meet (AITSAM) while Gonpo Tashi is serving as the vice-president of the Tibetan Association of Melbourne, Victoria.
Kalsang Dorjee from Switzerland had been an active member of the Europe Tibetan Youth Association since 17 and served in the Swiss armed forces later before joining a private bank in Liechtenstein.
The two female ambassadors are Tenzin Nordon, from Minnesota, co-founder of Youth for Umaylam and Tenzin Norzin, a master student of public health at the University of Toronto.
Sangay explained that the committee initially hoped to have three instead of two female ambassadors but couldn’t work out the third nominee's availability for the exposure tour.
Sangay addressed the recurring topic of 5-50 youth forum participants’ grasp on the Tibetan language and said the community must reach to hundreds of young Tibetans in the west who cannot speak Tibetan and are detached from the Tibet cause.
“With the Tibetan diasporic populace now set to be divided evenly between the West and traditional Tibetan settlements in India, Nepal, and Bhutan by 2020, we need to set up structures to reach to all Tibetan youth across the world.”
The ambassadors will embark on an exposure tour in the settlements, and other exile structures before revisiting CTA and its working in order to work as coordinators for future 5-50 youth forum and reach out to young Tibetans in collaboration with offices of Tibet in their respective region.