22 November 2006, New Delhi: The Tibetan Parlimentary and Policy Research Centre (TPPRC) based in New Delhi successfully concluded its two-days’ International Conference of Autonomous Regions for Tibet which was held at the Heritage Village, Manesar, Haryana on the 19 and 20 November 2006.
As many as 10 intellectuals from autonomous countries like Aaland Island, Bougainville, Quebec, Scotland, Catalonia, Greenland, Saami, Hong Kong, South Tyrol attended the conference to share the problems that they faced in their struggle for autonomy, how they countered the problems and the lessons that we Tibetans could learn from their experience. 11 Tibetans representing the Tibetan Government in Exile and the Tibetan Parliament in Exile also participated in the conference.
While each participant from the autonomous regions presented detailed case study of their country’s autonomous setup, Kalon Tempa Tsering, Minister for the Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR), Central Tibetan Administration, presented a broad outline of Middle Way Approach of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the current status of negotiations on the issue of Tibet.
Before the conference, the delegation from the autonomous regions visited Dharamsala (16-18 November 2006) where they received an audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. During the meeting, His Holiness briefed them on issues that he considered important for resolving the Tibetan issue. The audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama lasted for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. The delegation also met Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche, Kalon Tripa of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), who updated them about the Sino-Tibetan dialogue process, aspirations of the Tibetan people in dealing with China and obstacles in its way.
They also met the speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile, Mr. T.T. Karma Chophel who introduced them to the working of the exile parliament. The delegation was also familiarised with the three pillars of democracy of the CTA. Besides they visited various institutions and the Tibetan Children's Village.
Participants at the conference included Prof. Alain G Gagnon, Canada Research Chair in Québec and Canadian Studies and professor of Political Science at the University of Québec, Montréal (UQAM), Dr. Anthony James Regan, Australia-Expert on Bougainville autonomy, Fellow, The Australian National University, Canberra, Dr. Ash Vadher, Foreign Policy advisor to Lord David Steel, London & Malawi President Dr. Bakili Muluzi, Ms. Elisabeth Helene Naucler, Head of Administration, Govt. of Aaland Island, Dr. Felix Marti, Founder UNESCOCAT, Catalonia, Prof. Fu Hualing, Associate & Director, Centre for Comparative & Public Law, Faculty of Law, University of Hong Kong, Dr. Gunther Cologna, President-Italy Tibet Support Group & Director-Educational Programme, EURAC, Mr. Lars Anders Baer, President, Saami Parliament in Sweden and Chairman, Saami Parliamentary Council, Lord David Steel, First Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament and former President of Liberal International, Mr. Vittus Qujaukitsoq, Corporate Communications Manager, Greenland, Mr. Malla K Sundar, National Coalition against Racial Discrimination, Nepal & Journalist, Dr. Rene Klaff, Director, FNF South Asia, Ms. Rebon Banerjee, Exectuive Programme, FNF South Asia, Mr. Tempa Tsering, Minister Department of Information and International Relations, Mr. Sonam N Dagpo, Secretary, Department of Information and International Relations, Mr. Thubten Samphel, Secretary, Department of Information and International Relations, Mr. Jigmey Passang, Coordinating Secretary, Task Force, Mr. Pema Jungney, Member, Tibetan Parliament in exile, Mr. Sonam Damdul, Member, Tibetan Parliament in exile, Mr. Gyalrong Dawa Tsering, Member, Tibetan Parliament in exile, Ms. Ngawang Lhamo, Member, Tibetan Parliament in exile, Mr. Choekyong Wangchuk, Member, Tibetan Parliament in exile, Mr. Dorjee Wangdi Dewatshang, Member, Tibetan Parliament in exile and Ms. Youdon Aukatsang, Member, Tibetan Parliament in exile
The conference is the first of its kind and TPPRC aims to organize similar conferences in the future by involving more participation from other autonomous states.
The Tibetan Parliamentary and Policy Research Centre (TPPRC) is a joint project of the Friedrich-Naumann Foundation, a public funded German institution, committed to liberal democratic ideals and engaged in strengthening pluralist development, and the Assembly of Tibetan People's Deputies (ATPD), Tibet's Parliament in exile.Since its inception in 1991, it has been engaged in understanding and dissemination of information on various political aspects related to Tibet with a view to carry forward the global movement of the Tibetan people's struggle for freedom and democracy. All programmes of TPPRC are aimed at strengthening the democratic process and institutionalization of democracy among the Tibetan people and in promoting the political programme of the Tibetan administration.