By Phurbu Thinley
Thangtong Lhugar Artists performing Tibetan cultural dance
Dharamsala: December 17: Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) based here in Dharamsala today organised a half day public ceremony as a mark of tenth years of its establishment.
TCHRD was first founded in 1996 and has been receiving its core funding from the Germany based Heinrich Boll Foundation since then.
The brief function held in the after noon saw a large Tibetan and non-Tibetan gathering at the main Tsuglagkhang Temple courtyard enjoying Tibetan cultural songs and dances performed by artists from Thangtong Lhugar Performing Arts (TLPA).
Lobsang Nyendak Zayul, former Kalon (Minister) of the Tibetan Government-in-exile and also a former Director of the Centre, was the Chief Guest of the function.
Speaking at the function, Mr. Urgen Tenzin, the Director of the Centre said that TCHRD is the first Tibetan non-governmental organization (NGO) in exile which was specifically formed with the mission to promote and protect human rights of Tibetans in Tibet and at the same time to educate and promote human rights concepts and democratic principles within the Tibetan community in exile.
Mr. Urgen Tenzin also said that as of now the Centre is functioning with a team of twelve committed staff members.
Mr. Zayul, in his address, mentioned TCHRD as a unique NGO dedicated to the protection of human rights of Tibetan people inside Tibet through various possible international advocacy channels and at the same time promote human rights ideals and democratic principles within Tibetan community.
Mr. Zayul said such a Centre is significant for Tibetans at this period of our critical political struggle against oppressive Communist regime of China which makes Tibetans in Tibet extremely vulnerable to various unprecedented human rights violations.
The Centre had earlier on 10 December had arranged an official function marking its10th Founding Anniversary which was attended by Kalon Tripa, Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche (Tibetan Prime Minister in exile). The centre will again organise a similar programme, like the one held today, for local Indian friends at the Municipal Community Hall in lower Dharamsala on the 22nd of this month.