By Tenzin Dharpo
TYC Gen. Secretary Tashi Lamsang (L) speaks as TYC president Tenzing Jigme looks on. New York /Jan 9
DHARAMSHALA, Jan. 11: The largest pro independence group of the Tibetan exile community, the Tibetan Youth Congress, on Saturday Jan. 9 held a public meeting in New York following the recent controversy surrounding its decision to shut down the New York/ New Jersey Regional Tibetan Youth Congress temporarily.
The issue that rocked the largest pro-independence organization of the Tibetan Diasporas over the past few weeks had many ordinary Tibetans expressing their dismay over the situation through social networking posts and videos.
The TYC President Tenzing Jigme and General Secretary Tashi Lamsang, currently on speaking tour of the US, spoke their side of the much debated issue which surfaced publicly for the first time after the axed RTYC NY/NJ President Ngawang Palden issued a statement at the ‘emergency public meeting’ and voting on Dec.26. The events were preceded by the TYC HQ’s pronouncement earlier on Dec.16 to temporarily close down the NY/NJ RTYC chapter and assigning the reins to an interim executive member.
“This meeting is not a congregation where we seek to come down on certain people or attempting to make ourselves righteous for that matter. We have the responsibility to let the people know of what has happened,” said Tenzing Jigme.
Around 800 people in attendance at TYC meeting in New York
On the legitimacy of the Dec. 26 ‘emergency meeting’ and the voting discrediting the Centrex’s decision to close the regional Chapter where sources say that many who voted were not its members, he said, “As per the TYC rules and regulations, only TYC members are eligible to vote and not the general public, although I respect the people’s involvement. Yet it isn’t the proper way.”
“We had notified Ngawang Palden to come to the General Meeting held in Delhi and the North America General Meeting held in Minnesota to put the matters up for discussion and settlement. We also invited him for the TYC Tenshug (longlife offering) proceedings in Dharamshala. He did not participate in all the occasions. We have also called all the 11 executive members for today’s meeting,” he said of the attempts TYC Centrex had made to solve matters with both the parties in attendance.
The General Secretary Tashi Lamsang disclosed that on, “July 21 last year, the NY/NJ RTYC sent a letter to the Centrex that they have decided to disassociate and end all communication with the Centrex until a time when the Centrex decides to change the core stance of the organization. Does the executive member of a particular chapter hold authority to alter the approach and regulation of the organization? No! The suggestions and views should be raised at the General Meeting where deliberations would be made at the meeting. What we have seen here is something that hasn’t happened in the last 45 years.”
He also mentioned the grounds on which the former NY/NJ RTYC President Ngawang Palden was relieved of his post. “There are three reasons for which he was set aside; in March 2014, under the capacity of a RTYC President he went on record and told Radio Free Asia
that he was supporting the middle way path and does not stand by the ideals of the TYC while being an executive member of the organization. He also sent a letter to His Holiness expressing that an American intelligence had listed TYC as an organization posing potential threat to His Holiness’ security which was not true. And lastly, the 10th March incident in New York which I am sure most of you must be familiar with.”
With the TYC Centrex lifting the silence and putting forth their account of what has transpired, the whole controversy has finally been provided a structure for the masses to form their opinions on. The issue of the Tibetan Youth Congress the past few weeks has captured public attention in a sinister fashion causing what many have labeled an ‘internal implosion’ within the organization. Observers and exile Tibetans have also speculated that the largest pro-independence is being crippled by internal politics and outside designs to lay it rudderless.