Paris — The three-day "Fourth International Rangzen Conference" was held in France's capital, Paris, where participants discussed important issues concerning future activities and campaigns, to strengthen the Tibetan Independence movement and vowed to ramp up fight against China's illegal occupation of Tibet.
The Conference began on August 21, 2017 with a one-minute silence for the Tibetan martyrs who have sacrificed their lives for the independence of Tibet.
The around 100 participants included activists, writers, politicians and advocates of Tibet's independence from India, the United States and Europe. The meeting was organized by several Tibetan individuals as a continued effort to mark the date.
Welcoming the participants and various guests, Gyaltsen Pontsang, President of the organising committee, thanked the overwhelming support, messages and financial support for the Conference.
Those who presented during the conference, including five the members of Tibetan parliament in exile, from India, an Uyghur activists and Chinese democracy activists. A group of young Tibetans living in the country performed a cultural dance as part of the event.
Speaking as a chief guest on the occasion, MP and President of Gu Chu Sum Lhagyari Namgyal Dolkar said that one must always remember that the heart of our struggle is fighting for independence."I am very grateful for the courage and the sacrifice of Tibetans inside Tibet, who despite the danger continues to fight for Tibet," she reiterated.
Former political prisoner Atsok Lukar Jam, spoke about the need for Tibetans to be ready to grasp opportunities that will surely present due to the changing global alliances at present.
Uighur leader Dolkun Isa spoke on the "Future for East Turkestan and the struggle for independence" and the need to build stronger alliance amongst "people fighting against the Communist China's rule". Referring to his recent detention by the Italian police few moments before he was slated to speak, Dolkun Isa said that "For the first time, I didn't feel safe in Europe", even though he has a German Passport and the fact that he was in an European country.
That was followed by the talk by Dr Xu Pei, who talked about the need to work together "against the communist dictatorship of China". Dr Xu Pei also underlined the growing Chinese efforts to undermine democracy all over the world. Afternoon session started with MP Geshe Monlam Tharchin. His talk was titled, "Without Independence, Tibetan religion and culture will not survive". "Revival of a nation is not just about religion and culture and we need to continue to work from one generation to the next to regain our independence," he said.
MP Tenpa Yarphel, talked on the "Close link between Tibetan independence and World Peace". "The loss of this profound and the millennial old Tibetan culture is a great loss to the culture of non-violence and peace in the world, which will have an impact on our world, " said Yarphel.
Former MP and Tibetan activist based in Swiss, Tethong Wangpo talked on the impact of "Migrational policy of China" and stressed the need to revisit and work to confront this policy of China that will demographically have an irreversible effect on the Tibetan issue. "Notwithstanding whether you support the 'Middle Way' or 'Rangzen', this is an issue on which we can all work together", opined Wangpo.
This was followed by a presentation by Choenyi Woeser, a Tibetan journalist from Tibet Express, on "Self-immolation protest and the current situation inside Tibet". "It is absolutely imperative that we do not dilute the message and the intention of the self-immolators and try to fit into an invented narrative," warned Woeser.
Finally MP Juchen Konchok, who spoke on the topic "Struggle for Independence is our duty". She stressed the need for Tibetan, especially activists to preserve the "Tibetan language and the culture as the survival of the Tibetan as a people depend on it".
"Rangzen conference like this are individual initiative and this is not an effort to oppose His Holiness the Dalai Lama but revival of Tibetan independence," Konchok added.
Jamyang Norbu, a Tibetan political activist and writer, currently living in the United States, sent a congratulatory video message to the Conference. He talked about issues ranging from the self-immolation protests in Tibet to the Rangzen movement and international political change.
He strongly urged participants to seize the opportunity and take into consideration an effective Rangzen struggle, "forming an organization, with an office," where day-to-day activities can be carried out— these include "newspaper, magazine, literary journal and a radio station."
However, the 4th International Rangzen Conference was wrapped up with the following declarations, which reportedly agreed by the participants;
- Supporters of the independence of Tibet, Eastern Turkestan, Southern Mongolia and Taiwan and the Chinese Democrats have agreed to unify their forces and work collectively.
- At the conference the sympathizers of Tibet, Eastern Turkestan, South Mongolia and Taiwan unanimously rejected the Chinese authority; and affirmed the need to free themselves from the Chinese Communist party.
- In the case of future convergence between the Tibetan people and the Tibetan government in exile for Rangzen, we must ensure the continuity of our struggle and grow the future seeds of Rangzen.
- We must recognize the Tibetan martyrs and those who live under the brutal Chinese oppression; the appeal and the will of the protest by immolations are for our cause. This must also be preserved and also shared without being diluted.
- Since the colonization of Tibet by China, several conflicts have taken place between China and India. More recently, tensions have risen between China and India. The Real border is between Tibet and India. China has absolutely no legitimacy in this conflict. We affirm that this conflict will not be resolved without the restoration of Tibet's independence.
In conclusion, that the wishes of brave-men-and-women (Tib: pawos and pamos) are fulfilled, the will of the dead for Tibet and the hope of the living, that the sun of freedom shines on Tibet, and that His Holiness the Dalai Lama lives a long life and that His wishes are fulfilled.