Moscow: - The International Conference on the Tibetan Civilization and Nomadic (Mongolian origin) Peoples of Eurasia: Cross-Cultural Contacts was held in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, from May 24 to 26. It was jointly organised by the Institute of Oriental Studies of Ukraine National Academy, Institute of Philosophy of Ukraine National Academy, Ukraine National Museum of Arts and Buryat Culture Society in Kiev.
Around 40 research scholars and academics, representing Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Hungary, Buryatia, Tuva, Tatarstan, Kazakhstan, Japan and Tibet, participated in the three-day conference. The scholars presented research papers on various topics under four sections: (1) Tibetology, (2) Buddhism, Shamanism: Historical, Religious and Philosophical Aspects, (3) Buryat Studies, and (4) Mongolian Studies: Cross-Cultural Contacts.
The representative of the Dalai Lama to Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, Dr Nawang Rabgyal, participated in the conference, presenting a paper entitled Tibet and the Dalai Lama: The Nature of Tibetan Struggle for Freedom. The paper was on the historical background of independent Tibet, Chinese invasion and misrule of Tibet, Middle Way Policy, Tibetan-Chinese contact and dialogue situation, the current situation in occupied-Tibet, the vision of future Tibet and the transfer of political power from His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the democratically elected leader of the Central Tibetan Administration, Kalon Tripa (political leader) Dr Lobsang Sangay. He also touched on Tibetan cultural heritage, which has been attracting interest from many parts of the world and has much to contribute to the modern world and civilization.
The conference was concluded with a book presentation by several scholars, including Dr Olena Ohnieva, Dr Yuriy Zavhorodniy and Dr Natalia Zhukovskaya. This was followed by farewell party hosted by the Buryat Culture Society in Kiev, with traditional songs. Tibet and Buryat have had long historical and spiritual contacts and connections since the 17th century. The Buryat scholar, Avang Dorjief (Nawang Dorjee), who studied in Drepung Gomang monastery, had served as the great 13th Dalai Lama's Envoy to Russia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Russia was the first European country to have diplomatic contact with independent Tibet.