Dharamshala: - Addressing a Conference on Tibetans' international efforts, Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay, head of the Tibetan Government in exile, said the policies of the Central Tibetan Administration have gained support from around the world including a growing number of Chinese scholars and intellectuals.
The Tibet Policy Institute, a think-tank of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), held a two-day conference on the CTA's international efforts, providing leading exponents of its international relations a forum to discuss their activities. The conference explored how the exiled Tibetan community managed to raise Tibet's international profile since His Holiness the Dalai Lama's exile to India in 1959.
Speakers at the conference include the senior-most officials of the Tibetan Administration: Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay, Tibetan representatives to the EU, Taiwan, US, the Liaison Officer to Latin America, and the Secretary of the Department of Information and International Relations.
Speaking at the conference, Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay lauded the remarkable accomplishments of the CTA on its international efforts, given the daunting circumstances under which it had to operate in the early stages of exile.
"The...purpose of this conference is to review the international efforts of the Central Tibetan Administration in the past decades, and derive recommendations and directions for the CTA's future course of action," Sikyong said.
"The most significant period of the Central Tibetan Administration's international efforts was between 1987 and 1993. Tibet became a focal point in international politics during these six years. It was mainly based on the two peace initiatives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama: the Five Point Peace Plan (1987) and the Strasbourg Proposal (1988)," he added.
"One other factor... was the hard work and dedication of the former Tibetan civil servants and the elder generation. Due to their contributions, the CTA became one of the most effective and efficient exile administrations, and the Tibetan Diaspora, one of the most successful refugee communities in the world," Sikyong added.
Describing CTA's policies as pragmatic and reasonable, Sikyong said the policies of the CTA have gained support from around the world including Chinese intellectuals. Sikyong Dr. Sangay characterised the CTA's approach towards China as a three-pronged, non-violent strategy involving the UN, Europe and the US.
Speaking on the importance of a convincing narrative to gain international support, Sikyong cited "The Political Repression, Cultural Assimilation, Environmental Destruction, Economic Marginalisation and Social Discrimination, have been corroborated by all the major Human Rights organisations, and media agencies. Even after spending lots of money on its propaganda, the worldwide response towards China's version of the situation in Tibet has largely been muted."
In his concluding remarks, Sikyong expressed his hope that the two-day conference will produce constructive recommendations towards the CTA's internationals efforts.
Mr. Kalsang Gyaltsen, Special Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to EU, emphasised that the only realistic way to resolve the Tibet issue with China is through dialogue.
"The Middle Way Approach of the Central Tibetan Administration seeks to resolve the issue of Tibet through dialogue. Some salient features of the dialogue include resolving the urgent situation inside Tibet, safeguarding the fundamental values and cultural identity of Tibet, and garnering worldwide support for a mutually-beneficial solution to the Tibet issue, within the framework of China's constitution," he said.
The first day of the conference included presentations of research findings by TPI researchers, and other Tibetan scholars and students.