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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Workshop: Today's Youth, Tomorrow's Leaders

June 16, 2008
June 13, 2008, 4:31 p.m.

Dharamshala -- Tibetan students from schools and colleges across the
breadth of India have gathered here to learn the roots of
democratization reforms initiated in the Tibetan community and role
of youth in carrying forward the struggle for the Tibetan cause.

In its effort to groom and empower today's Tibetan youth to take on
tomorrow's leadership, the Tibetan Parliamentary and Policy Research
Centre based in New Delhi has taken the initiative by inviting some
seventy-three students for a week-long workshop.

Addressing the participants this morning, Kalon Tripa Samdhong
Rinpoche said: "The struggle of Tibetan people is not an ethnic
conflict, neither it is aimed to achieve political power by some
individual Tibetans, but to make Tibet a zone of non-violence through
attaining swaraj or self rule by Tibetans."

Kalon Tripa emphasised that the essence of our struggle is to ensure
peace and harmony for the entire humanity, which he said, is the
universal responsibility of the Tibetan people. "It can be attained
only preserving and promoting the essence of ancient Buddhist
traditions of the great Nalanda university, which first flourished in
Tibet," he added.

He said: "Lots of effort in this regard has been made in the last six
decades to a considerable success and it is need of the hour that
Tibetan posterity should carry forward the endeavour until the truth
prevails over the issue Tibet."

Out rightly denying the Chinese government's allegations, Kalon Tripa
said, "Tibetan people as a whole bear no enmity against Chinese
nationalities, since Tibetan and Chinese people have lived as
neighbors since ancient times."

"In the two thousand year-old recorded history of our peoples, we
have developed friendly relations on the basis of priest-patron
relationship for some six to seven hundred years, which we will
continue to maintain in the years to come," he added.

On the first day of the workshop, students are given the overview of
the development of Tibetan democracy, basic characteristics and its
uniqueness by the former speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile,
Pema Jungney.

Tashi Phuntsok, the chief election commissioner spoke on the election
processes in the exile Tibetan community.

The chief election commissioner said the right to vote is as precious
as the life of an individual. He underlined the significance of
Tibetan youths to avail their franchise in democratic elections of
Kalon Tripa, members of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, members of
the local assembly and settlement officers.

The students requested to the Election Commission to introduce
internet voting system to ensure maximum participation from youth.

Yesterday, Kesang Yangkyi Takla, Kalon for the Department of
Information and International Relations spoke on the recents events
in Tibet, causes and ramification. She said the peaceful
demonstrations in Tibet is an expression of strong indignation
against the repressive policies of the Chinese government in
marginalising Tibetan people in every aspects of life, hurting their
sentiments and denying them fundamental human rights.

Kalon Takla also said it is very important that all Tibetans
demonstrate a clear and strong gesture of support for the Middle-Way
Approach and on the need to resolve the Tibet issue through this approach.

The participants also held an interactive discussion on the functions
and future challenges of Tibetan non-governmental organisations.

Other resource persons were Dolma Gyari, deputy speaker of the
Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, Thubten Lungrig, Kalon for the
Department of Education, Tsegyam, former representative of His
Holiness the Dalai Lama in Taiwan and Chief Planning Officer Dr
Kunchok Tsundue.

The participants are from colleges and schools from Chennai,
Bangalore, Kerala, Mangalore, Varanasi, Delhi, Vijaywada, Baroda,
Sarah, Norbulingka, Sherab Gatsel Lobling, Suja, Patlikul, Jammu
Kashmir and London.

The workshop will conclude on 15 June.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
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