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Dialogue Platform Youth Sharing Experience Ideas Network Diaspora Heritage Culture Education Inheritance Tradition Aspiration Profession


An initiative to provide a platform to young Tibetans in exile to present and discuss their ideas and suggestions to stimulate dialogue & improve networks of the vibrant Tibetan diaspora.

April – December 2013 New Delhi An initiative of the Foundation for Universal Responsibility of HH The Dalai Lama in collaboration with Empowering the Vision & India International Centre

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Programme Details


About the Speakers




Support Us & Keep in Touch

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Introduction The story of the Tibetans in exile is a rare success in the pages of human history. A small refugee community of some hundred and fifty thousand around the world—but primarily in India—have succeeded, more than fifty years after the Chinese occupation of Tibet, to keep alive their ancient civilizational heritage and their aspirations for a free country. Much of the credit must go to their leader; a young monk bred in the isolation of a barren, sparsely populated land, behind the highest mountains in the world—a mythical Shangri-La—barely twenty-three years old when he led his people into exile: His Holiness the Dalai Lama. It is a tribute to this young monk that soon after his arrival in India he concretized his commitment to the democratization of the exiled community with a draft constitution, preparing them for the secular democracy he envisaged for a free Tibet in the future. With the support of the Indian government, the Tibetans evolved an education system where modern school education was made available for free to the hitherto largely-illiterate lay community.For each of the major monasteries that was desecrated in Tibet, a new one with the same name, traditions and practices was established in India. After the struggle of the early years, individual Tibetans became economically, even if modestly, independent. To administer the present and prepare for an uncertain future, the Dalai Lama established a Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) that was, till recently, usually referred to as the Tibetan government in exile. At its headquarters in Dharamsala, a parliament and a judiciary body, an election commission and a cabinet with a prime minister (first appointed, and now, elected) supervised departments of religious affairs, education, security, health, international relations et al. At each settlement, these administrative bodies worked through officials. For more than fifty years, they have effectively managed the affairs of the community in exile and corresponded with the host country which, in time,reached out to the capitals of the world. Sadly, a world in awe of China’s economic and military power has did done little more than pay occasional lip service to the Tibetan cause, not willing to risk more than a rap on the knuckles that has inevitably followed any such move. Tibet’s most valuable resource is their leader, Tenzin Gyatso— His Holiness the Dalai Lama—the fourteenth in a long line of spiritual and temporal 4|P a g e

Introduction leaders of Tibet. In 2011, he formally abdicated his centuries-old political authority to a democratically elected leader. The Tibetan government in exile—though not recognized by any country—was reaffirmed, and redesignated as the Central Tibetan Administration and the de facto prime minister or Kalon Tripa, now known as the Sikyong, was vested with the political leadership of Tibet. The Dalai Lama continues to embody, certainly in the public perception, the cause of Tibet, despite his calibrated effort to distance himself from it. This evolves, no doubt, from a larger vision, and a potentially contentious succession, with the likelihood of the Chinese selecting their own candidate as the future Dalai Lama. However, the Dalai Lama continues to grow in stature and to impact the world with his moral authority and his commitment to secular values; the celebration of diversity; non-violence and the need for all religions to engage with each other; new social realities; and the empiricism of modern science. The Dalai Lama is seeking to move away from centre stage on the issue of Tibet, so that the spotlight begins to shift to its people themselves—inside Tibet and in exile—who must now take increasing responsibility for their cause. Sadly, at the time of writing, the number of self-immolations inside Tibet continues to grow and have crossed one hundred, yet they have failed to significantly shake the world’s conscience or grab headlines in a way that could make a real difference. Tibetans today, empowered by the vision of their spiritual and once temporal leader, speak in diverse voices, but remain united by their cause and the tradition embodied by the Dalai Lama, as they traverse the long journey ahead back to their own homeland. Few truly believe it will happen anytime soon. What constitutes a Tibetan identity, one that connects the few in exile with the many who remain in Tibet, as they confront different challenges? Inside Tibet, they must live with systematic genocide by a brutal regime that now dovetails this with the orchestrated mass migration of the majority Han Chinese into Tibet. Tibetans are already a minority in what was once their own country. In 5|P a g e

Introduction exile, the velvet glove of assimilation in an inter-dependent world that is moving inexorably towards cultures of the market beckons. Like a growing number of global citizens in the free world, Tibetans, too, are evolving multiple identities as the core begins to soften. In response to changing realities, Tibetans today have evolved new systems of governance. The old social order is yielding to a new one—new structures of power, livelihoods and interpersonal and gender relations. Today, nuns are gradually moving up the religious hierarchy that was once dominated by monks. Now, all monks and nuns juxtapose their study of ancient texts with that that of modern science; young Tibetan students born in exile, even as they are integrated into the educational system of their host countries, continue to study Tibetan. It encourages them to better explore and assimilate their culture. The leadership, meanwhile, continues to welcome immigration to the West, away from the nurturing refugee communities in India—where traditions are more easily, and intensely, sustained. Tibetans, exiled by the Chinese occupation of Tibet, wherever they are, remain deeply committed to their heritage, and to their cause. Most continue to serve it in one way or another, many return to work in the headquarters of the administration in exile in India. The voices inside Tibet remain throttled by Chinese totalitarianism. Mushrooming Chinese economic and political power ensures that the rest of the world hears but does not listen to the voices in exile, the anguished desperation of Tibet. Helpless but hopeful exiles must, for now, wait out their uncertain futures with faith, which reassures them that their collective negative karmas will ultimately exhaust itself as they pray that Tibet becomes free. With this initiative ‘DIASPORA : A Tibetan Perspective’, we aim for Tibetans from all walks of life to come together and navigate some of the questions and existing challenges through sharing narratives, dialogue, and reflection. It is about exiles talking about themselves, their dreams, predicaments and vision—the human challenges and possibilities that go beyond the narratives of political strategies, or matters of formal faith. Through chronicled introspection, we can try to internalize the anger, anxiety and hope; deal with 6|P a g e

Introduction issues relevant to the Tibetan Diaspora while being rational about the condition of exile, the condition of separation, and the condition of being physically and emotionally a “refugee”. They remind us that ultimately it is the human spirit that must and does prevail. ~

“The loss of Tibet is experienced deeper ultimately than the experience of exile and that is a fascinating juxtaposition of experience and nostalgia. The burden of introduction, of placing ourselves; of associating and disassociating ourselves, is a beginning and it is not an easy journey. As Tibetans, how are we then supposed to remain rational about the condition of exile, the condition of separation, and the condition of physically and emotionally being a ‘refugee’?” ~Tsering Wangmo Dhompa ~ Our Story Once, we lost our… native soil kith and kin religion and culture we are the sons of… snow mountains turquoise rivers heaven-blue sky now, we live on… borrowed land rented houses wavering hopes we need a… complete name valid passport permanent address ~ Thupten Thinley 7|P a g e

Programme Details one to one with SONAM TSETEN Filmmaker Creative Yak Films

April 14th, 2013, 2pm to 5pm Seminar Hall# 3, Kamla Devi Block India International Centre

60 seconds idea to improve the Tibetan diaspora with THUPTEN KELSANG DAKPA Founder Tibetan Art Collective

May 12th, 2013, 2pm to 5pm Seminar Hall# 3, Kamla Devi Block India International Centre

let’s read & talk with TENZIN NANGSYAL Assistant News Editor Hindustan Times, New Delhi

June 23rd, 2013, 2pm to 5pm Seminar Hall# 1, Kamla Devi Block India International Centre

share your experience with SANGAY TENZIN Sr. Risk Executive North and East Zone Aegon Religare Life Insurance 8|P a g e

July 14th, 2013, 2pm to 5pm Seminar Hall# 3, Kamla Devi Block India International Centre

Programme Details inheritance with TENZIN CHOESANG Lawyer UN Women, New Delhi

August 25th, 2013, 2pm to 5pm Seminar Hall# 3, Kamla Devi Block India International Centre

let’s read & talk with LOBSANG YANGTSO Ph.D. Fellow Center for East Asian Studies Jawaharlal Nehru University

September 15th, 2013, 2pm to 5pm Seminar Hall# 1, Kamla Devi Block India International Centre

share your experience with OGYEN PALMO Charted Accountant Deloitte, India

October 27th, 2013, 2pm to 5pm Seminar Hall# 3, Kamla Devi Block India International Centre

inheritance with TENZIN KHEPAHK Filmmaker River Bank Studio, Delhi

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November 17th, 2013, 2pm to 5pm Seminar Hall# 3, Kamla Devi Block India International Centre

Programme Details share your experience with TENZIN NORSANG Assistant Manager, EAL Division Wild Life Trust of India

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December 15th, 2013, 2pm to 5pm Seminar Hall# 1, Kamla Devi Block India International Centre

About the Speakers SONAM TSETAN: Graduated with a Masters in Mass Communication from Pune in 2005; worked with NDTV 2005 to 2012 as an Assistant Producer; now Sonam is an independent filmmaker. He has a small film production house called His first film, Tsampa to Pizza, was released in 2006. The film investigated the growth background, the experience of exiled Tibetan youth in new nation, their change of ideology, and their quest for lost root. His second film, A Girl from China, based on a true accounts; A Girl from China is a story of discovery, relationship and eventual change in perception. A Shanghai-born Que comes to India to fulfill her childhood dream. In a fateful twist of events, she comes across Karma, a young exile Tibetan artist living in Delhi. Together they journey to Dharamsala, the exile Tibetan enclave in North India. The film tangentially shows that ultimately human relationship can bring about deeper understanding of things. Beside his film he works with South Korean feature films as a line producer and as cameraman for ICT (International Campaign for Free Tibet). He also made documentary on HIV/AIDS for Tibetan exile Health Department. Presently he is writing his next film and working with a German production house as a co- director for a feature film. THUPTEN KELSANG DAKPA: is a freelance writer and the founding member of the Tibetan Art Collective. Tibetan Art Collective is an emerging peer-based global network of creative individuals of Tibetan origin including visual artists, graphic designers, poets, writers and musicians. Their initiatives with minimal political overtones, aim to foster creative growth and self-expression in the Tibetan diaspora. Also, as a socio-economic support system, they have initiated liaison between 1st generation & 2nd generation artists, organized/curated events and procured commissioned work for the artist-members. He also works as a producer for the Tibet Connection radio show. His maiden radio series, The Exile Files, explores the dynamics of interpersonal 11 | P a g e

About the Speakers relationship between the sexes in the Tibetan diaspora. The series delves into the conventional Tibetan paradigms of courtship and notions of sexuality among Tibetan youth. TENZIN NANGSYAL: is an Assistant News Editor with Hindustan Times based in New Delhi. An alumnus of Central School for Tibetans, she finished her graduation with English honours from St. Bede's College, Shimla. She completed her post-graduation in journalism from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication. She started her career in Journalism by working with The Indian Express Newspaper at Chandigarh. TENZING CHOESANG: is working as a Legal Consultant for UN Women in New Delhi. She is interested in issues of gender and identity. She has completed her LLM (Human Rights Law) from the University of Nottingham in 2011 where she got selected for a fellowship to the European InterUniversity Centre for Human Rights and Democracy at Venice, Italy. After her schooling from Tashi Namgyal Academy, Gangtok, Sikkim. She completed her law degree from National Law School of India University, Bangalore. During her law school she interned at the UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees) office in New Delhi, TCHRD which is a human rights organization based in Dharamsala. She also did summer internships under Mr. K.K. Venugopal (Senior Advocate, Supreme Court), Mr. Mohit Mathur (Advocate, Delhi High Court), Mr. P. Wangdi (Advocate General, Sikkim) and Holla and Holla Associates (Bangalore). After completing her law degree, she worked for Indira Jaising (Addl. Solicitor General of India) and Lawyers Collective, an organization of lawyers which works on the legal rights of women, children, people affected with HIV and other minority groups. At the lawyers collective she has actively worked in the field of women’s rights. She has been involved with various legal research projects and has played a leading role in researching and drafting legislations on the rights of women. 12 | P a g e

About the Speakers LOBSANG YANGTSO: is a first year Ph.D. Fellow in Center for East Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. She completed her schooling from T.C.V. School Patlikuhl (North India) and Bylakuppe (South India). Ms. Yangsto did her Bachelors in English Literature and Masters in International Relations from Stella Maris College, Chennai and then M. Phil. from Center for East Asian Studies, China Division of Jawaharlal Nehru University. In 2009, she participated in the Conference on Democracy organized by National Democratic Party of Tibet (Dharamsala) in Italy. She also attended the European Academy of Bozen/ Bolzano (EURAC)’s summer school for Human Rights, Minorities and Diversity Management in Bolzano, Italy (2010). She had an opportunity to present a paper on the China’s Environmental Governance: Party Congress at Tibet Policy Institutes’ International Conference on the China’s Leadership Transition and Its Implications to China and Tibet. OGYEN PALMO: A chartered accountant by profession, is currently working in Deloitte, one of the top four global accounting firms, handling clients in its Audit & Assurance Department (Delhi-India). She received her education from Central School for Tibetans. Then, she went on to complete a B. Com. Degree from Bangalore University. After graduation she pursued chartered accountancy from the Indian Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), which was a testing time & involved a rigorous internship of three years. SANGAY TENZIN: A Graduate from Kirorimal College, University of Delhi, received a B. Sc. Degree and then a Masters in International Business from Delhi School of Economics. Nurtured with Tibetan values of compassion and forgiveness, he received free schooling in Central School of Tibetans, Darjeeling and Mussoorie. He started his career with a humble beginning at private organisation as a front end sales and marketing person. Currently, working as business analyst taking care of fraud risk for North and East zone of India in current 13 | P a g e

About the Speakers Organisation (Aegon Religare Life Insurance Company Ltd.) as a part of risk management team. Previously he worked with different companies like Transport Corporation of India, ICICI Prudential, Bajaj Allianz, Brains Spree, Citibank, Stic Tours and Travels, FICCI and Market access Solutions. TENZIN KHEPAHK: is working as a Producer at Riverbank Studios in Delhi, a film production house headed by renowned wildlife filmmaker and a conservationist-Mr. Mike Pandey. Over the last three years, Khepahk has made several educational films as a part of Earth Matters, one of India's most popular wildlife and environment series being telecast on the Indian National Network, Doordarshan. Alumni of Central School for Tibetans at Poanta Sahib, Khepahk had a short stint at The Indian Express before joining Riverbanks. TENZIN NORSANG: is presently working as an Assistant Manager in the Enforcement & Litigation Assistance Division of Wildlife Trust of India (WTI). The division works with projects such as snare combing walks, joint patrolling, rescue of wildlife in distress, photo documentation, and providing assistance to the forest department to better reach out in Conservation. WTI is an action-oriented conservation organisation of international repute committed to effective action for the protection of India’s natural heritage. Its principal objectives include managing or preventing wildlife crises and mitigating threats to individual wild animals. Working with WTI for wildlife conservation for the past six years has given him the opportunity to travel extensively throughout India, Nepal and Bhutan, and interact with hundreds of different tribal communities. It gives him enormous pride and pleasure at being associated with an organisation that works at the absolute grass-roots level and yet has a place of respect in the global conservation fraternity. Norsang has done his schooling from TCV and completed his graduation from Delhi University. After his graduation, he was introduced to Wildlife Trust of India (WTI). 14 | P a g e

About the Speakers He initially joined a project called Tibetan Conservation Awareness Campaign (TCAC), which was conducted in collaboration between WTI and Care for the Wild International. This campaign focussed on creating awareness within the Tibetan community with regard to environment and wild animals, and to curtail illegal trade in wildlife articles. Through that project he came to know that WTI was looking for a person to take the TCAC message directly into Tibetan settlements which is scattered across India and he felt he was the right person for the job to carry out the message.

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Support Us & Keep in Touch

Diaspora: A Tibetan Perspective - is an initiative and we rely on the support of people like you to ensure that it benefits people in general. We hope that this initiative will continue to grow and reach as many people as possible. Please help us spread the word.

Volunteer: If you are interested in volunteering your time for the benefit of the programme, we would be happy to hear from you. We need expertise in different fields to make this programme more professional and vibrant. Please do write to us and we can discuss more.

Donations: We welcome & invite donations to meet our expenses towards organizing this programme. These are tax exempt under Sec 80G in India. There are no charges or tickets for our programmes.

Write to us: Should you have any queries and suggestions, we would be happy to hear from you. We can be reached at: Foundation for Universal Responsibility of HH The Dalai Lama Core 4A, UGF, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi – 110003, India Tel: +91 11 24648450, Fax: +91 11 24648451, Email: Website:, Online Donations: Connect with us on facebook: www.facebook/tibetandiaspora

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‘Generally, the few of us in exile, being Tibetans, have the responsibility to articulate the aspirations of the Tibetans inside Tibet and to tell the world of the real situation inside Tibet.’

-His Holiness the Dalai Lama

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Diaspora brochure 2013  

An initiative to provide a platform to young Tibetans in exile to present and discuss their ideas and suggestions to stimulate dialogue & im...

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