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A Free Monthly Publication For Tibetan Issues and Community Information RGD No. HPENG/2013/51798 Volume: XVIII Issue: 11 30 NOVEMBER 2016

China Thwarts Tibetan Pilgrims

Mongolia Defies China

by Tenzin Samten Chinese officials are confiscating passports in Tibet. Tibetans holding Chinese passports are having to relinquish them, and others who are already abroad are being ordered to return home before the 2017 Kalachakra initiation by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, which is due to take place in Bodh Gaya in north India in January next year. Continued on page 3

by Lobsang Tsering His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama visited Mongolia for a four-day tour from November 18. He was warmly received at Ulaanbaatar airport by Khambo Lama Choi Gyamtso, as well as leading lamas of Mongolia, a representative of the Indian Embassy and ordained monks. China protested about the visit at the time, saying that

Fire Devastation

His Holiness In Japan

by Devanshi Deva The Tibetan market in Delhi, near the Red Fort, Lal Qila, was burnt to ashes during the small hours on Tuesday, November 7. The burning down of more than 138 shops in this area caused no loss of life, but a massive loss of more than 12 crore Indian rupees (US$1.8 million /£1.5 Continued on page 3


Continued on page 7

by Devanshi Deva His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrived in Japan on November 8 to impart Buddhist teachings and values through a series of public talks from November 9 to 26 in various temples, universities and schools across Japan. The Mission of Buddhists in the 21st century, Compassion - the Key to Continued on page 6

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China Thwarts Tibetan Pilgrims Continued from page 1

This is seen as an attempt to prevent Tibetans living in Tibet from attending one of the biggest and holiest Buddhist teachings by their spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The Kalachakra, or “Wheel of Time”, is considered the essence of all Buddhist teachings and thousands are expected to attend from all over India and the rest of the world. It can also provide the opportunity for Tibetans living in Tibet to reunite with family members who have spent years living in exile. Chinese government officials are visiting the Tibetan populated provinces of Gansu, Qinghai and Sichuan to confiscate people’s passports and travel documents, saying that there is a requirement for new seals to be affixed. Radio Free Asia has reported a source from the region as saying, “They say the passports will be returned once the newly required seals of township and village authorities are in place”. Continued from page 1

million) worth of goods which mainly comprised of ready-made woollen garments. In response the Kashag (the Cabinet of the Tibetan Governmentin-Exile) has sanctioned an immediate payment of INR 15 Lakhs (US$22,500 / £18,000) to aid the traders. The Tibetan Education Minister, Ngodup Tsering; the Secretary of the Delhi Bureau, Tsewang Gyalpo and the Settlement officer in Delhi held a meeting on November 9 to assure the garment sellers of assistance and that remedial measures are being taken in order to reduce the hardship they are suffering in the aftermath of the fire. A detailed report concerning the incident and the loss has been submitted to the Kashag. The loss suffered by the traders was in terms of goods, market preparation and debts incurred in acquiring their stock to sell over the winter season. Having analysed the situation, the Kashag immediately sanctioned the funding to help the traders. Contact

Passport holders with business visas are exempt from the confiscation. According to a Phayul news source, a group of Tibetans who have already reached Nepal and India for pilgrimage and to attend the Kalachakra in January have been recalled. “Their relatives called and told them to return immediately, telling them that Chinese officials had come to their homes to order their return,” said the source. In a different case reported by My Republica, a national daily in Nepal, a group of 41 Tibetans travelling to India from Nepal in a private bus were arrested in Dhangadhi town near the Indian border for not having the correct papers. Their driver, who is also a Tibetan, said they were on pilgrimage to visit various Buddhist shrines in India, including Varanasi and Bodh Gaya. They were sent back to Nepal’s immigration department for “further investigation and necessary legal actions”, the Superintendent of

Fire Devastation

Relief funds have been set up by the CTA with plans for further help and appeals made to local Indian leaders and supporters. The Tibetan Youth Congress has also set up an appeal fund. The state government of Delhi announced on November 23 that it is donating over INR 1 Crore (US$150,000 / £120,000) as aid to the traders affected. Each family will receive INR 1 Lac (US$1,500 / £1,200). The Central Tibetan Administration expressed profound gratitude to the state government on behalf of the affected families. The temporary Tibetan market in Delhi had provided a livelihood for Tibetan refugees since 1968 with the traders buying goods from Indian wholesalers on credit. The fire destroyed all the goods in the refugee market, leaving the Tibetans burdened with debts they will be required to repay. The Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) held a benefit concert for the traders on Friday November 18 and posted their thanks on social media to all who 3

Police Rajendra Bista said, speaking to My Republica. Looking at the photo of this group of people published in the Nepalese media, they appear to have come from Tibet and many fear that the Nepali government may hand them over to the Chinese police. In recent years, as China’s influence over Nepal increases, Nepal’s policies on Tibetans have changed to comply with Chinese requirements and this presents problems for Tibetans travelling through Nepal on their way to India, as well as for Tibetans living in Nepal. A recent example of a Nepali pro-Beijing stance was Nepalese police disrupting Tibetans celebrations for His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s birthday this year in July in Kathmandu, and public gatherings are now restricted. Since 1954, His Holiness has given 33 Kalachakra initiations. His Holiness will confer the 34th Kalachakra initiation in Bodh Gaya from January 3 to 14, 2017.

took part: “Thank you Dharamshala for coming out to the Lal Qila Benefit concert”. TYC specially thanked “the artists Prashant Tamang, Abhishek Kumar, JJI, Mariko and Thinley for performing, Kunga Guest House, Dawa Rinchen la TT travels, Potala Travels and all those who made donations. Thukje che! Bhod Gyalo!” Fire hits McLeod Ganj In another fire on the night of November 23, documents held by Sanjor Tsokpa, an association with 600 members for newly arrived Tibetans, have been destroyed in a fire in a house in Bhagsunath in McLeod Ganj. No human casualties were reported but the fire also damaged approximately Rs18 Lakh ($26,000 / £21,000) - worth of property and stock belonging to local traders. Gendhun Tsephel who rents the property said he has complained several times to the local electricity board about the electrical supply to the building. NOVEMBER 2016

NEWS & ISSUES Arrests and Releases Inside Tibet this Month

Nov 18: Protestors Arrested Twenty Tibetans, including women, who were protesting against mining

in Yangdro village in Dechen County in the Tibet Autonomous Prefecture, have been arrested. Radio Free Asia reported that they obstructed vehicles entering the mine and were arrested by armed military personnel. No further information is available due to the communications restrictions in the region.

Nov 17: Street Protest in Tibet Two young Tibetan women have staged a protest in Ngaba town, reports Radio Free Asia. A video clip shows them walking on a main road near Kirti monastery, calling out “Long live the Dalai Lama”. RFA has no independent

confirmation of the story, nor of the women’s identities and present whereabouts. The Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet said their sources had not heard whether the women have been detained.

Nov 12: Released After Four Years Lobsang Sangye, a monk from Kirti monastery in Ngaba County in Tibet,

has been released from prison. He was tortured there and now suffers from memory loss and poor health. He was detained in 2012 after selling photos of HH the Dalai Lama and videos of His Holiness’s teachings. “He was also accused of involvement in a selfimmolation protest against Chinese policy in Tibet,” reported RFA.

More Criticisms as China Cranks up Security

by Lauren Chaplin A new report has put the spotlight on China’s counter-terrorism laws, stating that they pose serious human rights risks. Produced by the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), its publication comes at the same time as the passing of a new Cybersecurity Law by the Chinese government, which has also drawn criticism from outside observers. The report, which draws on the findings of an international roundtable held in June this year, highlights several problems with China’s counterterrorism laws. These include its “vague definition of terrorism”, the “lack of independent judicial legal recourse” and “the increased concentration of power and attack on civil society by the Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping”. It also notes that the Chinese government has broadened the scope of “free expression” to allow it to further suppress dissent in Tibet and Xinjiang. Further risks to Tibetan freedoms are presented by China’s new Cybersecurity Law which was passed on November 7. This law will impose even stricter Contact

internet controls and requires companies to censor information “prohibited” by the government and to support state surveillance requests. This has severe implications for Tibetans, as sharing stories of their struggle with the outside world will

become even more difficult than it currently is. Indeed, China already uses its counter-terrorism policies to blur the lines between violent acts and peaceful dissent, cracking down on peaceful expressions of Tibetan identity and culture. FIDH’s Director of Operations Marceau Sivieude has asserted that this “violates human rights law” and “encourages extremism”. Additionally, Vincent Metten, the ICT’s EU Policy Director, warned that these “sweeping measures” are likely to “heighten tensions”. He continued, “Peace and 4

stability cannot be achieved through hyper-securitisation, nor by labelling as terrorist [the] Dalai Lama, whose leadership has ensured that Tibetans do not turn to violence in response to oppression.” The report makes recommendations to the international community on how best to tackle China’s repressive policies. It lists several options, including promoting dialogues on counter-terrorism and international cooperation, and NGO (nongovernment organisation) monitoring. It also recommends that “all countries, notably Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia, should respect the nonrefoulement policy and ensure that individuals wrongly accused of terrorism in violation of international law are not forcibly returned to China”. However, concerns have been raised about the ability of certain governments, namely the United Kingdom, to hold China up to these standards, when they too hope to pass stricter cybersecurity laws. In 2015, the last time these governments criticised China’s spying laws, Beijing bristled at the hypocritical “double standards” they sought to impose. NOVEMBER 2016

NEWS & ISSUES China Complains to Britain

by Tenzin Samten and Mary Trewartha China has warned that relations between China and Britatin could be hampered following a meeting between Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, the Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, and John Bercow, Speaker of Britain’s

Sikyong with John Bercow Photo:

House of Commons in London. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said the meeting “severely damages China’s core interests” and that China “strongly opposes Lobsang Sangay and other people’s separatist acts…and will strongly oppose their contact with foreign officials...We urge the UK to honour their promise and avoid causing damage to China-UK relations.”

Dr Sangay has been on a five-day official visit to London. He attended a meeting of All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet (APPGT) on November 1, where he spoke about the destruction of Larung Gar Monastery and the plight of monks and nuns there who are facing forced eviction. Sikyong also spoke about the importance of Tibet as the roof of the world and source of major rivers in Asia. He urged members of the UK Parliament, as well as Tibet supporters, to stand up for democratic principles and support the Tibetan movement. Halda Yakim interviewed Dr Sangay for BBC World News. When asked about world leaders refusing to meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama, or to bring up Tibet in discussions with Beijing, Sikyong said that even though the UK, European and the constitutions of other countries around the world all talk about democracy, human rights and values, when it comes to practicing those values they shy away from meeting His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He continued, “That’s an unfortunate commentary as to the status of that country and the very principles on which those countries have built their

own country and constitution”. On October 31, Sikyong gave a speech, Uniqueness of Tibetan Experimentation With Democracy In Exile, its Strengths and Challenges, to over 50 undergraduate and postgraduate students of politics and international relations at the University of Westminster. Later that day, Sikyong visited Merton College in Oxford where he spoke about democracy in exile and the Middle Way Approach as a solution to the Tibet issue. At the Oxford Union, Sikyong gave an elaborated talk, Rise of China, What About Tibet? to over 300 students followed by a question and answer session. Dr Sangay also visited the Tibetan community in Britain and addressed the large number of Tibetans gathered to meet him. He expressed appreciation to the teachers and supervisors of the London School of Tibetan Language and Culture for voluntarily contributing time and effort towards the preservation of the Tibetan language, culture and tradition. On November 3, Sikyong left the UK for Goa in south India to attend the third India Ideas Conclave hosted by the India Foundation, a right wing think tank.

Sikyong Campaigns for Support in N America and Germany

by Dhriti Agarwal The Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, has been touring Canada to meet Members of Parliament and to campaign for more support from the government. At the Halifax International Security Forum 2016 in Nova Scotia, Sikyong took part in a panel discussion Power Corrupts, Corruption Corrodes and spoke on the topics of women, climate security, the responsibilities of big countries, the Syria conflict and the politics of slow moving threats. He also stressed the importance of the Tibetan plateau as the water tower of Asia, China’s exploitation of Tibet’s rivers and the impact on the global climate. Sikyong later met members of the Tibetan community at Gadhen Choedhenling in Toronto, where he addressed more than a thousand Tibetans. Amidst cheerful applause and reverence, Contact

Sikyong spoke about the international this refers to the 900 Tibetans who have community’s growing respect towards arrived in Canada since 2013 under the the Central Tibetan Administration and resettlement programme initiated by the its leadership previous government. Sikyong met members of the Sikyong then travelled to the US Canadian Parliamentary Friends of where, on November 24, he addressed the Tibet in the capital Ottawa Tibetan communities on November 22 and in New York and New appealed to the Canadian Jersey. government to follow the Arriving in Frankfurt United States’ footsteps in Germany the and extend support following day, Sikyong towards the Central attended a round table Tibetan Administration’s conference organised Middle Way Approach of The Halifax International Security by the SchwarzForum achieving autonomy under Schilling Foundation, a Photo: the Chinese Government, non-profit organisation and integral to that, respect for the based in Germany. He then spoke to human rights of Tibetans living in Tibet. members of the Tibetan community While appealing to the Government, in Germany about the need to retain Sikyong said he appreciated the Tibetan identity and culture in exile Canadian government’s commitment and encouraged them to prioritise their to resettle additional Tibetan refugees; children’s education. 5


NEWS & ISSUES Continued from page 1

His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Japan

Happiness, A Guide to Boddhisattavas Way of Life and Medical Progress and Warm Heart are some of the topics covered by His Holiness during the talks.

His Holiness at Setagaya Junior High School in Tokyo Photo: Jigme Choephel

This is His Holiness’s 23rd visit to Japan. He was welcomed at Narita airport by Representative Lungtok and Mr Hiraoko Kouichi, the Principal of Seifu High School, along with a representative of the Indian embassy and a group of 100 Tibetans carrying khatak (traditional Tibetan greeting scarves).

Speaking to the Japanese media, His Holiness emphasised the importance of youth and the responsibility they shoulder to make the world a better, more peaceful and beautiful place to reside in. His Holiness said that he strongly believes that it is not material development that makes one happy - it is the development of inner values that can help one achieve happiness. On November 9 His Holiness visited the historic Honganji Temple in Kyoto where he was received by the Venerable Otani Choujun, Chief Priest of the temple, and a gathering of 500 Tibetans. His Holiness expressed his gratitude and said that he felt comfortable talking about Buddhism in Japan because of its Buddhist background. He presented his concern of the need to strive to be 21st century Buddhists who are guided by faith and reason. When asked about peace, His Holiness said, “Peace is not a mere absence of war or violence - it’s deeper than that. What leads to inner peace is

cultivating a compassionate heart. It is developing inner peace that creates peaceful individuals, communities and a peaceful humanity.” His Holiness further emphasised the need to develop compassion, morals and well-being in this scientifically advanced world that focuses on material growth. The session was concluded with The Dalai Lama and the Chief Priest releasing a joint statement: “The

His Holiness speaking on Compassion - The Key to Happiness in Yokohama Photo: Jigme Choephel

purpose of our lives is to be happy. Buddha taught us how to eliminate suffering and how to obtain happiness.”

Long Life Prayer Offering Ceremony

by Akriti Goel while living. I have prayed and wished The Tibetan spiritual leader His that this body of mine assists me in Holiness the Dalai Lama expressed accomplishing that and I feel that there gratitude at the Long Life Prayer are considerable results to my efforts ceremony held at Tsuglagkhang, the till now,” the Dalai Lama said. main temple in Dharamshala, on November 2. Thanking the people of Pema Ko Tibetan settlement and the Phenpo community who had initiated the ceremony, he said that he would live be more than one hundred, and continue to serve mankind. “Even in my dreams and according to some prophecies by tertons [treasure revealers/masters in Tibetan Buddhism], it is indicated that I may live till the age of 113 Audience at the long-life prayer ceremony organised by Phenpo and Pemakoe communities which seems difficult but I think I Photo: will live for another 15 to 20 years, over the age of 100. Being one of the More than 3,000 Tibetans, originally seven billion human beings on this from Phenpo in Tibet (spread across earth, I feel I have the responsibility India and Nepal) and Pema Koepa to serve humanity. It is not enough (Miao, Tezu, Tuting and Orissa that I live a long life; one has to serve Tibetan settlements), congregated at humanity in whatever manner possible the Thekchen Choling temple to offer Contact


the Long Life ceremony. His Holiness encouraged his followers to focus on the quality of religious education and its practice. “Our rich tradition of Buddhism encapsulates vast knowledge of the workings of the mind and emotions. The main purpose of the Buddhist teaching is to train and conquer one’s mind. By doing that, one will be able to achieve peaceful mind and body and simultaneously spread peace in your environment,” His Holiness said. “We are part of one great human family. We can no longer invoke the differences of nationalities, race or beliefs. For a better, happier, more stable future, each one of us must develop a sincere and warm-hearted feeling of oneness with the seven billion people of the world. Individuals can truly make a difference in society and it is up to each of us to make the best use of our knowledge and ability to help create a happier world.” NOVEMBER 2016

Continued from page 1

Mongolia should ban His Holiness from coming to Mongolia if it wants to maintain good bilateral relations between the two countries, and has since responded to the visit by indefinitely postponing two meetings. The two meetings were scheduled for early December, one was to discuss loan and development projects, the other was the bi-annual meeting between the legislative bodies of the two nations. AChinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said on November 19 that Mongolia should cancel the Dalai Lama’s visit and not demonstrate any form of support to the “separatist and his cliques”. Ties with China are crucial for Mongolia, which looks to Beijing for trade and investment. However, the Mongolian leadership, including the President, Prime Minister and the Speaker of Parliament supported the monastery’s invitation to His Holiness. No meeting between the Dalai Lama and the government of Mongolia took place. The Dalai Lama visited GadanTegcheling Monastery where he gave an oral transmission of his Praise to the Seventeen Masters of Nalanda. He told the devotees present not only to pray and carry out rituals, but also to study Buddha’s teachings. by Lobsang Tsering Preparations for the Kalachakra 2017 are underway. The Kalachakra Organising Committee has launched the official websites and hotlines, and has set up arrangements for accommodation, sanitation, medical and transport facilities as well as services to aid pilgrims who are in difficulties due to the withdrawal of Indian currency. In addition, the Tibetan Youth Congress has taken responsibility for the provision of social services for pilgrims on site. Regarding the Indian cash crisis, the Committee has announced guidelines for attendees. Pilgrims from Tibet who are currently staying in Dharamshala should contact the Tibetan Reception Centre where arrangements are Contact

Mongolia Defies China The following day he gave a teaching on Tsongkhapa’s In Praise of Dependent Arising and Three Principal Aspects of the Path to a full house at the 10,000-seat Buyant Uhaa Sports Complex. Hundreds of people sat in the aisles and several thousand others gathered outside, unable to enter the packed hall. On November 21, His Holiness addressed the International Conference on Buddhism and Science in Ulaanbaataar, remarking that having attended such meetings in the West, in India and Japan, he was happy and honoured to participate in such a conference in Mongolia. “I sometimes describe myself as half-Buddhist and half-scientist,” he said. “Buddhist scholars and practitioners have benefited from learning about physics while modern scientists have shown a keen interest in learning more about what Buddhism has to say about the workings of the mind and emotions.” The following day, His Holiness spoke to young Mongolians at Culture House in Ulaanbaatar. He said that Mongolia is historically a Buddhist country and suggested they should study Buddhism now that they have the freedom to do so. His Holiness also spoke on Universal Values and

Kalachakra 2017

already under way to help them. If the cash shortage in India continues until January the committee has requested people to adhere to legal means to cope with any difficulties, and asked them to help any pilgrims from Tibet who are facing difficulties. They suggested that where possible people should bring US dollars. During the teaching, donations will be accepted by cheque, travellers cheques and card payments. The Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC), has announced that it will continue with its tradition of providing social services for Kalachakra devotees between December 23 and January 17. Two hundred volunteers in nine units will provide assistance as required in Bodh Gaya. Two hotline numbers have been 7

NEWS & ISSUES Buddhism in the 21st Century. On November 23, before his departure, His Holiness spoke to the media, saying he was happy with the success of his visit. “As for Tibet and Mongolia, we have had close relations for well over 1,000 years—even before Buddhism was introduced in our two countries…the Tibetan and Mongolian peoples are like twin brothers and sisters,” he said. When asked about the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, His Holiness replied that he looked forward to meeting the United States’ new President and had no worries about him. “I always consider America as a leading nation of the free world”, he said. “I feel during an election the candidate has more freedom to express. Once elected, having the responsibility, then they have to tell you their sort of vision, their works according to reality.” China labels His Holiness the Dalai Lama a “wolf in robes”, “separatist” and “splittist”, saying that he promotes the separation of Tibet from China. China attempts to wield power by dictating to countries where His Holiness is due to visit, telling them to cancel the visit and threatening sanctions if they do not comply.

set up. The TYC is a non-government organisation campaigning for Tibetan independence. Kalachakra 2017 is being held at the request of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) who announced that the blessing and guidance of the State Oracle Nechung has been received. The CTA’s organising committee is responsible for the arrangements. Website: or Organising Committee: Tenzin Lungtok +91-9418655398 Ngawang Dorjee +919801863618 Wangchuk Phasur +91-9882694453 Thinly Gyatso +91-8894566999 Tibetan Reception Centre: 91-1892-221307; 91-1892-220077 TYC 24-hour hotline: 7261841877 and 9906827444 NOVEMBER 2016


Larung Gar: Forced Eviction of Residents Continues

by Tenzin Samten The destruction continues at Larung Gar in Serta county in Tibet, the largest Buddhist centre in the world, with hundreds more monks and nuns being sent off to their family homes each day despite calls and pleas from international human right groups. According to latest updates by Radio Free Asia (RFA), the centre is now calmer, however there are still many causes for concern. While Tibetan monks and nuns who have lived all their life at Larung Gar are subjected to forced evictions, houses belonging to lay Chinese devotees are not being demolished. “The houses of lay members who are primarily Han Chinese have been marked with yellow paint and spared from demolition,” said RFA’s source who does not want to be named. He said the evictions extend to the elderly: “Many who came to Larung Gar at an early age have now reached their 70s, and many have been forced to leave”. Nuns and monks meditating in secluded retreat in their own homes are repeatedly being harassed by officials pasting

notices on their doors. Many have been locked out of their homes. While residents are away at classes, or on errands, their doors are locked, numbered and painted red. On their return, residents are not able to collect their possessions and have been warned that anyone interfering with the locked doors is breaking the law and will bear the consequences, with these threats extended to include their families. More than 300 Chinese officials are reported to be going door-to-door in the monastery, collecting names and information regarding residents’ home towns and monasteries. The annual Larung Gar eightday festival Dechen Shingdrup or Accomplishing the Pure Land of Great Bliss was cancelled by the authorities. The festival features the presence of senior religious heads, reincarnate lamas and highly learned monks who give religious teachings to several thousand people who usually gather for the event. Following this cancellation, monks and nuns are reported as practicing privately in their rooms. Earlier this month RFA reported

that months of “political re-education” is being imposed on some monks and nuns following eviction. They are being held for up to six months and are said to be required to study Chinese policies and regulations during their “rehabilitation”. There also reports that they are being forced to sign documents pledging never to return; these pledges contain promises to “uphold the unity of the nation” and not to engage in behaviour opposing government policy in the area. Unconfirmed new footage on social media shows evicted nuns dressed in Chinese army uniform and singing patriotic Chinese songs as part of their “political reeducation”. Larung Gar is the largest Buddhist academy in the world. It was founded in 1980 by the late Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok. The demolition of the institution started in July this year; China says it aims to reduce its residents from 10,000 to 5,000 by next year. According to RFA 3,000 monks and nuns have already been evicted to date and over 1,000 dwellings destroyed.

Help for Settlements Facing Drought

by Sean Fitzpatrick The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) has announced a wide ranging compensation scheme to provide relief to hundreds of Tibetan families hit by drought and catastrophic crop failures earlier this year. India’s five largest Tibetan settlements, which are situated in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, have lost crops valued at over INR35 million (US$500,000 / £400,000) leaving hundreds of families devastated. Losses of 50-80% of total crop yield have been recorded in two of the settlements, with some farmers losing 100% of their expected harvest. The CTA pledged on November 11 to provide compensation to all Tibetan families who lost more than 50% of their crop. Mr Chemi Rigzin, Acting Secretary of the Department of Home, reassured Contact

Mr Tsering Dorjee, Joint Secretary, Department of Home, CTA, assessing the drought damage

all necessary steps would be taken to ensure compensation for the losses”. Official settlement of Tibetans within Karnataka State began in 1961 when Lugsung Samdubling, the first settlement, was established on land leased from the Indian government and provided homes and farmland to around 3,000 Tibetan refugees. Further settlements were established with aid from the Indian Government. The settlers then, as today, lived under threat of failure of their crops due to drought. The Indian government tapered off financial aid as the settlements gained economic independence.

Tibet around the world and Tibetan settlements in India, Nepal and Bhutan for immediate relief assistance. We assure all the affected farmers that the department will do its best and

To contribute to the Disaster Support Fund please visit the appeal page at an-appeal-for-drought-hit-tibetanrefugees/

farmers, saying, “We are faced with the most severe case of crop failure ever recorded in Tibetan exile history… we have started issuing appeals to our foreign supporters, Offices of



NEWS & ISSUES Birthday Celebration of His Eminence Samdhong Rinpoche

by Mary Trewartha His Eminence Professor Samdhong Rinpoche celebrated his 77th birthday at a ceremony in Lha Charitable Trust’s Ahimsa Hall with offerings to the Three Jewels followed by prayers and the serving of tea and ceremonial rice. Rinpoche gave a talk on social work to representatives of various monasteries and non-government organisations. Following the talk, volume seven of Rinpoche’s Collected Works was launched. Elsewhere, the Ancestral Model School (Peton School) in Dharamshala convened a cultural show of dances and songs. Outside Dharamshala his birthday was celebrated at Central University for Tibetan Studies in Varanasi and Tibetan students and disciples at Sarnath held a ceremony to release fish, which represents a generosity of freedom from fear and saving lives, and offered meals to the poor; in Minnesota in the United States the Tibetan organisation Youth for the Middle Way Approach held an event for students of the Tibetan Culture School. In southern India at Sera Je Secondary School, the Tibetan school at Bylakuppe, the Long Life Supplication Prayer was recited while at Tsawa Khangtsen, of Drepung Loseling Monastic University, special prayers were said by the monks. His Eminence’s birthday was celebrated

and honoured in Tibet with prayers and the setting free of animals. Rinpoche’s talk at Ahimsa Hall was on the theme “The ways of maintaining motivation, and carrying out works by social workers”. He said that the term “social work” has spread from the west,

Professor Samdhong Rinpoche in Ahimsa Hall Photo: Lha/Contact

but for Buddhists, most of the spiritual and worldly activities one does anyway would include social service; more so in the Great Vehicle teachings. Rinpoche said that it is the motivation of social workers which is important, even an action which is unwanted by the recipient can turn to good if the motivation is pure, and this is relevant to nations as well as individuals. Conversely, he said an action which is apparently good will not turn out well if the motivation is not good. He said that any service must be carried out with no agenda or

expectation of return, and that any such expectation represents self interest as it derives from the ego. A social worker needs wisdom, said Rinpoche, and that the groups most in need of social services are children, the elderly and the sick, poor and disabled people. He stressed the importance of working to make people independent rather than teaching them to rely on continued handouts - it is better to teach a person how to fish, he said, than to keep giving him fish to eat. By fulfilling the recipient’s needs the hope is that he or she will improve their conduct and mental attitude which will enable them to become a good human being, rather than one who becomes dependent or has a tendency to behave badly. Above all, said Rinpoche, the work must never increase the social worker’s ego. The book launch followed the talk, Volume 7 of the Collected Works of His Eminence Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche. The Collected Works include His Eminence’s speeches, writings and interviews. The 500-page volume, in Tibetan, is a continuation of the series edited by Dr Tenzin Dhonyoe. The launch was introduced by Mr Ngawang Rabgyal, Director of the book’s publisher, Lha Charitable Trust, and attended by a group of dignitaries and officials from various monasteries, educationists and government officials.

DIFF: Bringing Independent Cinema to the Himalayas

by Theadora Walsh In the Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV) school auditorium where she used to sit and sing at morning assembly, Tenzin Dasel watched as the room was illuminated by her second short film, Royal Cafe. The film searches to reconcile the predominant image of Tibetans in cinema as peace loving vegetarians with the young protagonist’s experience of the exile community in Paris. After the film Dasel asked Tibetans to share their stories and the room hummed with emotion and admiration. Founded by directors Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam with the aim of providing Contact

cinema in an area with few movie theatres, the Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF) brings narratives from all over the world to the Himalayan town. This year 43 films were shown from 21 different countries. Two documentaries focused on local landscapes: Steffi Giaracuni’s film on Didi Contractor - a self-taught architect who builds homes in the traditional Himachali mud style, was shown, as well as Mickey Lemle’s latest film on the Dalai Lama entitled The Last Dalai Lama?. DIFF puts an emphasis on creating communities of film makers, so an unusually high number of directors, 9

producers and actors assembled for this year’s festival. To the delight of TCV students, hero Naseeruddin Shah attended and led a conversation about his acting practice. The festival sponsors a film fellows’ programme which invited local young artists to collaborate and be mentored by the film maker Umesh Kulkarni. Several community screenings were organised, including one at a jail, and school children were shown films and invited to participate in a film critique-writing contest. DIFF brought conversations about exile, identity, documentation and movement into focus through film. NOVEMBER 2016

NEWS & ISSUES Stand-off at the Tibetan Border

by Devanshi Deva and Mary Trewartha Indian and Chinese troops became locked in a 24-hour stand-off in Ladakh in north India in a contested area on the Tibetan border on November 2. A troop of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) personnel Ladakh entered an area in the Demchok sector, 250 km east of Leh, and put a stop to the construction of a canal there. The Indian Local Administration had initiated the construction of an irrigation canal under the MNREGA scheme – the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, but had not negotiated with the Chinese beforehand and a stand-off ensued. In this contested border area the two sides have an

agreement to negotiate any planned construction works there. The Indian contention was that permission is required in the case of defence but not for rural development. The Economic Times of India quoted an army official as saying “The standoff ended on Thursday [the following day]. The construction of the canal had been completed by our side. The Chinese soldiers went back and our troops have also returned”. Although the incident was widely reported in the Indian media, the Indian army has officially denied that it took place. Demchok marks the entry of the River Indus from Tibet into India. It lies within the China Pakistan Economic corridor, (CPEC), which was set up three years ago between China and Pakistan to facilitate “cooperation in energy and transport infrastructure (road, railways, airports)”. It has given rise to conflict with India as it infringes some Indian territory.

This border area between Tibet and India has long been the site of conflict between India and China. The Line of Actual Control is the effective border – it is a 4,057 km line which roughly follows the McMahon Line agreed between British India and Tibet in 1913, but which China has never officially recognised. China has made regular incursions over to the Indian side since the Sino-Indian war in 1962, causing India to heighten defences in the area.

Similar tensions exist in the north eastern Indian state of Aranachul Pradesh which China claims as its own, calling it “Little Tibet”.

Call on China to End Illegal Organ Harvesting

by Lauren Chaplin Human rights lawyers David Kilgour and David Matas have called on the Australian government to put pressure on China to end the practice of harvesting organs from prisoners of conscience. These prisoners include Falun Gong practitioners, Muslim Uighurs, Tibetan Buddhists and Christians. Visiting Australia’s Parliament House last week, Kilgour, a former Canadian Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific, and Matas, an expert in civil liberties, strove to persuade lawmakers to approve a motion condemning this practice. Meanwhile, 200 Falun Gong practitioners protested outside. This is not the first time Matas and Kilgour have advocated to end organ harvesting. They first published a report on Chinese organ harvesting in 2006, estimating that the Chinese government harvests between 60,000100,000 organs a year from political prisoners. This report became the basis of their 2009 book, Bloody Harvest: Contact

The Killing of the Falun Gong for their Organs. China maintains that the claims made in the book are entirely groundless, despite saying in 2012 that they planned to abolish the practice within the next three to five years – suggesting that they were indeed culpable. In the report, Kilgour specifically critiques Australia’s scepticism of the practice, which he claims is the result

of the “country’s close economic ties with China, its largest trading partner”. The Australian Health Department has said that at least 53 Australians travelled to China for organ transplants between 2001 and 2014. These international calls on China to end organ harvesting are nothing new. In July 2014, the United States House Foreign Affairs Committee 10

endorsed a resolution calling on China to immediately end the statesanctioned harvesting of human organs from prisoners. In July of this year, the European Parliament passed a similar resolution, calling for an independent investigation of “persistent, credible reports on systematic, state-sanctioned organ harvesting from non-consenting prisoners of conscience”. Human rights activists have long campaigned for this practice to stop. Unverified claims about the Chinese black market in organ transplants have been around for years. Falun Gong is a spiritual practice rooted in ancient Chinese culture with an estimated 70 million followers. In the 1990s practitioners in China were subject to police crackdowns and torture. According to the Falun Dafa Association of Washington DC, an estimated 40,000 to 65,000 Falun Gong practitioners have been killed to fuel China’s organ transplant industry. NOVEMBER 2016

Nov 30: Audience and Teaching His Holiness the Dalai Lama conferred an audience for a group of pilgrims who have newly arrived from Tibet. The ceremony took place in Tsuglakhan, the main temple in Dharamshala and was followed by a short teaching. Nov 25: Leaders’ Gathering The first meeting of the leaders of various Tibetan organisations in Dharamshala has been held, convened by the Tibetan Settlement Office (TSO). The TSO proposed items for discussion aimed at forming closer ties and better cooperation among the organisations to improve welfare and community development. Awards were also presented to honour outstanding service for the Tibetan community, dedication for Tibetan cause and for social service. Nov 22: Boudhanath Stupa Boudhanath stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal has been renovated and is now open to the public following a threeday purification ritual. The stupa suffered massive cracks during the devastating earthquake in Nepal last year. Funds for the restoration were raised from donations from around the world in gold, cash and free labour. Nov 17: Cash Crisis Hits Tibetans Tibetans reliant on the winter season sweater selling business are being devastated by the current Indian cash crisis. With Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes having been taken out of circulation, there is no cash in the economy for small market trader transactions. “Accepting the old notes is illegal, said one trader, but…Customers have only old notes.” Nov 16: Freedom and Equality The Tibetan Writers Abroad PEN Centre has launched a bilingual book Freedom and Equality, a collection of the Tibetan writer Shokjang’s writings and poems, at an event Contact

Tibetan Headlines

commemorating imprisoned Tibetan writers in Tibet. Shokjang is currently serving a three-year prison term. Since 2008 over 70 Tibetan writers have been arrested for expressing their views. Nov 14: Shugden: the Facts The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) has launched a short documentary film and book, Shugden Protesters: Allegations vs Facts, to counter the false allegations made by the Dolgyal or Shugden followers against HH the Dalai Lama and the CTA. The documentary, which is in English, can be found at tibetonline tv. Nov 13: Bank Queues Locals, tourists, Tibetan monks, nuns and laypeople alike stood for hours in queues outside banks and ATMs in Dharamshala, often unable to get cash in the crisis following the withdrawal of all Rs1,000 and Rs500 notes overnight. Tourists and newly arrived Tibetans face particular hardships as they do not have Indian bank accounts and cannot withdraw cash to pay for food and lodgings. Nov 11: Chinese Liaison Officers Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, head of the exile Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), spoke at a meeting of the CTA’s Chinese liaison officers. He said the joint exercise between the Tibetan leadership and the individuals and organisations who serve as liaison between the Chinese and Tibetan people will strengthen communication between the Chinese people and Tibetan diaspora. Nov 10: HH Congratulates Trump HH the Dalai Lama has congratulated the United States President-elect Donald Trump and offered prayers and good wishes for the challenges ahead. His Holiness expressed his long-time admiration for the US as the champion of democracy, freedom and rule of law and added that Tibetans have been honoured to receive the support 11

NEWS & ISSUES of successive US presidents and the American people in preserving their Buddhist culture and tradition. Nov 9: China Cancels Meeting China cancelled a bilateral talks meeting between their Premier Li Kequiang and Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico. This follows the Slovakian President Andrej Kiska’s meeting with HH the Dalai Lama in Bratislava, the Slovak capital, last month. The Slovak Prime Minister has acknowledged that Chinese-Slovak relations had been “damaged”. Nov 4: Good News From Taiwan In Taiwan, the Legislative Yuan has approved an amendment to the Immigration Act and can now grant residence permits to stateless Tibetans who arrived in Taiwan before June 29 this year, and “have not been forced to leave the nation, once their identities are confirmed by the Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission”. At least 16 Tibetans are expected to obtain residence and work permits. Nov 3: India Idea Conclave HH the Dalai Lama will give a video address at the India Idea Conclave to be held in Goa from November 4 to 6. Over 350 intellectuals have been invited to the conclave which is hosted by India Foundation, a right wing think tank, and will debate democracy, development and dissent in India after 70 years of independence, especially in defence, governance and education. Nov 2: Book Launch HH the Dalai Lama launched a revised version of the book Red flag Over the Himalayas written by Shri Shanta Kumar, former Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh and current member of Lok Sabha, together with a collection of poetry If Autumn comes written by Smt Santosh Shailja, and a biography of Shri Shanta Kumar written by Shri Hemraj Kaushik. His Holiness thanked the state of Himachal for their hospitality and support towards Tibetans. NOVEMBER 2016

NEWS & ISSUES International Headlines

Nov 28: Death of a Legend Cuba is in the throes of a nine-day official mourning period following the death of Fidel Castro on Friday. Castro was the Cuban politician and revolutionary who governed the Republic of Cuba for 47 years between 1959 and 2006. He played a key role in the Cuban revolution which overthrew Batista and then assumed military and political power.

Nov 17: Rohingyas Flee A military crackdown on Rohingyas in Myanmar is forcing hundreds of people, including children, to flee the country. More than a million Muslim Rohingyas in Myanmar are regarded as illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh. More than 130 people have died during the crackdown, some were shot as they tried to flee.

Nov 11: Interpol Concerns Interpol, the global policing organisation, has elected Meng Hongwei, China’s vice public security minister and former police chief, as their president, sparking concerns that his position may be used to boost China’s campaign to pursue dissidents around the globe. Amnesty International said, “This is extraordinarily worrying.”

Nov 25: Wildfires Wildfires sweeping into Israel’s third largest city, Haifa, have caused around 80,000 people to evacuate their homes. Fires are also threatening Jerusalem and the West Bank. Arson is suspected, but not confirmed, and the recent twomonth drought and current strong winds are exacerbating the situation. The Chief of Police said that if was deliberate, it was “safe to assume... it is politically-motivated”.

Nov 16: Boko Haram Victims The United Nations has announced that around 75,000 children in northeastern Nigeria risk dying of hunger in the next few months, and that the UN does not have enough funds to avert the crisis. The crisis follows Boko Haram jihadists laying waste to the region. The UN says that 14 million people there need humanitarian assistance.

Nov 11: Leonard Cohen Dies Leonard Cohen has died aged 82. Cohen became a worldwide household name with hits which included Suzanne and Hallelujah and he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008. He released his 14th album, You Want It Darker, last month. Born into a Jewish family, he became a Zen Buddhist.

Nov 15: Supermoon The moon is only 221,524 miles (356,509 km) from the Earth - the closest since 1948. The moon’s orbit is an ellipse, not a circle. A supermoon is when the closest point to Earth on the ellipse coincides with the full moon and it appears about 14% larger and 30% brighter compared with when it is furthest away. The next supermoon will be in 2034.

Nov 10: Trump Sparks Protests The election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States has sparked protests across America as well as predictions of uncertainty for global stock markets. President Obama is urging all Americans to accept the result of the election despite previously branding him “unfit” for office. Mr Trump has vowed to “bind the wounds of division”.

Nov 24: Cut-price Meals Elderly people are handing over their driving licences in exchange for cutprice meals in Japan’s Aichi Prefecture. The scheme has been initiated by the police in an attempt to cut down on traffic accidents. Participants in the scheme will get a 15% discount on ramen - the popular noodle and broth soup - with rice and salad at a restaurant chain. Nov 22: Abortion Rights Pope Francis is giving all priests the right to forgive abortions, permanently. This power has been effective on a temporary basis during the last year. He said abortion was a “grave sin” punishable by excommunication. However the new move means that priests can lift excommunication.

Nov 14: Hong Kong Protest Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in Hong Kong in a proChinese rally. The rally follows last week’s Chinese government ruling to disqualify two pro-independence lawmakers from the Hong Kong parliament. It is widely understood that China paid the protestors to take part in the rally.

Nov 9: Rupee Notes Withdrawn All Indian 500 ($7.50 / £6) and 1,000 rupee banknotes have been withdrawn without warning from the financial system overnight and are no longer legal tender in a move to crack down on corruption and illegal cash holdings. All banks and ATM machines are closed today. New 500 and 2,000 rupee denomination notes will be issued. India is overwhelmingly a cash economy.

Nov 21: Train Derailment At least 115 people have died, with 150 injured, following a train derailment in north India. Fourteen carriages of the Indore-Patna Express derailed near Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh early yesterday morning. Rescuers are still trying to reach the injured and recover the dead. The cause of the crash is not yet known.

Nov 12: Egypt’s Currency Floated Egypt has floated its currency as one of a list of reforms designed to strengthen confidence in the economy, reducing its value by almost 50% against the dollar. The move is a key requirement of the International Monetary Fund (IMF): Egypt is asking the IMF for a US$12bn (£9.5bn) loan over three years.

Nov 4: Ai Weiwei Speaks Out Ai Weiwei, the world renowned Chinese dissident artist, speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, said Western governments should call out China on human rights issues. Ai has been under constant surveillance in China for his outspoken criticism of China’s policies.




DHARAMSHALA VOICES A Smile that Defies China

by Charlotte Wigram - Evans How much suffering does it take to wipe a smile off someone’s face forever? Ven Bagdro’s body still bears the scars from Chinese torture chambers, he still sees as though it were yesterday his baby sister dead, his fellow monks slaughtered, the look in his mother’s eyes as they said their final goodbyes. But his smile is real and warm. It reaches his eyes and lights up his face. Born in 1970 to poverty-stricken parents in a village near Lhasa, Bagdro spent much of his childhood in the Tibetan capital begging for food. His family had a small business selling incense but it was branded “uncommunist” and closed down. He was 13 when his sister died, and with the whole family wasting away he was merely starvation’s first victim. It was the monks’ bowls of steaming food, not Buddhism, that initially drew Bagdro to Ganden Monastery. He remembers his time there fondly, but despite being surrounded by learned monks and Buddhist scriptures he remained ignorant even to the existence of the Dalai Lama until a chance encounter with two American tourists. “I was 17 and had been a monk for a year when a lady handed me His Holiness’ book My land and My People. She told me that the Dalai Lama was my leader. I refused to believe it – my leader was Mao, I was a communist, loyal to my motherland China. After I read it I couldn’t stop crying. It was the first time that I had heard the truth. I knew then that I had to do something. I wrote to my parents asking them not to cry if I died. I was prepared to give my body, my blood to help reclaim my country. Then I went to demonstrate in Lhasa.” For their disobedience Bagdro and his fellow monks paid the ultimate price. The march became a massacre, crimson robes turning a darker, far more ominous shade of red as Chinese soldiers poured in from all sides and bullets ricocheted

off the temple walls. “I saw child monks picked up and chucked off the monastery rooftop like sacks of flour. I was shot in the leg, and as I lay on the ground I saw a mother breastfeeding her baby. They shot her through the heart, straight through her child and into her chest.”Amid the onslaught of bullets Bagdro somehow managed to get away, living as a fugitive for months before news of his parents’ suffering drove him out of hiding. The Chinese authorities had been to his home, held a gun to his father’s head and threatened to arrest them if they didn’t

give him up. When it came to a prison sentence it was either him, or them. They were guilty by association, tainted by this rebel monk who happened to be their son. Naturally Bagdro chose himself. “In prison I was questioned over and over again: ‘Who are you working with? How much did the Dalai Lama pay you to protest? Where are your accomplices?’ After every question they would hold an electric shock weapon to different parts of my body. Head to mouth to genitals and back again. Round and round. “I still refused to give up the names of the monks who had escaped. So then they removed my shoes and put my feet in ice. I was made to stand there for hours. When I stepped out all my skin peeled off – like a mango. “This happened every day, and when I wasn’t being tortured I was left in a prison cell little bigger than a coffin. I tried to kill myself many times. I tied the rags I was wearing round my neck

but the guards always caught me before I could die. ‘You can’t kill yourself. We will kill you, slowly,’ they said. The female guards would laugh and then stub their cigarettes out on me.” Bagdro talks matter of factly. There are no tears in his eyes, no hatred in his voice. Does he never feel consumed by rage? “I used to. When I arrived in India I was granted an audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I was so angry. I wanted to kill them all. His Holiness hugged me and said that with violence I would achieve nothing. It was only through education and peace that things would change.” Two prison transfers later and weighing less than 39 kg, Bagdro had been released. He hadn’t reached the end of his sentence, he was simply so close to death that the Chinese wanted him off their hands. “They don’t like people dying in prison because then Amnesty steps in and asks questions. But I survived. I lived and I made it all the way across the Himalayas to India.” Heeding His Holiness’s advice, Bagdro has turned to education to fight against Chinese rule. From his home in Dharamsala he has written five books, the most recent of which documents Tibet’s history: a cultural legacy that China is trying to erase. And most of the time he is happy. His indominatable will shines through. “My love for my country gives me courage. I am so proud of Tibet and of my countrymen. They are so strong. They never give up.” Bagdro’s smile is proof enough of that strength. Proof also that one day, Tibet will be free. Ven Bagdro’s books include A Hell on Earth and Life in Exile which are available in Dharamshala and online. His latest book Tibetans shall be happy in the Land of Tibet, Chinese shall be in China, which is a collection of historical documents, was released in June this year.

Every month we feature somebody from the Tibetan community on our Dharamshala Voices page. You can read more Dharamshala Voices stories on the Contact website: Contact



LHA NEWS AND PROJECTS One way in which Lha Charitable Trust invests in the Tibetan community is to help people with their careers - Lha staff learn new skills and gain experience which enables them to contribute to the Tibetan cause. Office staff improve their administation,management and communication, as well as computer skills and some learn teaching skills. The Lha soup kitchen feeds around 50 needy people every day as well as educating them about how to eat well. But what about the people who make the food? We visited the cooks and found that the soup kitchen is giving them a career to be proud of. Dhondup Before coming to Lha, Dhondup was working in a local restaurant. He says he wasn’t short of a job but felt that Lha was special and there is nothing else like the soup kitchen in Dharamshala. He likes knowing that his work is helping others and he wants to do a good job. He says he is really happy working with his colleagues at the soup kitchen. His original plan was to become a Tibetan teacher back in the villages in Tibet, so he came to India to study Tibetan to a high standard. On arrival in Dharamshala he attended the Transit School, which is where adults who come from Tibet are educated. Dhondup explained that then, students from the Transit School

Thutop Like Dhondup, Thutop came to Lha from working in a restaurant in town. Like so many of us his career didn’t work out quite as planned and being a cook is something he has learned on the way. He loves working in the soup kitchen, he enjoys the camaraderie of working with Thondup and Yangdue and he says it is important to him to do his best and to do a good job. With Thutop family comes first. He enjoys being able to spend time with wife and two young children when he is not working. He was born in Tibet and was happily working in the family business in Lhasa - they are traders, importing biscuits and sweets from India. Then he brought three young female cousins over to

Yangdue Yangdue is the longest-serving member of the soup kitchen team, having been here for three years. He had never thought of becoming a cook but had heard of Lha and dropped in one day to see if there was any work available, now he’s here he loves working at the soup kitchen with his two colleagues. He learned his cooking skills on the job. He says it makes a difference to him that he is serving food to people in need, rather than in a restaurant where it is purely a business. Yangdue grew up as a monk in Tibet, he says he wasn’t ordained but wanted a good education. He and a group of fellow monks came to south India together in 2007 when he was 17, but

didn’t qualify for further studies once they had completed their five-year basic education, so he couldn’t follow up on his Tibetan studies. He needed to go out and get a job. So now he’s enjoying his cooking career and plans to stay at Lha as long as he can. He would love to return to Tibet but says he can’t see that happening – he’s tried six times to get a permit!

India – he planned to bring them to India and then go back. But he thought it would be good to learn English so he enrolled at the Tibetan Transit School, fully intending to return to Tibet before too long. However, he was unable to get a permit and now he is settled here with his family. He still hopes go back to Tibet one day.

he found it very different from Tibet and life was difficult so when the time came for him to get ordained he knew he had a big decision to make. For a year or so he went back and forward to Dharamshala, taking classes, and finally made up his mind to disrobe in 2013. Now he enjoys his motorbike, his job and having a girlfriend – as well as having a full head of hair!

This year, Lha’s Medical Assistance Programme supported 60 people who were referred to local doctors for various medical problems. They received free medical checkups and treatments. Under the Clear Vision Eye Care Programme 124 people received Contact

More Lha News

eye checkups. This led to 17 people receiving medicine for their eye conditions, and 102 people received free eye glasses. And our Tibetan Smiles Dental Programme provided free dental care for 118 people. This month Lha hosted a group 14

of students from Rustic Pathways, the American organisation which organises volunteer and study programmes around the world. Fifteen students from Mumbai American School participated in our Cultural Exchange Programme for three days. NOVEMBER 2016

LHA NEWS AND PROJECTS Environment Care Award for Lha Lha was awarded the first Environment Care Award by the Tibetan Settlement Office (TSO) for Dharamshala at their inaugural local leaders meeting on November. 25. TSO Awards were presented to various organisations to honour outstanding service for the Tibetan community, dedication to the Tibetan cause and for social services. The awards were presented by the chief guest at the event, Kalon Ngodup Tsering, the Education Minister for the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, representing Sikyong Lobsang Sangay who was in North America.

Photo: Kunsang

The Indo-Tibetan Friendship Association and Himalaya Parivar, Men-Tsee Khang, Delek Hospital, Tibet Charity and Dr Yeshi Donden were all honoured for their community service alongside Lha and Clean Upper Dharamshala. Lha’s Deputy Director attended the meeting and received the award on behalf of Lha. The Settlement Officer said the award was presented for Lha’s environmental days of action and mass cleanups, and to acknowledge that Lha staff, students and volunteers provide a committed workforce for these activities.

Lha could not provide the services we do without the support of our wonderful volunteers who help in so many ways and inspire us with their enthusiasm. Every month we ask a volunteer to share their story. This month 17-year-old Dhriti Agarwal from India tells us her story.

A Surge of Wanderlust

Name: Dhriti Agarwal Volunteer Job at Lha:English Teacher Thanks to an existential crisis and a surge of wanderlust, the day after my half-yearly exam found me squeezed in a train compartment heading towards the melting pot of several cultures - Mcleond Ganj. I was planning on practising the Buddhist principle of selflessness and hence volunteering at the Ropgpa nursery and the Lha conversation class. The nursery involved sticky fingerprints on my glasses and drops of pee on my pants. But it also involved sloppy kisses and teddy bear hugs. By the end of the month, I came to the conclusion that kids are like miniature hurricanes drenched in caffeine: they scream a lot, play a lot and pee a lot. But in spite of the backache they’ve given me in the past one month, I know that I will be going back someday. As an introvert, the conversation class seemed like a Herculean task in the beginning. Being used to meaningless conversations that could be sustained with mere nods of my head, initiating a conversation with a group of complete strangers seemed almost alien and completely bizarre to me. I didn’t know what to say or ask

them and they refused to say anything themselves. But as the days flew by, the “I” and “they” began to merge into a “we”. As a team we navigated over the rough waters of the English language and moved from the safe harbour of conversations based on the cue cards to philosophical discussions over Maslow’s triangle of hierarchy. Stories were the oars of our ship that the Tibetan, Indian, Bhutanese and Korean students used to row until Lobsang would religiously knock on the door at five o’clock saying “class is over guys” and anchor the ship for the day. And as I stepped out of class on the last day, I knew that we had done something right because my sailors knew the difference between “your” and “you’re”. In conclusion, the trip turned into so much more than what I had bargained for. I had thought that it would be a mere échapée from the rat race with lesser fire crackers but this one month has given shape and size to my otherwise shapeless life. Within this month, this place and these people have embedded themselves under my skin in such a way that I’m dreading the day this dream will end and my coach will become a pumpkin.

Contact magazine is published by Lha Charitable Trust

Lha Charitable Trust is an award-winning, grassroots, non-profit organisation and one of the largest Tibetan social work institutes based in Dharamshala, India. Lha has been striving to provide vital resources for Tibetan refugees, local Indian communities, and people from the Himalayan regions for over 18 years. Lha was registered as a charitable trust by the Indian Government in 2005. For more information, please visit To keep up to date with news of what’s happening in Tibet and in the Tibetan exile community, follow Contact magazine online at Facebook: Contact News / Twitter: Contact News Contact



around town

Charities and Organisations

Central Tibetan Administration

The CTA serves in Dharamshala as the government in exile of Tibet. It is democratic with judiciary, legislative, and executive branches. Within the Executive branch there is the Kashag, consisting of the departments of Religion and Culture, Home, Education, Finance, Security, Information and International Relations and Health, and Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay. WEB: LOCATION: Near Library PHONE: 01892-222218 HOURS: Mon-Sat: 9:00 am-5:00 pm EMAIL:

The Office of His Holiness The Dalai Lama (OHHDL)

OHHDL is the personal office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The office organises his schedule, including appointments and travel plans, diplomatic and personal correspondence, and liaises with officials of the Central Tibetan Administration. WEB: LOCATION: McLeod Ganj, PHONE: 01892-221343 / 221210 EMAIL:

Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC)

The TYC is an advocacy and political action organisation with chapters around the world. The TYC organises cultural exhibitions, educational campaigns and social welfare activities. WEB: www. LOCATION: Tipa Road, McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala -176219 PHONE: 01892-221554,

Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA)

The TWA conducts workshops on gender sensitization and domestic violence throughout Tibetan settlements in India, provides Tibetan women with education scholarships, and connects women with international sponsors. WEB: www. LOCATION: Bhagsu Road, McLeod Ganj PHONE: 01892-221527 EMAIL:

Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV)

TCV provides care to Tibetan children by creating a nurturing environment and fostering Tibetan values and culture while delivering a modern education. There is an Upper and Lower residential school in Dharamshala and day school in McLeod Ganj, with other branches throughout India. WEB: LOCATION: Dharamshala Cantt.176216 PHONE: 01892-221354 / 221348 EMAIL:

Men-Tsee-Khang: Tibetan Medical & Astro. Institute

Men-Tsee-Khang is a facility for research, training and practice of traditional Tibetan medicine. Patients may seek treatment at Men-TseeKhang for both acute and chronic conditions. The facility provides extensive training and produces traditional pharmaceuticals.


WEB: LOCATION: Gangchen Kyishong, PHONE: 01892-223222 / 223113 EMAIL:

Tibetan Library (LTWA) (Centre for Tibetan Studies)

The Library of Tibetan Works and Archives has the purpose to restore, protect, preserve, and promote Tibetan culture in all its aspects. They offer courses in Tibetan and Hindi language and Buddhist philosophy and can provide affordable accommodation for those enrolled in two or more courses. WEB:, LOCATION: Gangchen Kyishong PHONE: 98822-55047 EMAIL:

Delek Hospital

Delek Hospital is a small, Tibetan run hospital in Dharamshala. It has 45 inpatient beds, holds outpatient hours from 9am to 12pm Monday through Friday, and can handle most small procedures. Patients are responsible for a 10 Rupees registration fee. The hospital has a pharmacy on site. LOCATION: Kharadanda Rd, Dharamshala; Delek Clinic, Bhagsu Rd, Dharamshala HOURS: Outpatient, Mon-Fri: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm; Specialist clinics, Mon-Sat: 2:00 pm-4:30 pm; Emergencies, 24 hours daily PHONE: 01892-222053 / 223381 EMAIL:

Sambhota Tibetan Schools Society

The society was established in 1999 to provide educational and administrative guidance to all Tibetan schools in remote areas of India and Bhutan that do not fall under the guidance of Tibetan Childrens Village. Today there are 12 schools under this organisation. WEB: LOCATION: Session Rd, Dharamshala176215 PHONE: 01892 - 228877 | 226877 EMAIL:

Tong-Len Charitable Trust

Tong-Len’s mission is to help displaced communities in North India achieve a secure and sustainable future. Tong-Len projects include educational and health programs, childhood education and sponsorship, primary and nursery tent schools, and children’s support hostels. Volunteer opportunities available. WEB: www. LOCATION: Top Floor, Bank Of Baroda, Kotwali Bazaar, Dharamshala-176215 PHONE: 01892-223930 EMAIL:

Students for a Free Tibet (SFT)

SFT is an international NGO that promotes the Tibetan cause among the non-Tibetan community. The organisation attempts to build international solidarity by advocating for a free Tibet through chapter organisations at Universities around the world., LOCATION: Jogiwara Road, McLeod Ganj PHONE: 9882786875


Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD)

TCHRD advocates for human rights and provides education on the human rights situation in Tibet. The centre publishes journals and articles, as well as conducting workshops and campaigns. WEB: LOCATION: CTA, Dharamshala - 176215 PHONE: 01892-223363 EMAIL:

Lha Charitable Trust (Lha)

Lha, a Tibetan grassroots NGO based in Dharamshala, is one of the largest social work organisations providing vital resources for Tibetan refugees, the local Indian population, and people from the Himalayan regions. Lha offers free English, French and Chinese classes, cultural exchange programs, IT classes, vocational training, health and environmental awareness education, distribution of clothes and medicine, a community kitchen, and many other programs and activities. (see page 2) LOCATION: Temple Road, McLeod Ganj, Opposite State Bank of India PHONE: 01892-220992, 988-2323-455 EMAIL:

The Kangra Distt. Red Cross Society

The Kangra District Red Cross Society renders its humanitarian services, projects and activities with the help and the co-operation of people at all levels of society by donation. WEB: LOCATION: Red Cross Bhawan, Dharamshala PHONE: 01892-224888 / 9418832244 EMAIL:

Gu-Chu-Sum Movement Association of Tibet is an organisation of former political

prisoners of Tibet and former activists currently in exile that engages in their complete assistance from medical, financial, basic education and vocational training. It also organises lobby and advocacies about human rights abuses in Tibet. WEB: LOCATION: Jogibara Road, McLeod Ganj, PHONE: 01892-220680 / 220679 EMAIL:

Tibet Charity

Tibet Charity provides programs including English and computer classes, an animal care program, and a variety of medical and educational financial support programs. WEB: LOCATION: Temple Road, McLeod Ganj PHONE: 01892-221790 / 221877 EMAIL:

Norbulingka Institue

Centre for Tibetan culture with studios and artists at work. Temple, tour guides of the workshops, and gardens. L O C AT I O N : S i d h p u r, Dharamshala PHONE:9882144210 EMAIL:


around town

Charities and Organisations

Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA)

Established in 1959, under the vision of HH the Dalai Lama, TIPA strives to preserve and promote Tibetan theatrical tradition. The Insitute imparts comprehensive training and lessons on Tibetan folk dance, folk song, traditional instruments and tradition of Tibetan opera. TIPA also hosts a beautiful theatrical museum which remains open during working days. We organise a special group tour of our campus every Wednesday (10 am). WEB: LOCATION: TIPA Road, McLeod Ganj Dharamshala-176219 PHONE: 01892-221478 EMAIL:

Learning and Ideas for Tibet (LIT)

Learning and Ideas for Tibet (LIT) is a nongovernment, non-profit adult education centre in Dharamshala, North India. LIT provides Free Education, Health Care and Skills Training to Tibetan Refugees to help eradicate poverty and illiteracy amongst the Tibetan population. WEB: LOCATION: Jogiwara Road, Mcleod Ganj, Dharamshala 176219 PHONE: 01892-220690 EMAIL:

Tibetan Centre for Conflict Resolution (TCCR)

Tibetan Centre for Conflict Resolution is a nonprofit, educational organisation dedicated to the non-violent management of conflicts in the Tibetan Community and the world as a whole. They work to promote the approaches and tools of non-violent conflict resolution and democratic processes in the Tibetan community in exile and elsewhere. WEB: LOCATION: Session Road, Gangchen Kyishong, Dharamshala 176215 PHONE: 01892-226627 EMAIL:

Rogpa Baby Care Centre

The Rogpa Baby Care Centre helps low-income Tibetan families to become self-sufficient by providing free child care for infants so that their parents can work. The centre needs volunteers to help with art, games, singing and other tasks including diaper changing. WEB: LOCATION: Jogiwara Road, McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala- 176219 PHONE: 9857973026 EMAIL:

Gamru Village School

Gamru Village School is a successful NGO that provides free high-quality education to any children who encounter serious barriers to education and who have a low standard of living. WEB: LOCATION: Village Gamru, P.O Kotwali Bazaar, Dharamshala, Distt Kangra 176215 PHONE: 9816105554 EMAIL:


Clean Upper Dharamshala Project

Founded in 1994 to provide a waste management system in and around McLeod Ganj, the Green Workers, the Handmade Recycled Paper Factory, the Green Shop and the Environmental Education Centre are part of the Clean Upper Dharamshala Project. Weekly guided tours are offered on Wednesdays at 3 pm. WEB: LOCATION: Bhagsu Road, McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala - 176219 PHONE: 01892-221059 EMAIL:

Nyingtob Ling (Realm of Courage)

Nyingtob Ling supports Tibetan children from disadvantaged families. The children make handicrafts and paintings. They are so friendly and love to have visitors. WEB: LOCATION: Near Norbulingka, Sidhpur PHONE:01892 211042 / 9816028149 EMAIL:

Women’s Team

Volunteers needed to teach English to Indian women and children in the village of Kaniyara near Dharamshala. Contact Jitender. EMAIL: PHONE: 7831956680 / 08894435595

The Active Nonviolence Education Center (ANEC)

ANEC facilitates trainings, workshops and open forum discussions on nonviolent strategies to help resolve disagreements and differences at all levels of human society. ANEC welcomes volunteers from western countries to participate in informal panel discussions on ideas of regional and global peace and nonviolent strategies. Free lunch and tea and many more benefits for volunteers. LOCATION: No. 262, 1st floor, Khajanchi -Mohalla, Khunyara Rd, Lower Dharamshala PHONE: 9882077708 / 9882921477 EMAIL: Website: Facebook: www/

National Democratic Party of Tibet

The NDPT is currently the only Tibetan political party. With 5000 members in 36 regional chapters throughout the world, the main aim and objectives of the NDPT are to prepare for the establishment of a political party in a future Tibet, to promote democracy, to educate the Tibetan people about the significance of political parties and to create awareness among the people about Tibetan issues. WEB: LOCATION: Dharamshala–176219 EMAIL: PHONE: 9882787633 / 9882673330


* Times and prices may vary. Please check with the bus stand ahead of departure. Leaving from the McLeod Ganj bus stand, unless otherwise stated: Delhi: Ordinary Bus: 4:45am, 6pm, 6:45pm, 8:15pm and 8:30pm (Rs524) Semi Deluxe Bus: 6pm (Rs544) , Full Deluxe Bus: (Rs683) AC Volvo Semi-Sleeper: 8pm (Rs1121) AC TATA: 4pm (Rs830) Amritsar: Ordinary Bus: 5am (Rs245) *from Dharamshala Dehradun: Ordinary Bus: 8pm (Rs524); AC Deluxe: 2pm (Rs664) Manali: Ordinary Bus: 7:10am (Rs676) *from Dharamshala Pathankot: Ordinary Bus: 10am, 11am, 12:10pm, 12:30pm, 2:10pm, 3:50pm, 5pm(Rs150) Shimla: Ordinary Bus: 5am, 5:30am, 6am, 8am, noon and 4:55pm (Rs360) *from Dharamshala, Semi-Deluxe Bus: 8:22am, 7:45pm and 9:30pm (Rs450) *from Dharamshala FOR BOOKINGS: Location: Ticket stand under McLLo’s, McLeod Ganj Main square Hours: 10am-5pm, daily Phone: 220026 (McLeod bus stand), 224903 (Dharamshala) For deluxe buses, book through any travel agency.


A private taxi to Lower Dharamshala will cost you Rs 200. Cram into a jeep (from the bus stand), and it’ll only cost you Rs15.


Ambulance: 01892-102, 222189

Police Superintendent: 01892-222244

Tibetan Delek Hospital Location: Gangchen Kyishong, CTA Hours: Outpatient services: 9am-1pm, MonSat; Specialist clinics: 2-4:30pm, Wed only; Emergencies: 24-hrs, daily. Phone: 222 053,223 381

Police Contact Information Location: Past St.John’s Church on the road to Dharamshala in Cantt. area. Phone: 221 483

Kangra Airport: 01892-232374 Bhagsu Taxi Union: 01892-221034 Tourism Office: 01892-224430 , 223325 Rail Booking & Enquiry: 01892-265026


McLeod Ganj Post Office Location: Jogiwara Rd, past Peace Cafe Hours: 9:30am-1pm and 2-5pm, Mon-Fri; 9:30am-noon, Sat. Parcels and money orders can be sent in the mornings only. Phone: 01892-221 924


activities and information Upcoming Events Dec 10: Nobel Peace Prize Day (conferment of Nobel Peace Prize to His Holiness the Dalai Lama Dec 26 - Jan 31st 2017 : Lha Charitable Trust is closed for Kalachakra holiday Jan 1: New Year Jan 3-14: Kalachakra in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

BUDDHIST PHILoSOPHY Library of Tibetan Works and Archives WEB: LOCATION: Gangchen Kyishong, between McLeod Ganj and Lower Dharamshala HOURS: Mon-Sat: 9-10 am, 11-12noon PHONE: 921-842-2467

Public Audience with HH Karmapa WEB: LOCATION: Sidhpur HOURS: Wed & Sat: 2:30pm PHONE: 01892-235307

yoga and reiki Om Yoga, Meditation and Reiki Centre LOCATION: Ketan Lodge, behind Akash Hotel, on Jogiwara Rd HOURS: 8:00am-5:30pm PHONE: 980-569-3514

Sunita Singh Yoga Class

LOCATION: Singh Corner, nr Magic Tree Upper Bhagsu PHONE: 98058-89060 WEB:

Siddhartha Retreat and Yoga Centre LOCATION: Upper Bhagsu PHONE: 098165-65138 WEB:

MASSAGE Nature Cure Health Club

Shiatsu massage LOCATION: Near Tibetan Ashoka, Jogiwara Road PHONE: 941-813-0119 EMAIL:


LOCATION: Mcleod Ganj Branch Clinic, 1st floor, TIPA Road (2 mins from Main Square) PHONE: 98828-60505 EMAIL:

Om Massage Centre

LOCATION: Bhagsu Road, Opposite the Green Hotel, Mcleod Ganj PHONE:9857999373/9805895574 EMAIL:


MEDITATION Ocean of Harmony

Taught by an experienced and qualified coach WEB: PHONE: (+91) 99798-94585 EMAIL:

Tushita Meditation Center WEB: LOCATION: Dharamkot HOURS: Mon-Sat: 9:30-11:30am PHONE: 0898-816-0988 EMAIL:

Siddhartha Retreat Centre

WEB: LOCATION: Bhagsu Nag, Near High Sky PHONE: 09816565138 EMAIL:

Taxi services Rinku Taxi Services

LOCATION: Opposite Club House, near Tourist Information Office, Hotel Surya Road PHONE: (+91) 9418687343, 9857030707 WEB:

COOKING Lha Tibetan Cooking Classes - for groups LOCATION: Lha Soup Kitchen, Temple Rd, Just below the Dalai Lama’s temple HOURS: Registration, 9:00-11:00am PHONE: 01892-220992

LANGUAGES Tibetan Language Courses

WEB: LOCATION: Thosamling Institute, Sidhpur (near Norbulingka) PHONE: 9882455065 EMAIL: *see ad on opp. page for more information

LRZTP Tibetan Language Program LOCATION: near Mentsekhang, VOT building EMAIL: WEB: *see ad on pg 23

Rita Thakur Hindi Classes

LOCATION: Ketan Lodge, Jogiwara Rd, beside the Korean Restaurant PHONE: 981-649-4732

Hindi Lessons with Sunil

LOCATION: Kunga Guesthouse, Bhagsu Rd and in Dharamkot PHONE: 01892-21942, 98055-96741 EMAIL:

Tibetan Language

LOCATION: The Tibetan Library *see Buddhist Philosophy Listing

Hindi Lessons with Kailash

LOCATION: At Bhimsen’s Indian Cooking Class PHONE: 01892-20063, 941-816-1947

Esukhia Online Tibetan Courses and Tibetan Immersion Spoken Location:Tilak Ray Building, Bhagsu Rd PHONE: 8679502538 / 98820-04965 EMAIL:

art and museums

Indian Cooking and Knitting with Ms Rita Kapoor

Tibet Museum

Indian Cooking Classes

Tibet Photo Exhibit: 50 Years of Struggle and Oppression

LOCATION: Old German Bakery, 1st Floor, Room No. 2, Opp. Buddha Hall, Bhagsunag PHONE: 94592-06586 LOCATION:Jogiwara Rd, next to Tibetan Ashoka Guesthouse HOURS: 10:00am-6:00pm PHONE: 941-813-0119 EMAIL:

Lhamo’s Kitchen: Tibetan Cooking Classes

LOCATION: Bhagsu Rd, near the Green Shop HOURS: 8:00am-9:00pm PHONE: 981-646-8719

Nisha’s Indian Cooking Class

LOCATION: The flourishing flora, Opp. TIPA, Dharamkot road, Mcleodganj HOURS: 4:00-6:00pm PHONE: 9882599093 EMAIL:

Sangye’s Kitchen: Traditional Tibetan Cooking Classes

LOCATION: Lung-ta Restaurant, below the Tashi Choeling Monastery on Jogiwara Road HOURS:10:00am - 4:00pm PHONE: 981-616-4540 EMAIL:


LOCATION:Near the Main Temple and Namgyal Monastery gate, McLeod Ganj HOURS: Tue-Sun: 9:00am-5:00pm

LOCATION: Gu-Chu-Sum hall, Jogiwara Rd HOURS: Mon, Wed & Fri: 2:00pm-5:00pm

The Tibetan Institute for the Performing Arts (TIPA)

WEB: LOCATION: Tipa Road, McLeod Ganj PHONE: 1892-221478 EMAIL:

Kangra Art Museum

LOCATION: Near Bus Stand, Kotwali Bazaar PHONE: 01892 224214 HOURS: Tue-Sun: 10am-1pm & 2pm-5pm

Men-Tsee-Khang Museum

LOCATION: Near CTA, Gangchen Kyishong PHONE: 01892-223222 / 223113 EMAIL: HOURS: 9am-5pm. Closed on Sun, 2 and 4th Sat

Form Gallery

LOCATION: Jogiwara Rd. near Oasis Cafe PHONE: 8894-060602 HOURS: Daily, 12:00pm-6:00pm


activities and information HEALTH SERVICES Perfect 32 Dental Clinic Dr Natasha Mehra LOCATION: Near Hotel Mount View, Jogiwara Road, McLeod Ganj PHONE: 09218742046 EMAIL: Tibetan Physiotherapy Clinic Specialised in Muscle and Joint Pain LOCATION: Near Delek Hospital, Gangchen Kyishong, Dharamshala 176215 HOURS: 10am - 5pm (Appointment Bases) PHONE: 9882322783 / 9882321532 EMAIL: WEBSITE : Tibetan Delek Hospital LOCATION: Gangchen Kyishong, between McLeod Ganj and Lower Dharamshala PHONE: 01892-22053 / 223381 HOURS: Outpatient services, Mon-Sat: 9:00am-1:00pm; Specialist clinics, Mon-Sat: 2:00-4:30pm; Emergencies: 24 hrs daily Maanav Health Clinic LOCATION: Main Square HOURS: 10:00am-12:30pm and 2:00-5:00pm PHONE: 941-815-5795 EMAIL: Men-Tsee-Khang LOCATION: Below Delek Hospital, Gangchen Kyishong, Dharamshala 176215 PHONE: 01892-223222 / 223113 EMAIL: Primary Health Centre LOCATION: Jogiwara Rd, main market HOURS: 9:30am-4pm, Mon-Sat Nature Cure Health Club LOCATION: Jogiwara Rd, next to Tibetan Ashoka Guest House-Map #10 HOURS: 9:30am-6:30pm PHONE: 7833047078 / 9882320136 EMAIL: Dr Tandon Advanced Dental Orthodontic & Implant Centre Location: Opp. AP Travels, Mcleod Ganj Phone:9418462936 Email:

Tibet-Related Websites

News: - Radio Free Asia’s mission is to provide accurate and timely news and information to Asian countries whose governments prohibit access to a free press - Voice of America’s Tibet pages - VOA is an international multimedia broadcasting service funded by the US government - Contact magazine online news -Phayul is published in Dharamshala,has opinion, reviews, photos, etc - the UK Guardian newspaper’s Tibet pages - the South China Morning Post – one of the more independent news sources in China and are both sources of news and information

News, information and campaigning: - official website of the Central Tibetan Administration in exile - for broadcasts of His Holiness’s teachings, his schedule and information about Tibet and the Dalai Lama - Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy - a nongovernmental organisation and a research centre to protect the human rights of Tibetan people and promote the principles of democracy - an international non-governmental organisation that advocates full independence for Tibet from China - a global grass roots group campaigning for full Tibetan independence - news, opinions, reviews and information - UK-based campaigning organisation, also a good news source - international campaign for Tibet and a good resource for news, campaigns, fundraising and projects - a coalition of more than 190 Tibet organisations dedicated to campaigning to end human rights violations in Tibet and restoring rights to the Tibetan people

Kalachakra 2017: or - Official website. His Holiness the Dalai Lama will confer Kalachakra Initiation at Bodh Gaya from January 3 - 14. The website provides information on facilities for the event including tents, medical and sanitation and registration.

Interested in a Tibetan Homestay?

Is Arriving in India a Nightmare?

Thinking about Volunteering?

Lha Charitable Trust can arrange homestays of one month with a Tibetan refugee family. By sharing day-to-day life with a Tibetan family you will have an opportunity to experience Tibetan culture at first hand as well as making friends and memories that will last a lifetime. Accommodation, breakfast and dinner included.

Next time you come, use the Lha Reception service at Delhi airport. We will meet you at the airport, look after you in Delhi and give you a safe place to stay while you wait for your overnight bus to McLeod. We’ll put you on the bus and make sure you are on the right seat! Use our service especially when you are arriving late at night or early morning.

Lha offers you the opportunity to share your knowledge and skills while gaining practical experience with a social work organisation – good for your CV as well as being fun and interesting! Lha volunteers develop friendships as well as learning at first handabout the issues facing the Tibetan refugee community.

Find out more! Call into the Lha office, see Map # 1 Contact





Ocean of Harmony

Programmes for Wellbeing

Meditation Intensives Meditation Therapies Intensive Yoga Courses/Retreats Stress Management Integrated Healing Therapies Wellness Retreats


ORTHODONTIC & IMPLANT CENTRE Mcleod Add: Downstairs Opp. AB Travels Temple Road Mcleod Ganj Dharamshala Add: Opp. Canara Bank Kotwali Bazaar Dharamshala

A centre with multispeiciality dental treatment facility since 2000. Map#24 website: Email: Appointment/Emergency call: 9418462936

For upcoming events, visit

For intensive trainings around the world (any country) contact: Shalu Patel (experienced & qualified life and wellness coach for international trainings)

HIMALAYAN YOGA RETREAT Yoga Time: 8:30 am to 9:30 am 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Drop-in Classes/ Weekly Courses/ Reiki Course & Treatment Teacher Training Course (200 hours) Map#25

Mobile no: 988222502 - Surinder

Phone: (+91) 9979894585 Email:

Address: Jogiwara Road, Green View House after Youngling Schoo Mcleod Ganj, Opposite Pink House /



Best taxi & car rental services in Himachal, Tour Packages Free high-speed Wi-fi Pick-up & Drop-in to Airports, Rail station, Bus stop Delicious coffee, authentic homemade Tibetan and western cuisine All food washed in clean filtered water

Free movies on Saturdays at 7.30pm Live Tibetan music every Wednesday at 6.30pm

Jogiwara Road (near post office), McLeod Ganj – Map #5


Opp. Club House, near Tourist Information Office Hotel Surya Road, McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala - Map#16 PHONE: (+91) 94186-87343, 98570-30707

Chapri Handicrafts

Visit Sunanda to see her beautiful shawls, fabrics, gifts, papier-mache, handicrafts, thankas and so much more! MEXICAN, ITALIAN, INDIAN, CHINESE, Shop no 9, Next Alley to State Bank of India ATM, CONTINENTAL, & THAI FOOD, No MSG Temple Road, Mcleod Ganj Map#27 Tel: 98826-04215 • Everything washed with sterilized water • Wood-fired pizza oven & clay Tandoori oven • Relaxed atmosphere & Japanese-style seating • Live music every Sunday - Map#6 Bhagsu Road, Opp. Green Hotel Mcleod Ganj - Map#26 Located on Jogiwara Road, Email: across from the Tibetan Reception Center Contact: 9857999373 /9805895574 (down from Post Office) - Map # 9

Om massage centre


“The most suitable place for foreigners, holidaymakers, honeymooners, trekkers, and those who wish to commune with nature!”


We offer: Affordable dormitories, well-appointed rooms, boarding, and McLeod Ganj’s FINEST hospitality! Jogiwara Road - Map #11 Mobile - 981 623 5648 Hotel - 01892 22 1559

8 beautiful rooms with balcony facing the Himalayan Range. Enjoy the sunrise from your bed! Phone: 01892-220567 Cell: 9418236603 Jogiwara Rd (Map #12) Email:

Your Communication Partner

Jogiwara Rd, next to Tibetan Ashoka Guest House - Map #23 Mobile: 07833047078 Email:,

Dr Mobile Shop

Mobile Sales, Mobile Repair, Sim Cards, Purchase and Recharge Phone Service

18+ yrs’ experience: Swedish massage courses &

Black Magic Building (underground), Jogiwara Road, Map #4 McLeod Ganj Phone: 9857011101 Contact

Nature Cure Health Club


treatment, Zen Shiatsu courses, treatment, reflexology treatment, SPA, Singing Bowl Treatment and many more! NOVEMBER 2016





advertisements Map not to scale

Map of McLeod Ganj showing locations of places of interest


See advertisement pages for details of advertisers TIPA



26 25

Vipassana Centre

Naddi Village Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV)


Tushita Centre





Cantt Police Post




1 Lha Main Bazaar











29 14


Road to Dharamshala

1. Lha Headquarters and Tibet Fair Trade 2. Namgyal Cafe (at Om Hotel) 3. Common Ground Cafe 4. Dr Mobile, Woeser Bakery 5. Black Tent Cafe 6. Carpe Diem Restaurant 10. Perfect 32 Dental Clinic 11. Hotel Ladies’ Venture 12. 8 Auspicious Him View Hotel 13. Ahimsa House and Lha Soup Kitchen 14. Chonor House 15. Lhamo’s Croissant, Dolma Therapy 16. Rinku Taxi Service

17. Central Tibetan Administration,Tibetan Parliament-in-exile, Tibetan Library 18. LRZTP Tibetan Language Programme 19. Tibetan Museum and Temple 20. Tibetan Handicraft Centre 21. Taste of India 22. SnowLion Custom Tattoo 23. Nature Cure Health Club 24. Dr Tandon’s Advanced Dental 25. Himalayan Yoga Retreat 26. Om Massage Centre 27. Chapri Handicrafts 28. Marleen’s Thankas & Gifts 29. Dorjee Spa


17 18

Road to Dharamshala

Our specialty: Chocolate Vegan cake, Gluten free cake, Fresh Coffee Beans, cappaccino, Chocolate chilli lollipop 9am to 7pm - Closed on Monday

Below “Black Magic Hotel” on Jogiwara Rd -Map#4

Enjoy traditional Taiwanese and Chinese food and peaceful environment, just one minute from the Bus Stand, just behind Asian Plaza! (Map # 3)


To advertise here, Contact Lha office at Temple Road, McLeod Ganj

For all your dental requirements under one roof, in a sterile and state of the art clinic

Dr Natasha Mehra @ Perfect 32 Dental Clinic Location: Near Hotel Mount View Jogiwara Rd, McLeod Map #10 Call: 09218742046 Email:

Tibetan Buddhist Walking Guide

New to the town? Local guide at Mcleod Ganj /Dharamshala. I can tour you around Mcleod Ganj, Gangkyi, Library, Norbulingka, sight-seeing etc Can speak Tibetan, English, Hindi and Nepali

Name : Dawa Tsering /Mobile no: 8352868671



Lhamo’s Croissant

Vegetarian and Vegan Food Bakery, Coffee shop, French Restaurant Gluten Free and Fresh seasonal juices and salads

Roof top terrace with stunning views Bhagsu Road, just before Kunga Hotel Map#15



Marleen’s Thankas & Gifts We are happy to provide high quality Tibetan thangkas and gifts for all budgets; working with 18 artists we are able to take orders.

Snowlion Custom Tattoo

Jogiwara Road, 50m down from post office, opposite Tibetan gas office Mc Leod Ganj Map #28 Email:

May all beings be happy.


snowlion custom tattoo : facebook


Artist Passang Location: near Hotel Tibet - Map#22 Professional Tattto Artist / Traditionally Trained Tibetan Thangka Painter 100% Safe & Hygienic Contact: 9459160626 / 9805286528



Lha Tibet Fair Trade Regd No.U74140HP2013PTC000540 IEC No. 2213006741 TIN: 02060101641 CST: 02060101641 PAN: AACCL5897M

What’s LTFT?

Lha Tibet Fair Trade (LTFT) is a certified Fair Trade company which supports Lha’s charitable work through the sale of traditional Tibetan goods made by local craftspeople.

What we have?

Hand-made woollen carpets, singing bowls, jewellery, goods made from recycled paper, Tibetan home decor pieces and many more!


Your shopping and support will contribute to Lha’s numerous social projects and help Lha become more sustainable and self-sufficient.

What we do?

Retail outlet, manufacture, wholesale, import & export, support local artisans, tours and travel.The LTFT is pleased to welcome any businesses wishing to form partnerships and set up exhibition tours.

Drop-in at our store at LHA office, Mon-Sat Phone: +91 (0) 98823-23455 / 1892-220992


Lha Tibet Fair Trade To advertise call Lha office: 01892-220992 or visit Lha office at Temple Rd, McLeod Ganj Map #1

Follow Contact website using the QR code!

Tibet Fair Trade འབྲེལ་གཏུགས་གསར་འཕྲིན།

Contact Newsletter

Managing Director Ngawang Rabgyal Editor-in-Chief Jenny James Editor Tenzin Samten Assistant Editor Dorji Kyi Layout Design Tamdin Yangzom Circulation Manager Lobsang Rabsel Published by Lha Charitable Trust Web: Phone: 91(0)1892-220992 Facebook: ContactNews Twitter: @ContactTibet Printed at Imperial Printing, Dharamshala Phone: 222390

Contact November 2016  

Contact, a free monthly publication of Lha Charitable Trust, is a recognised and registered publication under the Registrar Office of the Ne...

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