December 2019

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A Digest of Tibetan Issues, News and Community Information RGD No. HPENG/2013/51798 | Volume: XXI

Issue: 11 | December 31, 2019

Tibetan Campaigner Sentenced to Seven Years

by Tenzin Samten Anya Sengdra, a 47 year old Tibetan nomad and environmental activist from Golog prefecture in eastern Tibet, was sentenced to seven years in prison by a court in Golog on December 6. He had already spent 14 months in detention. He was charged with “gathering people to disturb public order” and “picking quarrels and provoking Continued on page 3

Three Tibetans Arrested

by Kim Smeenk Three Tibetans have been arrested and detained by the Chinese government for their social media activities on the platform WeChat. The activities concern private conversations with their family and friends which took place around the 30th anniversary of His Holiness the Dalai Lama receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. Continued on page 3

Reincarnation: “Why Are You in a Hurry?”

by Ben Byrne China’s Document No 5 from 2007, which states that the process for the recognition and enthronement of Tibetan Buddhist reincarnates must be supervised and approved by the Chinese government, has recently come in for intense criticism from various organisations across the world. Tibetan Buddhist leaders in Europe rejected China’s Continued on page 7

International Support for Tibetans and Uighur Muslims by Kritika M Narula The cause of Tibetan, Uighurs and Hong Kongers’ freedom has found policy support in the form of parliamentary discussions and legislation in the United States. Other countries, including Canada, are also echoing vocal expressions of support. In a recent development, the Tibetan Policy and Support Act (TPSA) was unanimously passed by the US House Foreign Affairs Committee on December 18. The Act provides for

Continued on page 8

Contact News

Contents News Features 01-10 Tibetan Headlines 11-12 International Headlines 13 NGO Profile 14 People Story 15 Community News 16 Volunteer Story and Lha news 17 Charities & Organisations 18-19 Activities & Information 20-21 Jobs & Advertisements 22-23 Mcleod Ganj Map 24

Upcoming Events in Dharamshala January 1: New Year and the day of the nine bad omens Tibetan offices closed for holiday. January 2: The day of the ten good omens Tibetan offices closed for holiday. February 24 - 26 : Losar - Tibetan New Year Tibetan offices closed for holiday. *Lha Charitable Trust will be closed for the Losar holiday from February 17 to 29. Lha will reopen on March 2. To see His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s teaching schedules, visit

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Contact magazine is published by Lha Charitable Trust

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Institute for Social Work & Education Lha is an award-winning, grassroot and non-profit institute for social work and education based in Dharamshala, India. It 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 language and IT classes, a community soup kitchen and many other programmes and activities. Through rehabilitation resources and social and educational services, Lha facilitates an easy transition for the Tibetan refugee community to India. For more information about Lha, please visit: Facebook: Lhasocialwork Twitter: Lhasocialwork

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Charitable Trust. It has been a popular source of news and information on Tibetan issues, and the Dharamshala community, for 21 years and is acknowledged in Lonely Planet and other international travel resources. It is available free of charge and distributed around Dharamshala, Delhi and various diplomatic missions in India. Copies are sent to Tibetan schools, settlements, offices and NGOs in India and abroad. Contact is updated daily on our website Contact is registered under the Registrar Office of the Newspaper, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India; registration number HPENG/2013/51798. Please Note: The articles, stories and other material in Contact represent the views of the authors and are not necessarily the views of the Contact editing staff or Lha Charitable Trust. Please email comments on this issue to:

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Contact magazine | December 2019 | Page No 2

“If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.” - His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Director’s Word Tashi Delek! Looking at the past year with the warmest of memories and gratitude, I wish you all a very Happy New Year and may happiness and good health be your companion for the coming year. It has been more than four years since I started to work at Lha and I have had the privilege of working with so many wonderful people over the years. Lha is able to do a wide range of projects in the community because of our volunteers and we must remember their contribution as we wrap up another successful year. Hence, on behalf of all the beneficiaries of Lha Charitable Trust, I express my deepest gratitude to all the people who have contributed their time, effort and resources to many of our programmes. Special mention of thank you to Jenny James and our volunteer writers without whom the monthly publication of Contact magazine is not possible. - Dorji Kyi

News Features Tibetan Campaigner Sentenced to Seven Years Continued from page 1

trouble” which Free Tibet, a London-based Tibet advocacy group, said highlights the Chinese authorities’ harassment of the right of Tibetan activists and environment defenders. Anya Sengdra, a resident of Kyangche Township in Golog who campaigned against environmental destruction caused by illegal mining activities, illegal hunting and poaching of endangered animals, as well as government corruption, was arrested on September 4, 2018. He was beaten and held without access to a lawyer during the first 48 days of his detention. His family members were not allowed to visit him, reports Free Tibet. Anya Sengdra is reported as being a man who was highly respected in his community for his activism. In 2014 Anya was appointed chief of his town. In that year, he and fellow Tibetan nomads founded a voluntary organisation Mang Dhon Ling – which means Public Affairs Forum, to fight against the corruption and misuse of power by local Chinese authorities. The court also accused him of heading two WeChat groups – both having a membership of over four hundred people, and of using two other WeChat groups with titles that include the words “anti-corruption”, “environmental protection’’ and “people’s petitions”. Anya’s brother, Jimitri, was arrested on December 16, 2018 and was also scheduled for trial on the same day as Anya. However, there are reports that he died in detention from unknown causes and that he was taken to a hospital in Xining in Amdo [Ch: Qinghai Province] from his detention centre. Following Anya’s trial, his lawyer Lin Qilei said in a

tweet that his client does not accept the verdict and will appeal against his sentence. Tibetans and Tibet groups across the world have expressed their distress over the incident. “Anya has become the latest victim of China’s systematic plan to silence and imprison Tibetans,” said Dorjee Tseten from Students for a Free Tibet, adding, “The trumped up charges against him are farcical and reflect China’s lack of rule of law and respect for basic human rights. Tibetans and supporters around the world will continue to press for Anya’s release.” “His peaceful work to protect the environment and challenge corruption highlighted problems that the authorities should have taken seriously. But, rather than listening, the CCP decided that Anya must be locked away in silence,” said John Jones from Free Tibet. Lobsang Yangtso from the International Tibet Network said, “Activists around the world are working to protect the environment and ensure that the land that they live on will be fit for future generations. Living under China’s occupation has meant Anya’s environmental protection work has led to him being classed as a criminal rather than an environmental justice hero.” Padma Dolma of the Tibet Justice Centre said, “Since 2018, [the] Chinese authorities have been issuing regulations that can get Tibetans arrested en masse and under false charges. Nomad and community leader Anya Sengdra is the victim of a crackdown that has seen over 400 Tibetans convicted last year, despite no evidence being presented that they committed a crime; further evidence that being a Tibetan in the People’s Republic of China today is to be a threat to state security”.

Three Tibetans Arrested Continued from page 1

There is speculation that the arrests have resulted from the tightened surveillance by the Chinese government on this platform. WeChat is a popular social media platform used by 70% of the Tibetan diaspora to stay in contact with their family and friends overseas. The platform’s popularity stems from the fact that other global social media platforms are banned by the Chinese government and so cannot be used within China and Chinese-occupied areas. WeChat is controlled by the Chinese company Tencent and is monitored by the Chinese government. Additionally, it is an easily accessible platform that does not require computer literacy. The International Campaign for Tibet states on their website: “Authorities in the Chinese-occupied Sangchu stated that ‘any information harmful to the [Chinese

Communist] Party, government and society on WeChat would be regarded as a criminal act’.” WeChat is becoming increasingly dangerous for Tibetans. The three detained Tibetans are Lubum Dorjee, an artist in the Tibetan traditional artform of Thangka painting, who was born deaf; Tsegan who is in his mid-30s, and an additional person who has not yet been identified. The arrests are not a one-off event; similar cases have taken place including that of Tibetan Rinso who shared a picture of His Holiness the Dalai Lama through WeChat and was subsequently arrested and detained for 10 days; the Tibetan monk Sonam Palden who was held for sharing thoughts on the Tibetan language and Chinese policy on WeChat; and a Tibetan named Wangchuk who was arrested after sharing information about Tibetan books on WeChat.

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News Features Long Life Prayers for His Holiness by Tenzin Dadon His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama graced the launch of a Nalanda Studies Chair at Goa University on December 11. He spoke about the 3,000 year old Indian traditions of ahimsa, karuna, shamatha and vipashyana, adding that it would be very good if these aspects of ancient Indian wisdom could be combined with modern education. His Holiness said, “Modern education is good for securing material development, but ancient Indian wisdom is about the mind. We Tibetans have kept it alive in theory and practice, not only the religious content, but the psychological and philosophical aspects too. These deserve academic scrutiny, and Goa University is interested in this.” On December 12 His Holiness arrived at Drepung Lachi Monastery, Mundgod Tibetan settlement, South India. His Holiness always emphasises the importance of reasoning and logic. In this regard he said, “My intention, while I’m here, is to witness your debates. I’d like you to debate solely on the basis of reason and logic, without relying on scriptural citation, which has the effect of diluting the argument. I look forward to hearing you debate the Middle Way View and the Perfection of Wisdom and logic.” On December 14, His Holiness inaugurated the new courtyard of Drepung Gomang Monastery and attended a ceremony celebrating the marking of the six-year implementation phase of the Emory Tibetan Science Initiative. On December 16 - 17 His Holiness conferred the long

life empowerment and attended the symposium Aryadeva’s 400 Stanzas on the Middle Way at Drepung Loseling. On December 20, He lit a lamp before images of the Buddha to inaugurate an international conference, Je Tsongkhapa, the prominent Buddhist teacher who established the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism: Life, Thought and Legacy, in Gaden Lachi Assembly hall. The following day he attended an event to celebrate the anniversary of Je Tsongkhapa’s Parinivana. A long life prayer offering for His Holiness was organised by several monasteries and held at Gaden Jangtse Monastery on December 22. His Holiness reassured those present that he expects to live to over 113 years saying, “Just as I cultivate an altruistic intention, I’ve had dreams about living long. In one dream I was climbing steps, 13 steps, which I interpreted to relate to the prediction that I could live to the age of 113. Dalai Lamas have had close relations with Palden Lhamo. I had a dream in which she told me I’d live to be 110. Meanwhile, Trulshik Rinpoché requested me to live as long as Thangtong Gyalpo. He is said to have lived until he was 125; may I do so too.” The audiences clapped their hands in joy on this note. His Holiness’s visit concluded with a ceremony to award degrees to the 298 Lharampa Geshés who graduated in 2017, 2018 and 2019. The Ganden Throne holder presented each one with his certificate, following which they gathered in groups around His Holiness to have their photograph taken with him.

Are Tibetan Women Being Subjected to Bride Trafficking? by Sam Lynch A new report from the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) has revealed human rights violations “pertaining to land, livelihood and women’s rights” in Nyalam county, on Tibet’s border with Nepal. The TCHRD is a registered non-government human rights organisation based in Dharamshala that aims to protect the human rights of people in Tibet. The 2015 Nepal earthquake has led to the relocation of Tibetans from their land and livelihoods due to local government claims “that the old houses had become unstable”. An anonymous source from within the county has told the TCHRD that, “If they move into the new houses that are built cheek by jowl, they will lose their land and livelihood sources without adequate compensation”, adding, “The old houses had sustained minor cracks but this is used as an excuse to displace and dispossess the whole community.” TCHRD says that the earthquake is used as an excuse to separate Tibetans from their traditional ways of living. Many local residents have attempted to resist relocation and prominent voices of dissent have found themselves in police custody, including

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a Mr Wanghcuk, noted by the TCHRD in their report as “one of the strongest voices against the relocation project”, who has been detained since March. Another cause for concern in the region is the fate of Tibetan women who marry Chinese migrant workers. The report notes that whilst many of these marriages have proved legitimate there are an increasing number of cases where, after the bride leaves home, all communication with parents and relatives ceases completely. TCHRD says that, given reports in the media of bride trafficking from countries in Southeast Asia, the Tibetan families are concerned their daughters are suffering a similar fate. According to a Human Rights Watch report, the gender imbalance in China has led to women being smuggled from rural communities in countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia and Pakistan and sold to Chinese families where they are “held prisoner and pressured to produce babies as quickly as possible”. China is known to give incentives for inter-ethnic marriages and TCHRD’s report notes that many analysts view this as another attempt by the Chinese government to “dilute Tibetan identity and stamp out political resistance against Chinese rule”.

News Features Detained for Phone Conversation by Tenzin Samten Tsering Dorjee, 45, has been detained in Tibet for over a month in a “re-education centre” for having a phone conversation with his younger brother about the importance of learning the Tibetan language, reports the Dharmshalabased Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD). Tsering Dorjee lives in Peleb village which is in the Tashi Zom Township County in Shigatse city in the traditional Tibetan province of U-tsang – known by the Chinese as the Tibetan Autonomous Region. His younger brother Wangude Tsering lives in exile. Wangdue Tsering told TCHRD that his brother Dorjee was arrested in Tibet on February 20 this year while on his way to meet his daughter who is studying at a boarding school in Lhatse. Tsering said that he and his brother spoke over the phone in the morning and in the evening, he received the news of Dorjee’s detention. “I had called my older brother that morning and we talked about how important it was to teach [the] Tibetan language to our children. I told him if we didn’t advise our children early on, they would learn only Chinese,” he said. Dorjee was told that he had been detained because he had maintained contact with outsiders and talked about Tibetan language education for children which, he was told, was a “political crime”. Dorjee was kept for a month in Dingri County Public Security Bureau re-education centre before being handed over to the Dingri police. People detained in re-education centres are reported as being subjected to long interrogations and beatings. TCHRD reports that Dorjee was released with a warning that sharing his detention experience with others would

result in severe consequences. Dorjee’s brother Wangdue Tsering came to India in 2011 with 14 other Tibetans to attend the Kalachakra teaching by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and since then has been unable to return home. Tsering being barred from going back to Tibet has also caused his family members to face persecution from the Chinese authorities, including a ban on travelling to neighboring cities without permission. Tsering says that, fearing further harassment, his brother told him not to attend Tibetan schools in exile. Tsering, along with the group, attempted to return to Tibet in 2012: they were detained at the border by Wangdue Tsering Chinese border police Photo: TCHRD and spent four months in detention and a week in solitary confinement. They were subsequently handed over to the Dingri County police and held there for a month, undergoing further torture, interrogations and beatings followed by deportation back to Nepal. There they were taken into custody and their documents confiscated, meaning they could not live in Tibet. Tsering says that the UN refugee agency UNHCR and a Human Rights Organisation in Nepal spent four days negotiating for their release. Tsering told TCHRD that it has been seven years since then and he is unsure of when he will be able to return home.

International Awards for Tibetan Filmmaker by Tenzin Samten Tsering Wangmo, a documentary filmmaker, born and brought up in the Ladakh Tibetan settlement as one of the second generation of Tibetans living in the diaspora, has won three awards at the My Hero International Film Festival (MHIFF). Wangmo’s Conversations with My Mother won the prestigious 2019 Eva Haller Women Transforming Media (WTM) in the student division, while also being awarded first place in the Experimental category as well as the 2019 Emerging Artist Award. MHIFF focuses on empowering people of all ages to realise their potential to effect positive change in the world through media, art and technology. Conversations with My Mother is an experimental documentary focusing on Wangmo’s mother’s life, using narration and image in parallel to depict her past and the present. “My mother and I live different lives yet we are connected beyond [what] words can ever explain. She is

my root and I am fascinated by the being that she is. […] Through visual imagery, I tried to capture the simplicity of her life and the warmth that she provides to her family,” Wangmo explained. “The emerging artist award recognises filmmakers who show promise with their talents and storytelling skills. Tsering shows great promise,” said Wendy Millette, MHIFF Director. Wangmo studied journalism and mass communication in India before she went on to study documentary filmmaking in New York University. After completing her Masters in Journalism there, specialising in news and documentary film production, she has made several documentaries focusing on lives of Tibetans in exile. Her documentary Tales from the Pasture, a photographic documentary of the lives of Tibetan nomads, won both the Jury Award and Audience Award at the Tibet Film Festival (TFF) Short Film Competition 2018 in Dharamshala

Contact magazine | December 2019 | Page No 5

News Features Tibet Representation at COP25

by Ben Byrne and the political leaders in lockstep with them that the The COP25 climate summit, held in Madrid from common people “will not tolerate inaction on climate December 2-13, was attended by Tempa Gyaltsen change anymore.” Over 500,000 people attended the Zamlha, Head of Environment and Development Desk strike in Madrid. at the Tibet Policy Institute (TPI). Zamhla leads a team Post-conference, speaking to Contact magazine, of Tibetan environmental researchers in a bid to increase Zamlha explained that discussing the Tibetan environment awareness of the global significance of climatic changes at international conferences was “never easy”, but taking place in Tibet. that they provided an On December “ample opportunity 7, over 100 people for us to highlight turned out to listen to the global ecological two panel discussions importance of the hosted by the TPI. Tibetan Plateau and its Zamlha highlighted current environmental the severe risk from situation under Chinese climate change occupation to the and excessive global community.” construction projects Speaking of his Chinese such as dams, roads counterparts, Zamlha and railway lines on said that, whilst they had Tibet’s environment. a “good understanding” The Tibet Climate Truck The president of Casa on climate change, Photo:Tempa Gyaltsen Zamlha /Facebook del Tibet in Spain “they surely do not have (the Spanish Tibet House Foundation), Ven Thubten an accurate understanding of the current environmental Wangchen, spoke on the role of Tibetan culture and situation in Tibet, and Tibet’s environment is not their Buddhism in environmental protection. Other speakers priority.” focused on issues ranging from the extreme temperature Zamlha echoed the general consensus that the rises witnessed on the Tibetan plateau in recent decades, conference itself was a major disappointment. Plans to draw to the forceful relocation up rules for a carbon market of nomads, the pollution of between countries were Tibet’s rivers and grassland postponed until next year’s degradation. COP summit in Glasgow, During the conference UK. There was likewise no the Tibetan delegates progress on plans for rich showcased a message countries with historically from His Holiness the high carbon emissions to Dalai Lama using the Tibet provide compensation to Climate Truck. The truck poor vulnerable countries displayed a giant poster of hit by the heaviest impacts His Holiness along with the of climate change. Professor message: “Climate change Johan Rockstrom, director is not just the concern of the Stockholm Resilience of one or two nations. It Centre and a professor of is an issue that affects environmental science at all humanity and every living being on this earth.” The Stockholm University, and a leading researcher on truck was taken to significant locations around Madrid, planetary boundaries, said that “kicking the can” was reportedly drawing strong public attention and interest. “hardly in line with the climate emergency that we The delegates also joined famed Swedish scientists highlighted during COP25.” The World Wildlife environmental activist Greta Thunberg during a climate Fund (WWF) released a statement after the conference strike held in the city on December 6. These strikes accusing governments in attendance of showing “a are intended to show the polluting fossil fuel industries staggering lack of leadership.”

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News Features Reincarnation: “Why Are You in a Hurry?” Continued from page 1

stance at a conference in Belgium at the beginning of December. In Toronto, Canada, various Chinese organisations; including the China Democratic Party of Canada; Federation for a Democratic China and the New Hong Kong Cultural Club, released a joint communiqué stating, “The reincarnation of the Dalai Lama is purely a religious right of Tibetans and decision rights of His Holiness himself. The Chinese authorities have no right to interfere.” On December 21, a group of prominent overseas Chinese intellectuals and democracy activists issued a joint declaration at a meeting in the United States. Read out by Mr Hu Ping, former editor of Beijing Spring, a Chinese-language New York-based magazine which promotes human rights, social justice and democracy in China, the statement referred to Chinese government interference in the selection of reincarnated Lama’s as “illegal and invalid” and “ridiculously illogical”. These statements all came in the aftermath of the 14th Tibetan Religious Conference, held in Dharamshala from November 27 – 29 and attended by more than 150 Tibetan religious leaders, mainly from India, Nepal and the United States. The conference was held at the headquarters of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), and it focused on the issue of reincarnation and adopted a resolution that the Dalai Lama should have sole authority to recognise his successor. In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang echoed Document No 5,

saying, “The reincarnation of living Buddhas including the Dalai Lama must comply with Chinese laws and regulations.” Shuang cites several hundred years of tradition relating to the selection of reincarnated Lamas using a golden urn. However, this process was only initiated and employed between 1791 and 1793, when Chinese military generals sent to Tibet to help the Tibetan army fight against Gurkha forces suggested it. Prior to that there had been 600 years of reincarnation tradition in Tibet, and once these generals departed, the golden urn was only infrequently used to humour Manchu expectations. The Dalai Lama has himself said that the golden urn “lacked any spiritual quality”. Observers have commented on the irony of an atheist political party, which explicitly rejects the idea of past and future lives, demanding the right to choose the reincarnation of living Buddhas. Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, President of the CTA, responded to Mr Shuang, saying that the Communist Party of China selecting Tibetan Buddhist reincarnations was akin to Fidel Castro saying, “I will select the next Pope, and all the Catholics should follow.” On the final day of the conference, His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressed the attendees and sought to defuse ongoing discussions about his reincarnation. “All of you discussed a lot about my reincarnation,” His Holiness was quoted as saying, “I am 84 or 85 years old and I am quite well. So why are you in a hurry about my reincarnation?”

His Holiness Visits Bodh Gaya by Aparna Ramachandran His Holiness arrived in Bodh Gaya on the night of December 24 for his annual fortnightly visit to the city. Several thousand Tibetans, foreigners, and Indians gathered to catch a glimpse and receive blessings from His Holiness. En route to the Mahabodhi temple, His Holiness gave a small press conference. He quoted facts stating that over the last few years China has been seeing an increase in the number of Tibetan Buddhists, especially of the Nalanda tradition. He further stated that China has traditionally been a Buddhist country. Among the adherents of various religions, Buddhists are the largest in number. The Dalai Lama declared that Tibetan Buddhists will continue to fight with “the power of truth” the communist regime in China which, according to him, thrived on the

“power of the gun”. He also brought attention to the ancient Indian education system and its emphasis on non-violence, compassion and democracy. Amidst the violence rocking the Earth, he said it is essential to practice compassion to achieve mental peace and promote humanistic values. During his visit, His Holiness is giving teachings on Gyalsey Thokme Sangpo’s Thirty-Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva (Laklen Sodunma) on January 2, and on January 3, he will confer the Avalokiteshvara Initiation (Chenresig Wang). From January 4 - 6, His Holiness will complete The Wheel of Teachings on Manjushri Empowerments (Jamyang Choekhor) based on its proximal lineage; this will continue the teaching he started in Bodhhaya in December 2018. The teachings will be held at the Kalachakra Teaching Ground in Bodh Gaya.

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News Features International Support for Tibetans and Uighur Muslims Continued from page 1

various measures to safeguard the interests of the Tibetan community and its faith. It seeks to establish a US policy that mandates that the selection of Tibetan religious leaders will be done by Tibetans, with no interference or influence from the Chinese Government. It calls out the Chinese authorities on their unjust infringement over the community, as expressed by US House Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, “It is an unthinkable violation of the basic principles of religious freedom that the Chinese government will choose the religious leaders of the Tibetan people rather than allowing the Tibetan people to make this decision through their ancient and sacred tradition.” The Act involves sanctions that will prevent Chinese officials from making a selection of the successors to the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader in exile. In addition to preventing China from meddling with the affairs of the spiritual leadership, the Act also establishes grounds for opening a US consulate in Lhasa, Tibet’s capital. Until that happens, no new Chinese consulate shall be allowed to be opened in the United States. The legislation is an upgrade and an update of the landmark Tibetan Policy Act of 2002 and extends its arms to encompass policies on water security and climate change in Tibet. The Act also directs funding for humanitarian projects serving Tibetan welfare until at least 2025. Uighur Act of 2019 Concomitant to these developments, the US has also passed similar legislation to safeguard the rights of the Uighurs, who are a Muslim minority community living in East Turkestan in north-western China and are being subjected to human rights violations similar to those endured by Tibetans in Tibet. The Uighur Act, 2019 was also passed in the US House of Representatives as an expression of objection to China’s “arbitrary detention, torture, and harassment” of the Uighur Muslims. This brings legislative support to a community that has been subject to arbitrary arrests and imprisonment by requiring the US President to condemn this violation of international human rights. The bill also seeks the closure of the detention camps that currently hold over 1,000,000 Uighurs: these are essentially prison camps which Beijing describes as “vocational training centres”. The bill is awaiting approval by the United States Senate.

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International support It has also been widely acknowledged that the human rights violations taking place in Tibet have been aggravated with time. TibetanCanadian Member of Provincial Parliament Bhutila Karpoche, the first Tibetan in North America to be elected to public office, brought attention to the issue in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario on December 10. She implored Canadians to support the violated communities - the Tibetans, Uyghurs and Hong Kongers - as they seek to resolve the ongoing conflicts and pursue independence from Chinese powers. And in Washington DC, a number of prominent Chinese scholars and leaders signed a joint statement rejecting the Chinese Government’s claims of authority regarding the recognition of the reincarnation of the next Dalai Lama, stating that this is the right of the Tibetan People, and supporting the MiddleWay Policy. The statement was issued at the New York Sino –Tibet Dialogue – 2019 held by the Office of Tibet, Washington DC. China’s response to the developments After the Tibetan Policy and Support Act of 2019 was passed, China has expressed anger and resentment. China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang has dismissed any foreign interference, claiming that Tibetan affairs are China’s internal affairs and that the Act seeks to exploit the issue of Tibet to make way for further interference in China’s domestic policy affairs. Citing the massive sensitivity of the Tibet issue, Chinese officials have claimed that the Act sends a wrong signal to the “Tibet independence” forces. Reportedly, Li Haidong, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University’s Institute of International Relations in Beijing, has expressed concerns that the series of bills related to Tibet and to “China’s Hong Kong, Taiwan and Xinjiang” are effectively moves to contain China. It, however, seems unlikely that China’s narrative and accusation of these legislations being negative and detrimental will have any weight - most candidates of the United States 2020 Presidential elections have condemned the Chinese crackdown, with South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg willing to resort to “diplomatic and economic isolation” of the nation. Human rights issues are on the candidates’ agendas, the spirit of which maintains their allegiance to action against China’s expansionist intentions.

News Features Why Does the World Need Secular Ethics? Building on Lha’s Secular Ethics Fellowship earlier this year, we have commissioned a series of articles looking at different aspects of Secular Ethics, leading up to a research project next spring which will look at the education aspects in more depth and at what is happening in the schools in Dharamshala. Look out for our follow up articles in the coming months by Okechukwu, our volunteer who’s interest in Secular Ethics has led to his offer to look at how it is being received in various locations, and how the students and educators feel about its inclusion in the curriculum.

by Okechukwu Onwunli If one takes some of our most crucial modern issues like income inequality, world hunger and climate change, you will find a shortfall of concern for the wellbeing of others blocking the way forward. At its core, secular ethics is a compassion-based endeavour to address a lack of conviction to moral principles, without being based in any religion. As wonderful and useful as religion is to billions of people across this planet, no one religion can be universally accepted. We must also consider that an estimated 22% of the world’s population is not affiliated with any religion (11% of which is atheist), according to a 2015 poll conducted byWIN/Gallup International Association. How do we address the moral needs of these people? Furthermore, how do we address the lack of harmony between people of different religious traditions which is root to so much sectarian violence? His Holiness the Dalai Lama frequently expresses the opinion that utilising secular ethics is fundamental to his number one life commitment of promoting inner peace. His Holiness also stresses that this must be done from the platform of basic human values, scientific evidence and the cultivation of warm-heartedness. This is upon the overwhelming scientific evidence that good mental health correlates to physical resilience.Secular ethics also builds upon the view that developing a genuine concern for the well being of others will leave little room for violence, hypocrisy and distrust in day to day life. Utilising human intelligence while developing our capacity for compassion, we can reduce man-made problems and re-establish a sense of trust between different communities. It is also important to consider how secularism is perceived amongst different cultures. In the west, the French Revolution of 1789 drove atheistic thought into western political ideology. Many influential atheistic western philosophers, including Karl Marx and Friedrich Nietzsche, made an impact on western philosophy to the effect that for many political ideologies, religion became seen as an obstacle to progress. Thus, for some in the west, secularism can be perceived as disrespectful to religion. In countries like India, the idea of secularism is built upon the foundation of respect for all religious traditions. This religious tolerance is not new to India and can be traced back

to 3rd century BCE, during the time of Emperor Ashoka. It is important to understand that secular ethics looks holistically at basic human values common to all religious traditions. The aim is to share with religious and non-religious individuals the values of compassion, forgiveness, and self-discipline which can be found at the heart of any moral system and are therefore universal values. The 1990 international Human Genome Project gave humanity clear proof that, on average, we are at most 0.1 percent genetically different from any other person on the planet. We are mentally, physically and emotionally the same; based on the common desire to live a happy and fulfilled life. Yet, we hold grudges, wars and spread prejudice because of an overemphasis on this 0.1 percent difference. It would seem secular ethics hopes to bridge this gap from the ground up through, amongst other things, education. On the frontlines of educating individuals on the matter of secular ethics is the SEE Learning curriculum developed by Emory University in the United States and The Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. SEE Learning is a Social and Emotional Learning programme (SEL) developed for primary and K-12 schools which has secular ethics and mindfulness at the heart of its curriculum. The global launch of SEE Learning was unveiled in April 2019, and has seen some schools in the United States and India adopting its programme as part of their curriculum throughout the year. This is promising for anyone interested in secular ethics as in time we will see what effect is has on the individuals under its care, hopefully, from a young age, making them more aware, compassionate and mentally well individuals. Secular ethics will attempt to bridge the perceived gap between different cultures and traditions, leaving anyone who adopts it more aware of the interdependent nature of the world around them. Secular ethics aims to build a happy individual, giving rise to a happy family, which results in a happy community and creating a happy world. One can imagine that over time, our sense of tribalistic boundaries may expand. Secular ethics is not for distilling complex ethical issues but rather for cultivating a calm mind with genuine concern for others, which will in turn allow us to discern these complex issues more mindfully.

Contact magazine | December 2019 | Page No 9

News Features Tibetans Celebrate Nobel Peace Prize Day by Tenzin Dadon Cultural performances were presented during the On December 10 Tibetans around the globe celebrated event by the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA), the 30th anniversary of the award of the Nobel Peace as well as students and staff from the Tibetan schools Prize Award to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. around Dharamshala. Mementoes were awarded to In Dharamshala, the official celebration took place at health workers who have served for over 25 years, and Tsuglakhang, the main temple in Dharamshala where the to retiring CTA staff. residence of his Holiness is situated. The Central Tibetan The local community honoured His Holiness by Administration (CTA) holding the two-day President, Sikyong 24th Himalayan Festival Lobsang Sangay which took place at and Speaker of the TIPA. Ajay Singh Tibetan Parliament-inMankotia, President of exile, Pema Jungney, the Dharamshala Indodelivered the official Tibetan Friendship statements of the Association who Kashag [Tibetan organised the festival, Cabinet] and the thanked the CTA for their Tibetan Parliamentsupport over the 23 years in-exile respectively. since its inception. Guests at the Local noncelebration included g o v e r n m e n t Chief Executive Presentation of the Nobel Peace Prize to His Holiness on December 10, organisations and Tibet Councillor Shri support groups held 1989. Since then Tibetans mark this day each year. Gyal P Wangyal and events in Dharamshala: other representatives of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill the Active Nonviolence Education Centre (ANEC) Development Council and Shri Ajay Singh, President of launched a photographic exhibition in the Tibet Museum the Indo-Tibetan Friendship Association. which included a series of post-1959 photos. Students The day also marked the 71st anniversary of the for a Free Tibet erected a display of 71 pictures of Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In this regard Tibetan political prisoners to mark the 71st anniversary the Kashag in its statement asserted that fundamental of Human Rights Day. human rights are enshrined in Tibet and remembered the Celebrations took place around India organised by 154 Tibetans who have self-immolated for the cause of local Tibetan communities, as well as the CTA’s official Tibet, including 24-year-old Yonten celebrations in Delhi and Darjeeling. who self-immolated in Ngaba on In Geneva in Switzerland, around November 26 calling for freedom 500 Tibetans took part in a march to for Tibetans and the return of His draw attention to what is happening Holiness the Dalai Lama. in Tibet and to call for a resumption The CTA also released a video: of the talks with China to look at China’s Human Rights Commitments: ways of resolving the issue. A Sham. In his speech Shri Gyal P In Kathmandu, the capital of Wangyal said, “We are aware of the Nepal, a country heavily influenced gross human rights violations in Tibet by China, a large number of people Tibetan sweater sellers in Jaipur which [the] people of Ladakh have took part in an event despite constant celebrating the day always condemned and will keep police presence. on condemning.” He added, “After Ladakh becoming In the United States, the Tibetan community of Salt a union territory we assure you that relations between Lake City, Utah, held an event with guest representatives Ladakhis and Tibetans will strengthen further […] We of the local Members of Congress. The Office of Tibet, hope that Ladakh under the leadership of PM Modi can Washington DC Representative, Ngodup Tsering, spoke fulfill the aspiration of Tibetans in the coming years. We of the need to maintain the Tibetan language and culture assure you that Tibetans in Ladakh are well taken care and urged young Tibetans to become more involved in of.” Tibetan issues.

Contact magazine | December 2019 | Page No 10

Tibetan Headlines Dec 27: Case No 20

The long-running case of Penpa Tsering, the former Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile (TPiE) and Representative of the Office of Tibet, Washington, US, versus the Kashag [Cabinet] of the TPiE may have been resolved by an apology issued by the Kashag. The Kashag, who sacked Penpa Tsering from his post in Washington in 2017, has expressed “regret” for “unintentionally” defaming Penpa Tsering’s “dedication, competence and character” due to “misunderstanding”. Dec 27: Tibetan Buddhism Purged A lama has been expelled from his temple in Zunhua, a county-level city in Hebei, after he repainted nine stupas white, the traditional colour of stupas in Tibetan Buddhism, without government permission. The stupas had been painted yellow and had their golden peaks removed to make them “more representative of Chinese Buddhism” in advance of a visit from the central government’s religious work inspection team. Dec 26: India-Tibet Convention An event to mark the 60th anniversary of the All India Convention on Tibet was held in Kolkata, organised by the Core Group for Tibetan Cause-India. Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, President of the Tibetan Government-inExile, spoke at the event saying, “No government or country has done more for Tibetans” than India and stressing the importance of the Panchsheel Treaty of 1954 between India and China which agreed on non-interference and territorial respect. Dec 24: End of Poverty? China has issued a report on poverty, claiming that it has been eliminated in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), although also saying that Tibetan areas still remain the poorest throughout the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Poverty alleviation subsidies and welfare payments in Tibetan regions require claimants to pledge allegiance to the Communist Party of China and denounce HH the Dalai Lama. Dec 21: Restrictions on Religious Festival Chinese authorities have put restrictions on one of the major religious festivals in Tibet – Gaden Ngachoe – which commemorates

the passing of Je Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism. Government employees, school officials and students are banned from participating in the festival, reports Radio Free Asia. This year marks the 600th anniversary of the religious leader’s death. A notice has been sent out by the authorities warning of the consequences of participating in the festival. Dec 20: New Development Area The authorities in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) have approved the establishment of the Shigatse Economic Development Area, reports Chinese state media Xinhua. The 60 billion yuan [US $8.5 billion/ £ 6.6 billion] development is aimed at creating a platform for China’s Belt and Road Initiative which links it with countries to its west. Shigatse is a major city to the south west of Tibet’s capital, Lhasa. Dec 18: MPs Write to China 30 Lithuanian Members of Parliament have written a letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping requesting him to stop the persecution of ethnic and religious minorities. The letter contains a protest against the “continuing oppression of the Tibetans” and expresses “profound” concern about sinicisation and the lack of religious freedom. It asks him to recognise the fundamental human right to “freedom of thought, conscience, and religion”. Dec 18: Garnering Support China has sent a delegation to Belgium to bolster support for the Chinese government and its policies with regard to Tibet. The delegation is made up of Tibetan members of the Chinese National People’s Congress from the Tibet Autonomous Region. Chinese state media Xinhua said the purpose of the delegation is to “discourage the Belgian government from extending support for the Dalai Lama and his people”. Dec 16: Support from Ukraine The Friends of Tibet Foundation in the Ukraine has followed up its attendance at the recent Tibet Support Groups’ conference in Dharamshala with a public statement of support. The meeting, held in Chernomorsk by the Black Sea, was attended by journalists and Tibet supporters; issues discussed included the climate crisis, Confucius institutes, reincarnation and HH the Panchen Lama’s continued disappearance at the hands of China.

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Tibetan Headlines Dec 12: Task Force

The Task Force, the body of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) which meets to discuss and plan a way forward to achieve a resumption of negotiations with China, is meeting at the CTA headquarters in Dharamshala. This is the 32nd session of the Task Force and is presided over by Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, President of the CTA. Dec 11: Swiss Support The Swiss Parliamentary Group for Tibet has met to discuss action plans for the future; they discussed issues including the Middle Way Approach, Reincarnation, China’s surveillance in Tibet and Reciprocal Access to Tibet. Tibetan representatives at the meeting included officials from Tibet Office Geneva, the European Member of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile and representatives of the Swiss Tibetan Friendship Association. Dec 9: Political Training The management committee of the Shugsep Nunnery near Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, is compelling the nuns in residence there to declare loyalty to Beijing and the ruling Chinese Communist Party. This campaign focus is reported as being on China’s intention to select HH the Dalai Lama’s next reincarnation. There are also reports that nuns are compelled to “play an active role in blocking Tibetan protests against Chinese state policy”. Dec 8: HR March, Tokyo Tibetans in Japan joined the peace march which took place in Tokyo to mark Human Rights Day with a message calling on the Chinese government to end its repressive policies in Tibet, East Turkestan and Southern Mongolia. The march was organised by the Uighur (the Muslim ethnic minority community living in East Turkestan, or Xinjiang, in China) and Southern Mongolian communities in Japan, working with Students for a Free Tibet. Dec 6: Funding Boost Investment pledges of 1.2m Swiss Francs, (US$1.2m / £925,000) have been made by Tibetan communities in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, France and the Netherlands; the funding will go to TibFin which provides affordable capital, financial services, and financial literacy to Tibetan entrepreneurs and promotes smaller Tibetan enterprises. The pledges have arisen from the recent visit to Europe by a delegation from the Central Tibetan Administration.

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Dec 4: Refugees Evacuated Around 600 Tibetan asylum seekers in France have been evacuated from a makeshift camp on the outskirts of Paris. The spot has become a rallying point for Tibetan exiles since 2010 when a local aid association began offering support, food, showers, etc. The local Mayor, Marc Honore, said, “It’s unacceptable to let these people live in these conditions.” Around 8,000 Tibetans live in France. Dec 4: Prayers for Yonten

A prayer service to honour Yonten – the young Tibetan who selfimmolated in Tibet last week, has taken place in Taiwan. Members of the Tibetan community there, together with representatives of Tibetan non-government organisations and led by the Office of Tibet, Taiwan, gathered for prayers and to express solidarity with the suffering of the people living under Chinese rule in Tibet, particularly those who have died for the cause. Dec 4: Plea for Students The Bureau of HH the Dalai Lama, Delhi, has taken up the case of Tibetan students who cannot afford to pay university fees as they are classed as “foreigners” rather than “refugees” in India, and have to pay foreigners’ university fees - which have just undergone a sharp rise. The Bureau has written to the Indian government saying the Jawaharlal Nehru University fees are beyond the means of Tibetan students. Dec 4: Dancing for Freedom The Tibetan Association of Philadelphia performed a traditional Tibetan dance at the basketball match between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Indiana Pacers. The dancers were reacting to the recent controversy between the National Basketball Association and China, which received global media coverage, over whether the NBA should support the Hong Kong protestors and the NBA’s decision to kowtow to China, as well as calling for freedom for Tibetan, Uighurs and Hong Kongers. Dec 1: Biking for Tibet

Shri Sandesh Meshram, a long time Tibet supporter from Nagpur, has set off to cycle 7,500 miles across 12 Indian states, saying he aims to “create awareness and mobilise the support of the general Indian people on the urgent situation inside Tibet”. His three and a half month ride will take him from Dharamshala to Mundgod in south India. This is his fourth cycle ride for Tibet.

International Headlines Dec 25: Notre Dame

No Christmas services were held at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris for the first time since the French Revolution. Huge restoration work is required at the cathedral after a fire devastated the landmark in April this year. The rector of the cathedral says that the structure is still so fragile that there is still only a 50% chance of it being saved.

Dec 24: New Construction

New satellite images of North Korea show that a new structure has been built at a factory where equipment used to launch long-range missiles is made. Nuclear talks between the United States and North Korea have been stalled since a February summit between leaders Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un fell apart.

Dec 20: Oldest Trees

globally; this year 48 people are imprisoned in China - the highest number since their records began in 1992.

Dec 12: Defending Genocide?

Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto leader of Myanmar, is addressing the United Nations International Court of Justice to defend her country’s actions regarding the alleged genocide of the Muslim minority Rohingya population there. She said the army crackdown was in response to an extremist threat, but admitted that the military might have used disproportionate force at times. She said soldiers committing war crimes “will be prosecuted”.

Dec 11: Impeachment

Fossilised trees, 386 million years old, have been found in New York in an abandoned quarry. It is believed they were once part of a forest that extended beyond Pennsylvania. These trees are thought to be two or three million years older than any other remains discovered to date. Scientists have found at least two types of trees: Cladoxylopsids and Archaeopteris, with a third still to be identified.

United States President Donald Trump says he has “done nothing wrong” and that he “wants a trial”[...] “sooner than later” as the US House Judiciary Committee unveils charges against him. This key move in his impeachment by the Democratic-controlled committee includes accusations of abuse of power and of obstructing Congress. The Judiciary Committee will vote on whether to approve the articles later this week.

Dec 19: Prize for Tohti

Dec 10: Plane Disappears

Ilham Tohti, the Uighur intellectual imprisoned in China, has been awarded the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought for promoting “dialogue and mutual understanding” between the Uighur and other Chinese people. His daughter Jewher accepted the prize on his behalf, saying that she does not know if her father is alive. Uighurs are a Muslim ethnic minority group suffering persecution under Chinese rule.

Dec 18: Stone Age Woman

Scientists have obtained the DNA of a 6,000 year old stone age woman and used it to decipher her entire genetic code, giving clues as to her physical makeup, diet and lifestyle. The DNA was extracted from tooth marks she made when chewing tar from a tree – a primitive form of chewing gum. Scientists say it is likely the woman had dark skin and hair, with blue eyes.

Dec 17: China Retaliates

Top British Football Club Arsenal’s Premier League game against Manchester City was not broadcast live on China television as scheduled: China pulled the broadcast after Arsenal player Mesut Özil criticised China’s treatment of its ethnic minority Muslim Uighur population. Arsenal has tried to distance itself from the comments; a rift with China could have major financial implications for the club.

Dec 16: Protests in India

Demonstrators have taken to the streets in north India in protest against a new law brought in by the ruling Indian Hindu BJ Party which offers amnesty to non-Muslim illegal immigrants from neighbouring Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan - all Muslim majority countries. The new law is seen as anti-Muslim and has prompted fears of an influx of immigrants; some demonstrations have led to violence.

Dec 13: Worst in the World

China has been named as the world’s most frequent jailor of journalists for the fourth consecutive year. The United States-based Freedom of the Press Foundation reports that at least 250 journalists are imprisoned

A Chilean military plane has disappeared en route to Antarctica. Operators lost contact 78 minutes after takeoff from Punta Arenas; the plane was in the Drake Passage on its way to Antarctica’s King George Island. 17 crew and 21 passengers are among the 38 people who were on board the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft. The pilot is reported as having extensive experience; no distress signal was received.

Dec 8: Factory Fire

43 workers have been killed in a fire in a bag factory in Delhi. At least 100 people were sleeping inside the factory when the fire broke out in the early morning - more than 60 people have been rescued. The factory is reported as operating illegally as a factory and operating without an authorised fire licence. The owner has been arrested.

Dec 6: Mass Walkout

In France more than 800,000 people joined the biggest strike in years, in protest against President Macron’s pension reforms. They demonstrated in more than 100 cities disrupting schools and transport and closing oil refineries and popular tourist sites, including the Eiffel Tower which shut for the day. The General Confederation of Labour Union estimated the turnout at 1.5 million people, including 250,000 in Paris.

Dec 4: Exemplary Priorities

Katrin Jakobsdottir, Iceland’s Prime Minister, along with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and New Zealand’s PM Jacinda Ardern is, is campaigning for governments to give priority to green and familyfriendly policies rather than economic growth. Ms Jakobsdottir is urging them to look at “an alternative future based on well-being and inclusive growth”.

Dec 3: Hostage Speaks Out

Tim Weeks, 50, the Australian academic who was held hostage for three years by the Taliban along with the American Kevin King, has spoken out following his recent release in a “hostage swap”. He said he never gave up hope and believed rescue attempts were being made. He also said that some of his guards were “lovely people” and that he did not hate the Taliban.

Contact magazine | December 2019 | Page No 13

NGO Profile Tibet World Moves to New Premises by Lodoe Gyatso is that we all strive to be happy, but often we don’t succeed. Yeshi Lhundup, Director and Founder of the Tibetan We might look to agents such as alcohol and drugs, but non-government organisation Tibet World, is a man on a these actually take us further from our goal. Compassion mission. “I want to make a contribution to make the world and wisdom are like two hands, each indispensable for more peaceful and happy. If I cannot reach the whole happiness. world, then I want to at least make a difference to the place Tibet World was established in 2013 in Yeshi’s room. I stay.” It grew rapidly, and in June 2014 they moved to Jogiwara His mission is bearing fruit. Tibet World has just moved Road where they took up the entire building. The growth to a new location to accommodate the in the organisation is reflected in the growing needs of the organisation; carefully maintained records which show they are still in Jogiwara Road, but that there have been over 2,800 volunteers are now below Yongling School, next from more than 60 countries. In addition, to Hotel Moon Walk and opposite there have been over 4,000 students, and Sharma Cottage. Yeshi hopes that in student numbers are growing. its new premises, Tibet World will be Yeshe talks about plans for the future. in a position to offer more and better He says Tibet World is envisaging services. opening in other places, replicating the Yeshi started Tibet World for two programmes they are offering here in reasons. The first was that he wants McLeod Ganj. He is thinking about to benefit the Tibetan community. He writing a book covering the points Tibet World’s new premises realised that with only knowledge of contained in the Compassion + Wisdom his own language the world of the Tibetan is very small. = Happiness workshops. He enthuses about food, saying He is restricted to staying in areas in India where Tibetan that Tibetan food has a lot to offer the world – there are is spoken. With knowledge of foreign languages, Tibetans more than 20 types of Tibetan bread alone. Classes on are able to live in places they could not reach before. A Tibetan cooking would introduce foreigners to this product student told him, “I want learn ABCD because then I can of Tibetan culture. find Block A and Block B. Then I can find the bathroom.” Yeshi smiles at the thought that he currently does not The second reason is that as a Tibetan refugee Yeshi have the resources for such expansion. He explains that if wants to make a difference to the world. Yeshi believes you need the resources for something that is adding value that he is an ordinary person “with two hands, two eyes to the community and two feet,” and in that regard he has nothing special they will come. He to give. He has attended many teachings by His Holiness sometimes worries the Dalai Lama, and this has inspired him: His Holiness about money, but has often said that the world needs Tibetan values. Yeshi says that so far, Tibet strives to make the knowledge he has available to people World has always from all over the world. had enough, with the “Tibet needs the world and the world needs Tibet,” help of its volunteers Yeshi says enthusiastically. who teach language This leads to the tagline of the organisation: “Where classes, help with the website and fundraising. Tibet meets the World and the World meets Tibet”. I asked some volunteers about their experiences of The first part, about Tibet meeting the world, is reflected teaching at Tibet World. in the foreign language classes held at Tibet World. These Menng, a teacher there says that the teaching at Tibet include English, French, German, Chinese and Russian. World is valuable as she is learning so much about Tibetan There is a winter school for Tibetan children and training culture. workshops where subjects which include leadership and Wangchen Tsering says that he is enjoying it as he needs writing skills are taught. to adapt his approach to meet the needs of his students. He The second part, about the world meeting Tibet, is emphasises the basics to prepare his students for harder reflected in activities such as Tibetan folk shows and things. workshops entitled Compassion + Wisdom = Happiness. Leeshin says, “It might seem like I am helping them, There are also yoga and meditation classes. but actually they are helping me. If I hadn’t worked here I Yeshi explains that the basic premise of the workshops wouldn’t have known how much I can do for others.”

Contact magazine | Decembert 2019 | Page No 14

People Story Tibet’s Future at Stake: Message from an Activist by Ben Byrne Lobsang Yangtso is the Asia region campaign coordinator at the International Tibet Network in Dharamshala. Her work involves organising climate strikes and raising international and local awareness of issues relating to the Tibetan environment. Lobsang was born in the shadows of the Minya Konka range in Ganzi, where, she says, the sky and the land seem to embrace each other in an eternal dance, the Rongcha river rolls towards its union with the Yarlung, yaks and rocky ridges dot the vivid green hills, and Chinese soldiers and police officers patrol the streets. She escaped to India in 1991 when she was 8 or 9 years old and completed her education in India with a PhD at Jawalarhal Nehru University in Delhi with a dissertation focused on “China’s Environmental Security Policies in Tibet”. She is passionate about her country and what is happening there, and is an expert at getting her message across: Frequently referred to as “the Third Pole”, Tibet is on the frontline of the Global Climate Crisis. It is warming three times faster than the rest of the earth, with rapid glacial ice melt posing a risk to global water security. From exile, Lobsang despairs at the destructive mismanagement of the environment by the Chinese colonialists in Tibet. In recent decades, China’s exploitation of Tibet’s natural resources has gained a head of steam. Copper, gold, silver, lead, zinc, uranium and other precious minerals are extensively mined in Tibet. Polluting mining activities take place close to rivers and in areas of spiritual significance. Nomadic Tibetans are torn from their ancestral land and forced to live in concrete block houses constructed by the Chinese government. Little interest is paid to local objections by native Tibetans as their homeland is sliced open for profit. Lobsang researches the Tibetan environment using official documents from the Chinese government, including the 5-year plans; studies carried out by Chinese and western scientists and intellectuals in Tibet, social media, and information from NGOs (non-government organisations). She says it is evident that “Beijing doesn’t understand Tibetan topography” and that there is a “huge gap between policy and reality”. She also believes that economic growth in Tibet is of primary importance to the Chinese government and that environmental concerns are given short shrift.

She talks about the vast infrastructure projects completed or under way in Tibet, which include new airports, penetrating road networks, dams, and the Qinghai Tibet railway. These developments will lead to “Tibetans becoming a minority in their own land”, as money hungry Chinese will see economic opportunity in Tibet and move to the roof of the world in search of their fortunes. “Most Chinese politicians are from engineering or military backgrounds,” Lobsang explains, which warps their perspective in favour of infrastructure projects and blinds them to their environmental impacts. “They rarely carry out Environmental Impact Assessments, and when they do, they are not independent from the government, they are corrupt.” Traditional strategies for managing the land practiced for centuries before the Chinese invasion are completely “discounted”. Lobsang implores Tibetans not to get comfortable with the new normal and to resist Chinese efforts to pacify resistance to their occupation with economic development: “The Chinese see economic development as a panacea for all of the problems they face in Tibet. Economic development has been introduced so that the Chinese can rule the Tibetans. Subsidies are paid to Tibetans to hold them to ransom.” Tibetans must remain alert to this strategy and “keep awareness of Tibet as a free country”. In 2015, Lobsang attended the COP21 Climate Conference in Paris. Like many, she had “huge expectations” of a global consensus around combating climate change. At the conference she attempted to explain the significance of the Tibetan environment to the delegates but was frequently left exasperated by their lack of understanding around crucial issues. Furthermore, Chinese delegates refused to talk to Lobsang once they found out she was a Tibetan-in-exile. In the years since, Lobsang has come to believe “corruption is inevitable when governments get involved so people and NGOs need to organise for action to resist climate change and not rely on policy makers and world leaders”. This inspires her to organise climate strikes. Everybody should “take the initiative”, she says, “rich and poor need to engage”. On November 29, in solidarity with Climate Crisis Strikes around the world, Lobsang led the Dharamshala climate strike. The message was: “The Earth is on fire, and Tibet is Melting – Climate Action Now.”

Contact magazine | December 2019 | Page No 15

Lha and Community News Volunteer Opportunities in Dharamshala Mcleod Ganj, Dharamshala, the exile home of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and sometimes known as “Little Tibet”, has been a growing tourist attraction for both local Indian and foreign travellers. The small town in the north Indian state of Himachal Pradesh also provides a wide range of volunteering opportunities ranging from teaching languages, children’s nursery care giver, to trash collection and environment research projects. People from all around the world are welcomed by numerous NGOs to volunteer and contribute their knowledge and skill. Lha Charitable Trust is one of the biggest volunteer host and coordination Volunteers helping at Rogpa nursery organisations in Dharamshala. Since its inception in 1997, Lha has hosted more than ten thousand volunteers and on a daily basis involves around 15-20 volunteers or more, assisting in every aspect of their activities. Lha offers a wide range of volunteer opportunities, enabling people to share their knowledge and skills with Tibetan refugees, local Indians and people from Himalayan regions. Teaching English, French, Chinese and German, writing news articles on Tibet issues, website development and management and environmental research projects are some of the many opportunities available at Lha. In addition to Lha Charitable Trust, Tibet World and Tibet Charity are two other organisations which provide language classes. Professional videographers, Volunteer English teacher at Lha photographers and social media experts can volunteer at Tibet Hope Centre; psychologists and mental health care professionals can volunteer at the Tibetan Ability Centre; people who love working with children can volunteer at Rogpa Baby Care Centre and activists can volunteer at Students for a Free Tibet. There are also volunteering opportunities for yoga instructors, doctors and healthcare professionals, lawyers and IT experts. The culture of volunteering and volun-travelling is growing in India. Many Indian university students are now required to do a certain period of volunteer work as a part of their academic curriculum. “Your time here will be full of learning, growth and lovely experiences, the students are eager to learn and teach you so much in return.” said Diya Batra a former volunteer at Lha Charitable Trust. Dharamshala, a place with a diverse culture and multi-national population, is also the epicentre of the Tibetan diaspora, and here you can experience Tibetan culture, learn the Tibetan language and attend Buddhist philosophy courses and meditation sessions alongside your volunteering. Lha welcomes volunteers from all different walks of life and tries its best to give a meaningful volunteer experience to everyone who joins them.

Intensive English Language Course for Geshes and Geshemas Lha Charitable Trust is organising a three month free intensive English language course for Tibetan monks and nuns who hold Geshe or equivalent degrees from their respective monasteries and nunneries in exile. The course duration will be from March 3 to May 30, 2020. The aim of the programme is to support monks and nuns who wish to share their knowledge, learned over many years, in the Nalanda tradition of Buddhism to a wider audience. Despite there being a number of monks who have a doctorate in Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, the language barrier has been the biggest challenge facing those who want to teach. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has always advised that studying the Nalanda tradition of Buddhist philosophy will be helpful towards eradicating many of the problems being faced in the 21st century. Those interested are requested to send in their application, along with copies of their Geshe or equivalent degree and green book to, or the documents can be submitted to our office in person. The number of places available for this course is 15 and the deadline for submission of applications is January 17, 2020. The 15 students will be selected through a written and spoken examination. The selected students will be required to attend the full three month course. We have arranged experienced teachers with a certificate of Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL). *Geshe, or Geshema for women, is equivalent to a Doctorate in Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and is the highest level of training in the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism.

Contact magazine | December 2019 | Page No 16

Volunteer Story & Lha News 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, Kirstin Reil from Germany shares her story with us. Volunteer job at Lha: German Teacher

Teaching German and English while Learning about Life September 16, 2019: it’s around noon and my plane from Delhi is slowly reaching Gaggal Airport down in the Kangra valley. Looking out the window I can see the mountain range in the distance which had caught my eye more than a year ago when I first came to Mcleod Ganj. At that time I immediately felt connected to this place as well as its people and decided to spend some months here as soon as I would be given the chance. My sabbatical this year was the perfect time for this. A friend of mine recommended Lha and I contacted the organisation early this year to find out if my support was needed. Communicating with the staff members about my volunteering here was easy and supportive in every aspect. They informed me about the various things I could do and so I came to Mcleod Ganj in midSeptember and stayed for three months. Now, at the end of my time here, I can say I have been spending three fantastic and enriching months teaching German for beginners and English at intermediate level. My field of work in Germany has been academic, continuing education and adult education for twenty years. During the past fifteen years I have been focusing on language teaching with international students. Having worked with these students from around the world is an experience that certainly helped me to settle in here quickly. The mix of students learning at Lha added a lot to my intercultural experience and I am very grateful for having met so many wonderful people. Looking back I can honestly say that I have hardly ever worked with such dedicated and amazing students. I feel I have learned as much from them as they hopefully have learned from me. It was a real pleasure to come to “work” every day. I also spent some time writing up a curriculum and some recommendations for German courses at beginner level. This can hopefully be of help for future German teachers coming to Lha. I would like to thank all Lha staff members in the office and at Ahimsa House for their support and commitment. I remember my worries I might be too old for doing voluntary work here at Lha. So many other organisations put an age limit to this kind of work. But now I can only say age does not matter if you have the privilege to be able to do what you love. I will definitely come back. Thank you so much!

Livelihood Programme Four courses have taken place this year under Lha’s Livelihood Project 2019: four batches of the Tibetan Traditional Massage and Spa course, two batches of the Cookery course and one batch each of the Bartender and Bakery courses. We are delighted to have seen 85 students complete their Livelihood Project courses this year. This training was made possible with funding from the the Tibet Fund, USA. Currently, this year’s final batch of Cookery and Bakery students are undergoing their training at our Community Soup Kitchen, in Ahimsa House. The Cookery course started on November 1, finishing on December 31, with Mr Lekphel as trainer. The 20 students taking part have been learning to prepare various international foods, with a special focus on Asian cuisine. The much awaited one month Bakery course kicked off on Dec 9 with nine students taking part, learning to bake various types of cakes, breads, buns and muffins. The students are getting hands-on practical experience throughout their training. The Bakery course is the final course for 2019. Please stay in touch for news of next year’s Livelihood courses, enabling people to improve their employment prospects with skills relevant to today’s job market.

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 20 years. For more information, please visit Contact magazine online Facebook: Contact News / Twitter: Contact News

Contact magazine | December 2019 | Page No 17

Charities And Organisations Central Tibetan Administration

Tibetan Library (LTWA)


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. Location: Near Library Phone: 01892-222218 Hours: Mon-Sat: 9:00 am-5:00 pm Email: Web:

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. Location: Gangchen Kyishong Phone: 9882255047 Email: Web:

Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democrac (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. Location: CTA, Dharamshala - 176215 Phone: 01892-223363 Email: Web:

Delek Hospital

Lha Charitable Trust

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:, Web:

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 back page) Location: Temple Road, McLeod Ganj, Opposite State Bank of India Phone: 01892-220992, 988-2323-455 Email:

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama The Office of His Holiness The Dalai Lama (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. Location: McLeod Ganj, Phone: 01892-221343 / 221210 Email: Web:

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. Location: Tipa Road, McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala -176219 Phone: 01892-221554 Email:, Web: www.

Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA) The TWA conducts workshops on gender sensitisation and domestic violence throughout Tibetan settlements in India, provides Tibetan women with education scholarships and connects women with international sponsors. Location: Bhagsu Road, McLeod Ganj Phone: 01892-221527 Email: Web: www.

Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV) School 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. Location: Dharamshala Cantt.176216 Phone: 01892-221354 / 221348 Email: Web:

Tibetan Medical & Astro Institute Men-Tsee-Khang, also called Tibetan Medical & Astro Institute, is a facility for research, training and practice of traditional Tibetan medicine. Patients may seek treatment at Men-Tsee-Khang for both acute and chronic conditions. The facility provides extensive training and produces traditional pharmaceuticals. Location: Gangchen Kyishong, Phone: 01892-223222 / 223113 Email: Web:

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 65 schools under this organisation after the take over of CTSA Schools. Location: Khanyara Rd, Dharamshala176215 Phone: 01892 - 246422 / 246423 Email: Web:

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 programmes, childhood education and sponsorship, primary and nursery tent schools, and children’s support hostels. Volunteer opportunities available. Location: Top Floor, Bank Of Baroda, Kotwali Bazaar, Dharamshala-176215 Phone: 01892-223930 Email: Web: www.

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 Web:, Web:

Tibet Charity Tibet Charity provides programmes including English and computer classes, an animal care programme and a variety of medical and educational financial support programmes. Location: Temple Road, McLeod Ganj Phone: 01892-221790 / 221877 Email: Web:

Contact magazine | December 2019 | Page No 18

The Kangra District 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. Location: Red Cross Bhawan, Dharamshala Phone: 01892-224888 / 9418832244 Email: Web:

Gu-Chu-Sum 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 including medical, financial, basic education and vocational training. It also organises lobbies and advocacies about human rights abuses in Tibet. Web: Location: Jogibara Road, McLeod Ganj, Phone: 01892-220680 / 220679 Email:

Tibet World Tibet World is a charitable trust (Reg No 136/2015) “Where Tibet meets the world & the world meets Tibet”. Education programmes: international language courses, training, workshops and a winter programme for schoolchildren. Cultural programmes: folk show, talks, sharing stories, monk chat, compassion + wisdom = happiness workshops, cultural tours, engaging volunteering options, cultural exchange and collaboration programmes. Location: Jogiwara Road near Post Office, McLeod Ganj Phone: 9816999928/8353005268 Email:

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. Location: TIPA Road, McLeod Ganj Dharamshala-176219 Phone: 01892-221478 Email: Web:

Learning and Ideas for Tibet (LIT) Learning and Ideas for Tibet (LIT) is a nongovernment, non-profit adult education centre in Dharamshala. LIT provides Free Education, Health Care and Skills Training to Tibetan Refugees to help eradicate poverty and illiteracy amongst the Tibetan population. Location: Underground Hotel Akash, Jogiwara Road, Mcleodd Ganj, Dharamsala 176219 Phone: (+91) 7590025915 Email: Web:

Tibetan Centre for Conflict Resolution Tibetan Centre for Conflict Resolution is a non-profit, 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. Location: Session Road, Gangchen Kyishong, Dharamshala 176215 Phone: 01892-226627 Email: Web:

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. Location: Jogiwara Road, McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala- 176219 Phone: 9857973026 Email: Web:

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. Location: Village Gamru, P.O Kotwali Bazaar, Dharamshala, Distt Kangra 176215 Phone: 9816105554 Email: Web:

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

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. Location: Bhagsu Road, McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala - 176219 Phone: 01892-221059 Email: Web:

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. Location: Near Norbulingka, Sidhpur Phone: 01892 211042 / 9816028149 Email: Web:

The Active Nonviolence Education Centre 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. Location: Tipa Road, Mcleod Ganj Phone: 9882077708 / 9882921477 Email: Website:

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. Location: Dharamshala–176219 Phone: 9882787633 / 9882673330 Email: Web:

Norbulingka Institue Norbulingka Institue is a centre for Tibetan culture with studios and artists at work. The institution is dedicated to the preservation of the Tibetan culture in its literary and artistic forms. Guided tours are available. You can visit temple, workshops, garden and the showroom of Tibetan arts and crafts. You can take a free tour of the studios and observe artists at work. The tour guides will explain each art form in depth. There is a restaurant on site. (See back cover inside) Location: Sidhpur, Dharamshala Phone: 9882144210 Email: Web:

Tibetan Dubbing Society Tibetan Dubbing Society, founded in 2015, is a non-profit organisation working towards preserving the Tibetan language through various forms of entertainment and dubbing animation movies into the Tibetan language for Tibetan children. Location: Near Norbulinga Institute Phone: +91-8629837735 Email: Web:

UpsideDown Dance Studio UpsideDown Dance Studio is the first and the only dance and fitness studio founded in Dharamshala in 2018 by Tenzin Migmar - a dance enthusaist and the winner of the first Tibet Got Talent. The studio plays the crucial role of making a space for anyone who would like to learn dance or hone their skills. It is also provides zumba classes under its fitness program. Location: Jogiwara Road, Sudher, near Gu Chu Sum, next to Korean Restaurant Phone: 8219754859 / 8207220070 Email: Facebook: UpsideDownDance Studio


* 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: 4:00am (Rs 554), 6pm (Rs 580), 7:30 pm (Rs 570) Semi Deluxe Bus: 5pm (Rs 590) , 6:30pm (Rs 590) Full Deluxe Bus: (Rs683) AC Volvo Semi-Sleeper: 8:15 am (Rs 1243), 5:35pm (Rs 1275), 7:00pm (Rs 1275), 8:50pm (Rs1275) AC TATA: 5:50pm (Rs 972) AMRITSAR: Ordinary Bus: 5am (Rs257) *from Dharamshala DEHRADUN: Ordinary Bus: 2pm (Rs 560) 8pm (Rs 551); VOLVO: 7pm (Rs 1199) MANALI: Ordinary Bus: 7:10am (Rs358 *from Dharamshala / VOLVO: 11:30 pm (Rs 782) PATHANKOT: Ordinary Bus: 5am (Rs 136) * from Dharamshala SHIMLA: Ordinary Bus: 5am (Rs 408), 6am (Rs 360), 7:50am (Rs 375), 8:am (Rs 520) 7:45 pm (Rs 363), 12pm (Rs 367) *from Dharamshala, Semi-Deluxe Bus: 9:30pm (Rs455) *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. TA X I S 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 Rs 20.

Contact magazine | December 2019 | Page No 19

Activities And Information Livelihood Programme Lha Charitable Trust in collaboration with Tibetan Health Spalon based in Dharamshala has announced a four month traditional Tibetan massage and spa course for Tibetans as part of their Livelihood programme. The Lha programme is funded by the Tibet Fund, USA. The course covers: • Tibetan Traditional Massage • Introduction to Swedish massage and Aromatherapy massage • Course weightings: Theory 30% and Practical 70% • Two month on-the-job training • Personality development, financial literacy, basic English and other complementary courses

Buddhist Philosophy Library Of Tibetan Works And Archives Web: Location: Gangchen Kyishong, Between

Mcleod Ganj And Lower Dharamshala Hours: Mon-Fri: 10:30 - 11:45 Am Phone: 9882255047

yoga and reiki Yoga & Reiki Courses Location: Om Yoga Ashram,Near Dal Lake Mob: 9805693514 /981649432 Email: Web: Shivam Neelkant Yoga Kendra Location: Upper Bhagsu Phone: 098165-65138 Web:

MASSAGE Nature Cure Health Club

Shiatsu Massage Location: Near Tibetan Ashoka, Jogiwara Road, Phone: 07833047078 Email: Men-Tsee-Khang Location: Mcleod Ganj Branch Clinic,

1St Floor, Tipa Road (2 Mins From Main Square) Phone: 98828-60505 Email: Dorjee Spa Location: Pema Thang Guest House,

WHotel Bhagsu Road Phone:9816393673 9857108408 Whatsapp: 9816393673



Tushita Meditation Centre Web: Location: Dharamkot Hours: Mon-Sat: 9:30-11:30Am Phone: 0898-816-0988 Email:

Lotsawa Rinchen Zangpo Translators Programme Location: Rato Chuwar Labrang,

Shivan Neel Kanth Yoga Website: Location: Bhagsu Nag, Near High Sky Phone: 09816565138 Email:

Tibetan Language Location: The Tibetan Library

Om Meditation Ashram

Location-Om Yoga Ashram,Near Dal Lake Mob: 01892 220333 /9805693514 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

Indian Cooking And Knitting With Ms Rita Kapoor Location: Old German Bakery, 1St Floor,

Room No. 2, Opp. Buddha Hall, Bhagsunag Phone: 94592-06586 Indian Cooking Classes Location: jogiwara Rd, Next To Tibetan

Ashoka Guesthouse Hours: 10:00Am-6:00Pm Phone: 07833047078 / 0988230136 Email:

Lhamo’s Kitchen: Tibetan Cooking Classes Location: Bhagsu Rd, Near The Green Shop Hours: 8:00Am-9:00Pm Phone: 981-646-8719 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:

Computer Classes Tibetan Career Centre, Dharamshala Location: Jogiwara Road, Mcleod Ganj Hours: 9:00Am-6Pm

Phone: 9882321424 /9880969175 Email: Lha Charitable Trust Location: Near Dolma Chowk, Mcleod Ganj Phone: 9882323455 / +91 (0)1892 -220992 Web:

Contact magazine | December 2019 | Page No 20

Phuntsok Gatsel Session Road Hours: 10:45-5Pm Email:

*See Buddhist Philosophy Listing Hindi Lessons With Kailash Location: Hotel India House, Bhagsu Rd Phone: 01892-20063, 941-816-1947 Esukhia Online Tibetan Courses And Tibetan Immersion Spoken Location:Yongling School Buildding Phone: 8580796453 Email: Sanskrit Language Study Program At Vikramashila Foundation India (Vfi) Location: Vikramashila Center, 1St Flr, Ketan

Lodge,Jogiwara Road, Mcleod Ganj, Dharamshala, HP Email:

Art And Museums Tibet Museum Location: Near The Main Temple And

Namgyal Monastery Gate, Mcleod Ganj Hours: Tue-Sun: 9:00Am-5:00Pm Tibet Photo Exhibit: 50 Years Of Struggle And Oppression Location: Gu-Chu-Sum Hall, Jogiwara Rd Hours: Mon, Wed & Fri: 2:00Pm-5:00Pm Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) Web: Location: Tipa Road, Mcleod Ganj Phone: 1892-221478 Email: Kangra Art Museum Location: Near Bus Stand, Kotwali Bazaar in

Lower Dharamshala 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 & 4Th


Centre For Living Buddhist Art Location: Khanyara Road Website: Email: Phone: 9418655401 Hours: 9 Am- 5 Pm

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

Specialist 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: 2:00-4:30 Pm; Emergencies: 24 Hrs Daily

Maanav Health Clinic

Location: Main Square Hours: 10:00 -12:30 Pm & 2:00-5:00 Pm Phone: 941-815-5795 Email:


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:

Smile Dental Clinic & Implant Center

Location: Opposite, Walia Medical Store, Near State Bank of India ATM, Mcleod Ganj Phone: 7018354594 / 82629011445 Website:


Tibet-Related Websites - official website of the Central Tibetan Administration in exile -Phayul is published in Dharamshala,has opinion, reviews, photos, etc - Contact magazine online 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 - Tibet Post International online news - Tibet Express online news - the UK Guardian newspaper’s Tibet pages - the South China Morning Post – one of the more independent news sources in China

News, information and campaigning: - 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 - Website of the 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 - Tibetan Journal - news, reviews and opinions - a discussion site on Tibetan nomads and their fate - A magazine on religious liberty and human rights in China

Writings: - occasional translations of Woeser’s enormously popular blog – Woeser lives in Beijing and is continually harassed by the Chinese government for her courageous writings.

DHARAMSHALA CONTACTS Ambulance: 01892-102, 222189 Tibetan Delek Hospital Location: Gangchen Kyishong, Central Tibetan Administration Hours: Outpatient services: 9am-1pm, Mon-Sat; 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 Police Superintendent: 01892-222244

McLeod Ganj Post Office Location: Jogiwara Rd, Before the 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

Contact magazine | December 2019 | Page No 21

Jobs And Advertisements

Job Opportunities Tibetan Career Centre (TCC), unit of Department of Home (CTA) Postion: Mentor Qualification: Minimum Bachelors Degree Deadline : January 10, 2020 Documents required: Degree copies, updated greenbook copies, health certificate and no objection letter if currently working. Mode of Selection: Based on interview Interested applicants should send their application and documents and passport size photo to Secretary Department of Home, CTA Gangchen Kyishong Dharamsala 176215

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#5


8 beautiful rooms with balcony facing the Himalayan Range. Enjoy the sunrise from your bed! Phone: 01892-220567 Cell: 9418236603 Jogiwara Rd (Map #9) Email:

Nature Cure Health Club

Jogiwara Rd, next to Tibetan Ashoka Guest House - Map #6 Whatsapp: 7833047078 Mobile: 09882320136 Email: 20+ yrs’ experience: Swedish massage courses & treatment, Zen Shiatsu courses, Singing Bowl

Quantum Healing - Breath & Bowls Workshop A 3-part Soul Purification and Healing


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

Active Nonviolence Education Centre Postion: Assistant Trainer and Teaching Officer Qualification: Minimum Bachelors Degree Proficiency in Tibetan and English and competence in public speaking are the main prerequisites for this role. Deadline : January 30, 2020 Documents required: Degree copies, updated greenbook copies, health certificate and no objection letter if currently working. Mode of Selection: Interview, written test and public speaking audition in Tibetan and English. Committment: Candidate should be committed to serve at least three years. Interested applicants should send their application and documents and passport size photo to or submit the application and documents directly to the ANEC office in Mcleod Ganj. Contact magazine | December 2019 | Page No 22

Dr Natasha Mehra @ Perfect 32 Dental Clinic Location: Near Hotel Mount View Jogiwara Rd, McLeod Map #8 Email: /Call: 09218742046 Website:

Enjoy traditional Taiwanese and Chinese food and a peaceful environment, just one minute from the Bus Stand, just behind Asian Plaza! (Map # 4)

To advertise here, Contact Lha office on Temple Road, Mcleod Ganj or call us on 9882323455

Contact magazine | December 2019 | Page No 23

Map Of McLeod Ganj

20 17



3 2


8 18 19



10 9

11 13 14


Contact Newsletter

Mexican, Italian, Indian, Nepali Thali, Tibetan, Chinese, Continental, Thai Food, and South • TAROT READINGS Indian (No MSG) • WOOD CARVINGS Everything washed with sterilised water Wood-fired pizza over and clay tandoori oven Relaxed atmosphere and Japanese-style seating Live music every Sunday

LOCATION: Mcloed Ganj, Jogiwara Road, Opposite old Tibetan Reception Centre (down from post office) Open from 7:30 am till 11 :45 pm everyday Contact number: 7018 499 613 / 9958 690 441 Free Home Delivery Available!

(Map # 19)



CARPE DIEM Restuarant & Pizzeria

• • • •



LOCATION: Come to Zoha Arts located on Bhagsu Nag Road in Mcleod Ganj. Passing by Kunga Restuarant, Green Hotel and Thank Paintings next to Tashi Delek Restuarnt. (Map#20)

Timing of Tarot Reading: 1pm - 4 pm Mondays Closed!


Managing Director Dorji Kyi Editor-in-Chief Jenny James Editor Tenzin Samten Circulation Manager Tsering Wangdue Designed by Karma Ringzin Topgyal Published by Lha Charitable Trust Phone: 91(0)1892-220992 Email: Facebook: ContactNews Twitter: ContactTibet Printed at Imperial Printing, Dharamshala Phone: 222390