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

Issue: 10 | November 30, 2019

New US Resolution in Support of Tibet


by Rupert Eyles The United States House of Representatives, the country’s primary legislative body in the US, introduced a draft resolution on November 13 regarding an independent Tibet and His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s work toward global peace. The resolution is entitled Recognising the significance of Continued on page 3

China Reported Worst in the World – Again

by Tenzin Dadon China has been named by Freedom House as one of the world’s worst abusers of internet freedom for the fourth consecutive year as the conditions for internet users in the country continue to deteriorate. Freedom House is a United States-based non-government organisation that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political Continued on page 4

Tibetan Youth Dies in Self-immolation Protest

by Mary Trewartha Yonten, a 24 year-old Tibetan, has died after setting himself on fire in the first self-immolation protest in Tibet this year. He carried out his protest in the nomadic town of Meruma, Ngaba County in eastern Tibet (2) at around 4pm (local time) on November 26 and died from his injuries. No information is available about whether police took his Continued on page 4

News Features 01-10 Tibetan Headlines 11-12 International Headlines 13 DIFF Feature 14-15 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 December 10: Nobel Peace Prize Day Tibetan offices closed for holiday. December 25: Christmas Day January 1: 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

DIFF Draws Crowds From Around the World

November in McLeod Ganj is film time! The Dharamshala International Film Festival draws crowds from across India and further afield to watch the best of recent Indian and world cinema, including fiction, documentaries and shorts. See inside for our DIFF feature by Ghazala Abdullah, local journalist and environmental champion. See pages 14 and 15

Contact News

Contact magazine is sponsored by the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TFD). TFD’s kind contribution has made this publication possible.

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Contact News

Contact magazine is published by Lha Charitable Trust

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Lha Charitable Trust

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

Contact magazine is published monthly by Lha

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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Lha collects all kinds of donations from clothing, shoes, books and language resources to computer and medical supplies, as well as any other useful items to pass on to needy people in the area. Monetary donations are extremely helpful and are greatly appreciated, whether large or small. In India a little money goes a very long way!

“Cultivating a close, warmhearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. It helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the principal source of success in life. Since we are not solely material creatures, it is a mistake to place all our hopes for happiness on external development alone. The key is to develop inner peace.” - His Holiness the Dalai Lama

A Word from This Month’s Sponsor It is with great appreciation and respect that we sponsor this month’s publication of Contact magazine which is published by Lha Charitable Trust. Lha Charitable Trust’s work has been critical to the Tibetan culture and community in exile and is greatly appreciated. It’s truly our great honour to help in any way. Long live Lha and the great work they are doing!

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(Left to Right )Karma Dhondup, Nechung Kuten la (Nechung Oracle), John Peet, Nate Starck

News Features New US Resolution in Support of Tibet Continued from page 1

the genuine autonomy of Tibet and the Tibetan people and the work His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama has done to promote global peace, harmony, and understanding. It emphasises US support for the Tibetans’ struggle for human rights and freedoms, and the protection of Tibet’s national identity. The resolution also references recent trips by US Ambassadors to Tibet and to meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamshala – a visit condemned by China – to discuss ways to advance religious freedoms. Moving forward it proposes a bipartisan forum across both chambers in the US Congress – to include His Holiness and to “discuss peaceful solutions to international conflicts”. This move by the US Congress was well received by the Tibetan Government-in-exile. Spokesperson Tsewang Gyalpo Arya said, “I am very thankful to the government of the United States and the House of Representatives [...] Right now China has imposed dictatorship in the country and, because of their trade and economic power, they try to influence many countries and stop others from saying things against China. So […] it is a

very strong message to China that they should behave properly”. The introduction of the resolution is only the first stage in the legislative process. It could now be considered by the relevant House committee before potentially being sent to the full House chamber, with a version also taken up in the Senate concurrently. Extract from the text of the Resolution: “…the House of Representatives — (1) recognises the cultural and religious significance of a genuinely autonomous Tibet and the deep bond between the American and Tibetan people; (2) commends the 14th Dalai Lama for his commitment to global peace and nonviolence; and (3) determines that it would be beneficial to convene a bipartisan, bicameral forum, either through a Joint Meeting of Congress, a teleconference broadcast in the Auditorium at the Capitol Visitor Center, or roundtable, between Members of Congress and His Holiness the Dalai Lama to discuss peaceful solutions to international conflicts.”

Tibetan Religious Conference by Tenzin Dadon The 14th Tibetan religious conference organised by the Central Tibetan Administration’s Department of Religion and Culture began on November 27 and has made a firm statement that any future reincarnation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama put forward by China will not be recognised by the Tibetan people. The three-day conference was administered by the leaders of the various traditions of Tibetan Buddhism and native Tibetan Bon tradition. Representatives from the Himalayan region, Khen Rinpoches from major Tibetan Buddhist institutes in exile, as well as heads and members of Tibetan monastic institutes and Tibetan nunneries were present among the 100 participants. The conference focused on the topic of the reincarnation of Tibetan Buddhist leaders in the face of China’s insistence that they should “choose” and register future incarnations, including that of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The conference looked at ways of enabling religious heads and other important figures of Tibetan Buddhism to have extensive participation in the discussion and decision making regarding reincarnation, with special emphasis was on the discovery and recognition of the reincarnation of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. In this regard, a special resolution was passed with following declarations: •The Karmic bond between the Dalai Lamas and the Tibetan people have been inseparable and the present status of the Tibetan people being extremely critical,

all Tibetans genuinely wish for the continuation of the Institution and Reincarnation of the Dalai Lama in the future. We therefore strongly supplicate to His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama for the same. •The authority of decision concerning the way and the manner in which the next reincarnation of the XIV Dalai Lama should appear solely rests with His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama himself. No government or otherwise will have such authority. If the Government of the People’s Republic of China for political ends chooses a candidate for the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan people will not recognize and respect that candidate. •Regarding the method of recognizing the future reincarnations of the Dalai Lama, the same unique Tibetan traditional method, which has been continuously used until now, will be followed. This method conforms to be basic philosophy and tenets of the Buddha dharma and originated in Tibet over 800 years ago. His Holiness the Dalai Lama was the honoured guest for the final session of the conference. His Holiness spoke mainly about the importance of reasoning in the Nalanda tradition and advised religious heads to study Buddhism with reasoning and debate. He also praised the willpower of the Tibetans who remain in Tibet, remembering those who have self-immolated for the cause of Tibet. The Minister of Religion and Culture, CTA, Ven Karma Gelek Yuthok, summarised the conference discussion.

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News Features Continued from page 1

China Reported Worst in the World – Again

freedom, and human rights. Their Freedom in the World 2019 report states that in China the media, religious groups, universities, businesses, civil society associations and state bureaucracy are all under strict surveillance and under tightened control by the ruling Chinese Communist Party. Amid the escalating trade war with the United States and slowing domestic growth in China, economic news there was more systematically and permanently censored. Between June 1, 2018 and May 31, 2019 there has been growing censorship of internet entertainment content and apolitical platforms such as dating, video sharing, livestreaming and block chain applications to prevent their use for civic mobilisation or dissemination of political commentary – especially ahead of events that China deems “sensitive”. For instance, the mobile dating apps Momo, which has 113 million users, and Tantan, which has 90 million users, both suspended their social newsfeed functions for a month in May 2019 on orders from the government, which is quoted in technode as announcing they were “tightening government scrutiny”. Self-censorship among ordinary users and journalists escalated during this period in response to increased risk of account closures, real world reprisals and legal penalties for online commentary. WeChat users are selfcensoring to pre-empt the closure of their accounts or other penalties. Research on the types of content removals on WeChat in 2018 found that the majority of deletions were initiated by the account holders themselves as opposed to WeChat administrators. Self-censorship is pervasive among persecuted minorities, especially the Muslim ethnic group the Uighurs from East Turkestan [Ch: Xinjiang] in north western China who, like Tibetans, live under Chinese rule and whose WeChat activities

are closely monitored. Many are reported as blocking their own family members living abroad to avoid being detained on account of their foreign contacts. Users of Twitter, which is blocked in China, and virtual private networks which allow access to blocked overseas sites, as well as the moderators of human rights websites, were targeted with legal and extralegal reprisals for their online activity. Numerous individuals were harassed, or detained, or both, for their use of Twitter. People who operated websites providing information about civil society and human rights issues faced harsh pre-trial detentions and long prison sentences. The founder of the website Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch, Liu Feiyue, stood trial in August 2018 on charges of incitement to subvert state power after 20 months in pre-trial detention. New digital surveillance technologies that were first tested in East Turkestan have spread across China; one example is a handheld data-extraction device that police use to copy and analyse personal information from citizens’ mobile phones. East Turkestan’s Muslim minority population increasingly faces harsh penalties and detention for mundane online activities including communicating with relatives who live abroad, thus confirming that state surveillance of internet activities infringe on users’ right to privacy. Growing reports of users being punished for their apparently private conversations, particularly on WeChat, demonstrate that the authorities have unfettered access to user communications and data. In April 2018 a leaked directive from an internet policing department in Zhejiang Province revealed instructions to investigate an individual who had criticised Xi Jinping in a WeChat group which had only eight members. Although the individual had used a pseudonym, the instructions identified his real name, address and phone number.

Tibetan Youth Dies in Self-immolation Protest Continued from page 1

body away or if it was taken back to his home. Yonten was a monk in Kirti Monastery in Ngaba but later disrobed and settled as a nomad. The township has been the scene of numerous self-immolation protests over the past decade, most recently in March 2018, when Tsekho Tugchak died after setting himself on fire. There have been over 150 self-immolations across Tibet since 2009. The majority of them have been fatal. At least 42 have been recorded in Ngaba, the first two Tibetans to carry out self-immolations in Tibet, Tabe in 2009 and Phuntsok in 2011, were both monks from Kirti Monastery, which has since been put under tight supervision by the Chinese authorities. There have also been repeated protests in Ngaba

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County, including demonstrations and solo protests, despite the high levels of security. Free Tibet’s Campaigns and Communications Manager, John Jones, said: “Yonten lived his life under occupation. In his 24 years, he would have seen Chinese police and military suppress protests in his homeland, seen his culture, language and religion come under attack, seen people he knew arrested and made to disappear. Tibetans today grow up in a world of injustice. “Other governments, China’s allies and trade partners, should not need drastic acts like Yonten’s death to remind them how brutal the occupation is. They must speak out and push China to allow the Tibetan people to live in freedom.”

News Features Arrests in Tibet This Month Nov 28: Trial Iminent

Anya Sengdra, a Tibetan man who was detained in Amdo [Ch: Qinghai] in September on charges of disturbing social order is now facing trial. Anya Sengdra established social media chat groups critical of China’s rule in Tibet. His case comes under Gade county court and he is reported as refusing to admit to the accusation that he is “causing trouble”. Sengdra lives in Kyangche township in Golog; he was previously jailed for 15 months in 2014. Nov 22: Two More Arrested

Two more people have been detained in Sershul county for a similar protest to that of the four monks who were detained earlier this month. Yonten and Choegyal scattered leaflets in front of a Chinese police station, posted video clips of HH the Dalai Lama on the social media platform WeChat together with the words “Independence for Tibet”, as well as posting messages of support for the four monks already detained. Yonten and Choeygal’s whereabouts are unknown. Another monk, Choeygal’s brother Nyime, is in custody after posting messages of support for the protest. Nov 20: Monks Detained

Four monks from Dza Wonpo Ganden Shedrub monastery in Kardze have been arrested after distributing leaflets calling for Tibetan independence and human rights in Tibet, reports Radio Free Asia. Kunsal, 20, Tsultrim, 18, Tamey, 18, and Soeta, 18 protested outside a Chinese government office. Their religious instructor, Shergyam Yang was also detained and later released after 11 days. Nov 13: Monk Detained Sonam Palden, a monk aged 22, has not been heard of since he was detained in September in Ngaba for posting comments criticising China’s policy on the Tibetan

language in Tibet. The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy reports that he was an outspoken critic of China and his post Father Tongue included a picture of the Tibetan flag – banned in Tibet by the Chinese. Nov 13: No Information

There is concern for Pema Samdup, 26, who was arrested in March in Lhasa where he was working, and held for “political reasons” and for “sharing photos on his WeChat account”. The Dharamshala-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy says there is no news of his situation or whereabouts, except that he has been sent on to Chamdo. Samdup comes from Khugyu Village in Chamdo City. Nov 10: One More Missing

Wangchuk, 45, a Tibetan man from Shigatse prefecture, who was detained in March has not been heard of since. There is no information on any charges made against him, reports the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy. His family have been subject to travel restrictions and loss of benefits. Wangchuk received books and other sensitive material from outside Tibet, and shared information on WeChat. Nov 7: Still Missing

Lhadar, 36, a Tibetan man who was detained by Chinese police last month on unknown charges appears to have disappeared, reports Radio Free Asia, whose local sources say he has not been heard of since his detention. He lives in Geso Tsalhi village in Nagchu’s Tarchen township and was known to be outspoken in his opposition to China’s repressive regime in Tibet.

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News Features His Holiness Draws the Crowds to Delhi

by Catherine Delong the world. His Holiness the Dalai Lama travelled to Delhi for the His Holiness then presented Langri Tangpa’s Eight Verses 40th anniversary celebrations of the Tushita Mahayana on Training the Mind and provided a brief commentary. He Meditation Centre on November 20. A crowd of over 5,000 closed by taking a few questions from the audience. people greeted him at St Columba’s school. The following day, His Holiness delivered the 24th In his address Overcoming Anger and Anxiety His Sarvepali Radhakrishnan memorial lecture. Dr Sarvepali Holiness began by reminding the audience that things are Radhakrishnan was the Philosopher President of India (1962 transitory, so what is of primary concern is - 1967) and founder of the Indian Institute of “whether we utilise time properly or not”. Advanced Study who organised the lecture He spoke directly to the young people which took place at the India International and urged them to seriously consider how Centre. His Holiness gave an address they can create a happier, more peaceful Universal Ethics, saying “Nagarjuna teaches world. “If we create in this world the concept us that there is a big difference between of the oneness of human beings,” he stated, appearance and reality”, and noted that Photo: OHHDL “these goals can be achieved.” deceptive appearances are responsible for His Holiness interwove the themes of the ancient Indian much of the destructive behaviour in the world. His Holiness traditions of ahimsa and karuna and the place of secular offered that ancient Indian teachings on handling destructive ethics in modern society. He said that if we consider all people emotions can provide a path to living harmoniously with to be our brothers and sisters this will reduce violence, so, he one another. “Our existence is very much based upon the continued, it is important to develop the “sense of oneness rest of our community,” he emphasised. of all human beings”. His Holiness then entertained questions. The highlight He closed by explaining how his four commitments – was a question from a five-year old on how to better care creating compassion, promoting religious harmony, taking for the environment. His Holiness was delighted and moral responsibility for the Tibetan people and reviving the was encouraged that young people are “showing genuine Nalanda tradition – were central to his efforts to improve concern” for the world.

Dharamshala Joins the Global Climate Strike by Choeyang Wangmo Right ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP25, ten Tibetan civil societies took to the streets on November 29 in solidarity with Climate Crisis Strikes around the world. Their message was, The Earth is on fire, and Tibet is Melting - Climate Action Now! The event highlighted the urgent need to take measures against global climate change, focusing on Tibet as being the World’s third pole. Supporters joined representatives from local organisations to gather in Mcleod main square, where Lobsang Yangtso from the International Tibet Network spoke about global climate change and the melting of Tibet’s glaciers. The posters at the Climate Strike read “Global Warming is real, act now”, “Climate Justice in Tibet” and “animals for climate justice”. From the main square, the demonstrators marched to Dharamkot where Gonpo Dhondup, President of the Tibetan Youth Congress, spoke on the climate crisis in Tibet and the consequences of multi infrastructure constructions implemented by the Chinese government in Tibet. Lhasang Tsering, the Tibetan writer and poet, explained the importance and urgency of “fixing the roof” to prepare a shelter for living, and said that’s what global citizens should now do. He said, “Tibet is roof of the world and we first need to fix the roof to make a world a better place to live in”. From Dharamkot,

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the gathering marched to the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) where Dolma Yangchen, President of the Tibetan Women’s Association spoke about climate change in Tibet and facing natural disasters such as earthquakes, global warming, landslides, floods, etc. Yeshi Lhundup, Founder-Director of Tibet World, spoke of the climate changes he had witnessed in his own village in Tibet. He mentioned that every river in Tibet used to be pure, drinkable water but slowly that has changed with growing mining activities, massive industrialisation and chemical waste dumping in water. He added that the winter fun of iceskating he used to enjoy in his childhood was no longer a game there because of climate warming and melting glaciers. The march concluded at TIPA with everyone joining in Michael Jackson’s song Heal the World. The climate strikes are intended to send a clear message to COP25 leaders and attendees to bring Tibet to the frontline of global climate crisis discussion. *The Climate Strike was organised by Lha Charitable Trust, Clean Upper Dharamshala, Environment and Development Desk-Tibet Policy Institute, Gu Chu Sum, International Tibet Network, National Democratic Party of Tibet, Students for a Free Tibet, Tibet World, Tibetan Youth Congress and Tibetan Women’s Association.

News Features “We Good Now, China?”

by Ben Byrne Decades-long disputes between the United States and China continue to rumble in the background as the two superpowers attempt to reach a comprehensive new trade agreement before the close of the year. US support for His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Tibetan independence is a particular bone of contention

US Ambassador Sam Brownback with His Holiness Photo: OHHDL

for the Chinese, who also object to perceived US interference relating to Taiwan, Hong Kong and East Turkestan [Ch: Xinjiang]. Regarding Tibet, US Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback, who met the Dalai Lama in Dharamshala on October 28, ruffled Chinese feathers with a statement reiterating the US position that all matters relating to the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama must remain the concern of the “Tibetan Buddhist system, the Dalai Lama, and other Tibetan leaders” and free from interference from Beijing. Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuan responded to Brownback’s comments at his regular press conference on October 29. Geng said that the Chinese government in Beijing recognised the 14th Dalai Lama and that his succession in 1939 was “approved by the then central government.” However, he implored foreign officials to cease meetings with “the Dalai clique” and called the Dalai Lama “a political exile who has long been engaging in anti-China separatist activities using religion as a cover”. He said that interference in the reincarnation situation by the US amounted to meddling in internal Chinese affairs. Geng also referred to the new Tibet Policy and Support

Act of 2019 which was introduced in the US Congress in September. The bill proposes to strengthen the Tibet Policy Act of 2002 with such measures as banning the establishment of new Chinese consulates in the United States until the establishment of a US consulate in Lhasa; promoting dialogue between exiled Tibetan leaders and Chinese government officials, and establishing as official US policy the Brownback position on reincarnation. Geng asserted that this Act “severely violates the basic norms governing international relations, grossly interferes in China’s internal affairs and sends a seriously wrong signal to the separatist forces of ‘Tibetan independence’”. Long running animated sitcom South Park and the National Basketball Association also recently made Chinarelated news. Daryl Morey, the General Manager of the Houston Rockets, sparked controversy when he tweeted support for anti-government protestors in Hong Kong. The NBA responded that Morey’s tweet was “regrettable” in a kowtow to the vast Chinese market; before backtracking and taking a strong stance against demands to fire Morey apparently made by Chinese officials. Superstar LeBron James stumbled into the debate, calling Morey’s initial tweet “uneducated”, and subsequently saw his various career jerseys burned by protestors at a rally in Wan Chai. South Park invited sanction from the Chinese government with the second episode of its 23rd season. Entitled Band in China, the episode lampooned Hollywood for doctoring and A Clip from South Park dumbing down its material for the sake of being allowed to sell its products in China, and featured a character being sent to a work camp similar to those being used by Beijing in East Turkestan to control the ethnic Muslim Uighur population there. Though a scene was included in which Xi Jinping’s animated nemesis Winnie the Pooh was strangled to death in a Chinese hutong, the general theme of the episode saw the sitcom banned from the Chinese internet. Show creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker responded to the ban with a faux apology: “Like the NBA, we welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts. We too love money more than freedom and democracy. Xi doesn’t look like Winnie the Pooh at all…Long live the great Communist party of China. May the autumn’s sorghum harvest be bountiful. We good now China?”

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News Features Thousands Gather for the Heart Sutra Teaching by Tenzin Dadon Buddhists. This entails some level of study in order to His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave a three-day teaching understand what the Buddha taught.” on the Heart Sutra in Tsuklakhang, the main temple in On the final day, he conducted a ceremony for generating Dharamshala. More than 6,000 people gathered to attend the awakening mind of Bodhichitta. His Holiness said the teaching, of whom more than 2,000 came from 60 that, “Bodhichitta is the core of a bodhisattva’s practice. different countries around the world. The teaching It brings peace of mind, which in turn brings good was mainly on the Heart Sutra but His Holiness also health.” He said that he finds it beneficial to observe explained the Three this practice several Principal Aspects times a day, and that of the Path which the main aim of the was composed by Jé Buddha’s teaching Rinpoché in response was the attainment to a letter of request of liberation and from his close student omniscience. His Ngawang Drakpa. Holiness said that The teaching was by he prefers to refer to request of a group the Pali and Sanskrit of Koreans and took traditions rather place from November than “lesser” and 4 – 6. “greater” vehicles, On the first day and added that of the teaching, His he likes to have Holiness gave an Theravada monks Photo: OHHDL introduction to the open the teaching teaching and explained the first lines of the Heart Sutra. with their recitation because it serves as a reminder that Professor Samdhong Rinpoché conducted a review the Pali tradition came first. He discussed the difference of the day’s instruction and His Holiness urged the between the general structure of the Buddha’s teachings audience to ask him as many questions as possible. On and specialised instructions like tantra, and then urged the second day of the teaching, His Holiness completed members of the audience to encouraged their friends to the explanation of the Heart Sutra and then gave an be warm-hearted as well. To conclude, His Holiness briefly explained that he is committed and dedicated to promoting love and compassion as a source of human happiness,

The teaching was requested by a group of Koreans Photo: OHHDL

explanation of the Three Principal Aspects of the Path, a short teaching which has been translated into Korean. His Holiness said, “Buddhism is about using reason and logic to transform our minds. Although there has been something of a custom not to study, these days I advise those interested to try to be 21st century

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Members of the crowd Photo: OHHDL

encouraging inter-religious harmony and also to keeping Tibetan religion and culture – derived from the Nalanda tradition – alive. He added that he is committed to reviving Indian knowledge in modern India.

News Features Spotlight on Surveillance by Per Loufman China’s High-Tech Repression and Freedom of Religion, the second annual Geneva Forum, took place in Switzerland on November 14 – 15. The Forum is convened by the Tibetan Government-in-exile and brings together leaders and human rights activists to discuss the continued violations of human rights by the Chinese Government. The focus this year was the continued use of surveillance by the Chinese government to repress both religious and social freedoms.The event was attended by around 130 representatives from ten countries, including some European countries, Canada, Tibet support groups from Hong Kong and Taiwan, and from the Uighur and Falun Gong communities, as well as Members of the Swiss Parliament. The moderator of the discussion – Special Appointee for Human Rights Thinley Chukki, stated that, according to the 2019 Freedom House report*, China was the, “worse abuser of internet freedom in 2019”. China has over 200 million CCTV cameras in use to monitor movement, the internet and phones and in Tibet. DNA samples of Tibetans are also being monitored. Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, President of the Central Tibetan Administration, stated in his address, “[the] Jokhang temple in Lhasa, which is the holiest shrine for Tibetan Buddhists, has more guns in it than butter lamps and has more cameras then windows”.

The panelists aimed to show the world that this is not just a Tibetan problem. Taiwan, which has no internet security law in place, has had their media and internet overrun by China. They concluded that through internet and government surveillance, fake news sources and censorship, China has been able to subjugate Taiwan. The discussion then focused on the fact that China has been working to distribute their surveillance equipment across the globe: they have provided the business district of Manila in the Philippines with internet cameras that work to monitor and detect crime. China remains one of the only countries not to enter into any international agreement to control the export of weapons and technology. The Geneva Forum released a declaration calling upon governments, “to stop funding/investing in research and manufacturing of surveillance tools by China”. The panelists argued that the situation in Tibet, with numerous cameras, and with all communication and religious sites monitored, is a possible future for the whole world, saying that this will happen unless we, collectively, put pressure on China to stop violating privacy. *Freedom House is an independent watchdog organisation dedicated to the expansion of freedom and democracy around the world.

Case No 20: Still Unresolved by Aparna Ramachandran Penpa Tsering, the ousted former representative of the Office of Tibet in Washington – Central Tibetan Administration’s (CTA) mission in North America, filed a case in May 2018 with the exile Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission [TSJC]. His petition challenged the reasons cited by Kashag [Cabinet of the Tibetan Government-inexile] for his termination of Office. Penpa Tsering categorically stated that the allegations made by the Kashag were untrue, incomplete and manipulative. The Kashag, in a circular issued on November 7, 2017, gave Chapter 1 Article 1(3) of the Tibetan Charter and Article 19(1) of the Tibetan Public Service Commission as the reason. It further issued a ten-point clarification on its decision and cited growing trust deficit, underperformance and insubordination amidst increasing public outrage against the dismissal. On October 14, 2019, the court ruled in favour of Penpa Tsering. The session lasted nearly five hours in which the Chief Justice Commissioner Kargyu Dhondup went through the minutes of the case. The plaintiff, Penpa Tsering, was able to prove all five points of his defence whereas the defendant team failed to prove any of its 14 mandatory points. The Chief Justice Commissioner decreed that the defamatory allegations made against the plaintiff were unsubstantiated and ordered the Kashag to issue a public apology and clarification within a month through the official CTA website and various media

channels. The defendant was further tasked to compensate for the lawyer fees of the plaintiff. Home Minister Mr Sonam Topgyal called the verdict “unexpected” and said that the Tibetan cabinet will, however, honour it. The Kashag in an announcement stated that it would abide by the judgement to maintain the stability of the CTA and unity of the Tibetan people. However, despite a delay of over a month, the Kashag has not yet responded to the verdict. On November 13, CTA’s English website posted an image of the court’s verdict accompanied by the below announcement: The verdict of the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission on Case No. 20 announced on October 14 has been unsatisfactory to us. There are also large number of petitions from [the] general public expressing feelings of sadness, unjust and disappointment against the verdict. However, in order to maintain the unity and stability within our community, we respect the aforesaid verdict and call upon all people to remain vigilant and be responsible in maintaining peace and harmony. Penpa Tsering is now reported as planning to file a contempt petition against the Kashag. The contempt petition, if filed and admitted, will be heard by the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission headed by the new Chief Justice Commissioner Mr Sonam Norbu Dagpo. The Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission, has issued an ultimatum to the Kashag in response to their failure to act on the instruction from the court to apologise to Penpa Tsering. The court says they are to to publish their apology by December 27 or face consequences, which could include revoking their eligibility to run the office as per the constitution of the Central Tibetan Administration.

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News Features Global Support for Tibet by Mary Trewartha 180 delegates from 42 countries worldwide gathered in Dharamshala for the three-day Tibet Support Groups Conference convened by the Central Tibetan Adminstration’s Department of Information. The delegates received an audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama who said that the system of democracy set up by Tibetans in exile is something that the government of China could learn from and imbibe. Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, President of the Tibetan His Holiness speaking to the delegates Government-inPhoto: exile, participated throughout the event. The conference heard speakers from Tibet, Hong Kong, East Turkestan, Southern Mongolia and Taiwan, as well as from India, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Australia, China and the United States, all of whom shared a sense of optimism and actively participated in the proceedings of the conference. The conference declaration stated, “We deplore the fear displayed by many governments to stand up to the People’s Republic of China in the face of decades of its gross and systematic violation of fundamental human rights and freedoms in Tibet” and continued, “Given the critical role of the Tibetan Plateau, as the Third Pole, in global climate

change, we commit to insert Tibet, which is at the frontline of the climate crisis, into the debate of this most urgent issue of our time.” Reincarnation was another issue addressed: “We insist that all decisions regarding the reincarnation of the 14th Dalai Lama are the exclusive responsibility of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his Gaden Phodrang Trust.” The declaration concludes, “the struggle for Tibetan freedom is a struggle for justice, truth and freedom. We are committed to continuing the work until the conflict is resolved to the satisfaction of the Tibetan people.” The International Tibet Network, a global coalition of Tibet-related, non-government organisations whose purpose is to maximise the effectiveness of the worldwide Tibet movement, participated in the conference and held informal sessions on topics including fundraising for groups, online security, involving and managing volunteers, and liaison with other organisations. Participants agreed they had been inspired by the conference and the enthusiasm shown by the people gathered there, the opportunity it provided to share experiences and knowledge, and to meet other people involved in the movement from all over the world.

Renowned Tibetan Doctor Passes Away by Rupert Eyles Traditional Tibetan doctor and former physician to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Yeshi Dhonden passed away on November 26. He was 92. Dhonden was a champion and practitioner of Sowa Rigpa, the traditional Tibetan system of medicine, and served patients the world over from his clinic in Dharamshala. Born in Lhoka, Tibet in 1927, he studied for nine years from the age of 11 at the Chakpori Institute of Tibetan Medicine in Lhasa. In 1959, Dhonden fled Tibet to Dharamshala, and in 1961 was appointed Chief Medical Officer to His Holiness, serving in that position until 1966. He remained as His Holiness’s personal physician from 1963 to 1980. Concurrently, Dhonden was appointed to lead the Tibet Medical College in Dharamshala, from 1960-1979, and started his own private clinic in 1969. Patients travelled from around the world to his clinic for treatments, often

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for cancer. Many waited for up to two to three months just for an appointment and still lined up outside his clinic from 3am to receive the required token for a visit. Dhonden retired from medical practice in April this year. In 2018 he was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award by the Government of India, for his contributions to the field of medicine through Sowa Rigpa. In addition Dr Yeshi Dhonden receiving the to his clinical work and Padma Shri Award in 2018 at other responsibilities, Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. Photo courtesy: PTI Dhonden authored three books, focusing on the healing potential of Tibetan medicine.

Tibetan Headlines Nov 26: Clampdown in Tibet The Dza Mey township in Kardze in Kham [Ch: Sichuan], Tibet has been the scene of convoys of armed police arriving to clamp down on anti-China protests taking place there. The protests were sparked by the detention of six monks in the area earlier this month. Many of the security personnel are reported to be in plain clothes and spying on citizens. Nov 26: Call for Review

Free Tibet, the British Tibet advocacy group, has reported that a group of United Nations experts has called for a review of China’s “counter-terrorism” law. They say the definitions of “terrorism” and “extremist crime” within the law are “very vague and problematic”, and could give rise to Muslim Uighurs, Buddhist Tibetans and Mongolians being criminalised for expressing their civic or religious identities. Nov 25: Tibetan GBV Campaign The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) launched their 16 Days of Activism campaign against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) to coincide with the International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women. A new mini-documentary will be featured daily, looking at an exile Tibetan woman’s encounter with gender-based violence; the aim is to encourage more women to break the silence surrounding GBV crimes. Nov 22: Urging Nepal to Protect Tibetans US Congressmen James P McGovern and Christopher H Smith, Co-chairs of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, together with six other Congressmen, have released a letter urging the government of Nepal to fully protect the human rights of Tibetans living there. The letter referred to the incident which took place in September where Nepal police deported six Tibetans in breach of their international obligations. Nov 21: Russian Buddhist Conference Telo Tulku Rinpoche, the Representative of HH the Dalai Lama in Russia, Mongolia and Commonwealth of Independent States countries [former Soviet Bloc countries] has opened the first international scientific conference Buddhist civilisation

and spiritual heritage of the peoples of Eurasia. The three-day conference is underway in the Central Monastery of Kalmykia “Golden abode of Buddha Shakyamuni” in Kalmykia in southern Russia. Nov 21: Panchen Lama: Still Missing The United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) say that they have received an unsatisfactory and insufficient response from China to their recent call for information about the Panchen Lama, Gedun Choekyi Nyima. Gendun Choekyi Nyima was abducted by China 25 years ago at the age of six and has not been heard of since. China says he has been to University and is now working. Nov 19: Visit from the Governor The Governor of Himachal Pradesh, Bandaru Dattatreya called on HH the Dalai Lama at his residence during his visit to Dharamshala and the Kashag [Cabinet] of the Tibetan Government-in-exile. His Holiness expressed his profound gratitude to India for hosting the Tibetan people with warmth and generous hospitality. During his meeting with the Kashag Governor Dattatreya enquired about the welfare and development of Tibetan communities across India. Nov 19: Meetings Banned

The Times of India has reported that senior Indian leaders or government functionaries had been warned not to meet HH the Dalai Lama when they were in Dharamshala for the Rising Himachal global investors summit earlier this month. The TOI reports that China has “officially reminded India” that any interaction with His Holiness would be “detrimental to the bilateral relationship”. Nov 16: Health Festival

Around 800 people participated in the two-day Health Festival organised in Dharamshala by the Tibetan Cancer Society in collaboration with Tibet Fund, Drokmo, National Cancer Institution AIIMS, Delhi State Cancer Institution, Fortis Hospital Kangra, Shree Balaji Hospital Kangra, SM Eye Hospital Kangra, SRL Diagnostic Centre and referral partner Delek hospital. The event was attended by Tibetans and Indians from the local community and provided professional and specialised health care.

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Tibetan Headlines Nov 15: Not True

An article in the Hindustan Times, China’s Tibet: A story of progress, quotes the Chinese Ambassador to India as saying that that Tibet was always part of China. This statement has been publicly refuted by the Tibetan Governmentin-exile who say the statement is not true, and that it is what the Chinese Communist leadership would “like the world to believe”. Nov 15: Rinpoche, OBE Khen Rinpoche Geshe Tashi Tsering has been awarded the British OBE for services to Buddhism in the United Kingdom. Geshe Tashi Tsering was born in Tibet and later studied at Sera Mey Monastery in south India and Gyuto Tantric Monastery. He has been teaching in the West since 1991 in France and then at Jamyang Buddhist Centres in the UK. Nov 14: Young Presidents His Holiness the Dalai Lama met 30 members of the Young Presidents’ Organisation, Nepal Chapter, telling them it was an honour to receive them, and went on to say that Tibet and Nepal have long-standing historical connections dating back to the 7th century and Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. His Holiness invited questions from the group which included Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims. Nov 12: Sympathy and Support His Holiness the Dalai Lama extended his sympathy and support to the people of West Bengal who suffered loss of life and other hardship caused by Cyclone Bulbul. As a mark of solidarity His Holiness made a donation from his Gaden Phodrang Trust towards the relief and rescue efforts. Bengal’s Department of Disaster Management has reported that 4.65 lakh (465,000) people have been affected by the cyclone. Nov 11: Gold Medal! Tenzin Tseten, who is the holder of a Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) scholarship to study at IMS Unison University in Dehradun, Uttarakhand in India, has won the gold medal in her masters programme. Tseten, who comes from Norgyeling Tibetan Settlement, Bhandara, said that consistent hard work and passion were the key to her success. She plans to follow a career in litigation and to serve the Tibetan community. Nov 8: Book Launch Tsering Namgyal Khortsa, a Tibetan writer and former journalist,

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has launched his first novel, The Tibetan Suitcase, at an event in Dharamshala. The 248-page novel was published by Blackneck Cranes, the publishing wing of Tibet Writes, and tells the story of a young and aspiring Tibetan writer who was born in India. The author said he wrote the book for himself, as “there is no book that would mirror our lives”. Nov 7: Third Pole

The Tibetan Government-in-exile has launched the new campaign Climate Action for Tibet: The Earth’s Third Pole ahead of the COP25 Climate Summit which will take place in Spain next month. The campaign aims to make the importance of the Tibetan plateau as the world’s Third Pole and the water source for millions of people in south east Asia central to the global climate change debate. Nov 7: Tibet and Mongolia The first Mongolia-Tibet Cultural and Religious Symposium has taken place in Dharamshala, convened by the Tibet Policy Institute. Three panel discussions took place at the one-day meeting: Buddhism in Tibet and Mongolia; Mongol–Tibet Relations and Human Rights and Ecology. Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, President of the Tibetan Government-in-exile said that the people of Tibet and Southern Mongolia are both subject to severe repression under the Chinese regime. Nov 3: His Holiness at Gyuto His Holiness the Dalai Lama attended the inauguration of the conference The Great Commentarial Text on Guhyasamaja Tantra to mark the 600th birth anniversary of Gyudchen Dorjechang Jeytsun Kunga Dhondup, the Founder of Gyuto Tantric Monastery. The day also marks the 600th anniversary of the death of Je Tsongkhapa, founder of the Gelugpa tradition. Gyuto monastery offered a long life prayer ceremony for His Holiness. Nov 1: Rules Tightened

A report by Radio Free Asia exposes a new ruling by China that Tibetans from exile visiting relatives in Tibet must be guaranteed by government workers or members of the ruling Chinese Communist Party, and that any visitors overstaying their agreed time or otherwise misbehaving will be penalised. Until now, visitors could be hosted and guaranteed by family members.

International Headlines Nov 28: Search for Survivors Aftershocks are adding to the devastation in Albania following the earthquake there on Tuesday which killed 30 people and injured hundreds more. Rescuers are using sniffer dogs to search for survivors under the rubble. The quake struck in the early morning leaving whole families dead; the epicentre was 34km (21 miles) north west of Albania’s capital Tirana. People are staying out in the open while the aftershocks continue. Nov 26: Priests Sentenced Two Roman Catholic priests and a gardener have been sentenced to more than 40 years in prison in Argentina for sexually abusing deaf children. The priests, Horacio Corbacho and Nicola Corradi, were found guilty of rape and abuse at a church school in Mendoza during the period 2004 to 2016, with Corbacho receiving a 45-year sentence. The Church has been accused of acting too slowly in this matter. Nov 25: Lassa Fever Death Two Dutch doctors working in Sierra Leone have been evacuated after after contracting Lassa fever. One has died of the disease - he was infected in the town of Masanga in northern Sierra Leone, an area which has not been previously affected. Lassa fever is related to Ebola; it is endemic in eastern Sierra Leone and neighbouring Liberia, Guinea and other West African states. Nov 22: Measles Outbreak In the Democractic Republic of Congo, a measles outbreak has left nearly 5,000 people dead. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared it the world’s largest and fastest moving epidemic, saying it has already killed twice the number of people killed there by Ebola, and has launched an emergency vaccination programme. Measles is a virus that causes fever, a rash all over the body and can be associated with serious complications. Nov 21: Internet Blackout Iran’s internet has been shut down for four days. Connections began to fail on Saturday following protests over a fuel price increase and now there is no way for the majority of Iran’s population of 80 million people to get online and communicate with the outside world. Netblocks, a non-government organisation which monitors cybersecurity and internet freedom, says internet traffic is 5% of normal levels. Nov 20: Hostage Swap Two Western academics who have been held hostage in Afghanistan since 2016 have been released in an exchange deal with the Taliban. American Kevin King and Australian Timothy Weeks, who were kidnapped at gunpoint outside the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul, were exchanged for three militants from Afghanistan in a deal that is seen as being a possible catalyst for restarting talks with the Taliban. Nov 18: Vodafone India in Trouble Vodafone India, one of India’s biggest telecoms firms, has sustained record losses of 510bn rupees ($7bn; £5.4bn) in the second quarter, fuelling fears about the state of the industry. India has one of the world’s biggest telecom markets with more than one billion mobile subscribers and the cheapest mobile data in the world. Nov 15: Venice Crisis A state of emergency has been declared in Venice in Italy as more than 80% of the city is under water. High tides and flooding has damaged the basilica,

cut power to homes and threatened historic buildings and infrastructure. A combination of high spring tides and a meteorological storm surge driven by strong winds caused the flooding. Structural defences are being built. Nov 14: The Right to Die The New Zealand parliament has voted in favour of euthansasia, after years of debate; a national referendum is to follow next year. If adopted the law will allow terminally ill people to choose assisted dying - if approved by two doctors. In a recent poll, 72% of the population supported the concept of assisted dying. Nov 13: Nepal Protests Protestors in Nepal burnt effigies of Chinese President Xi Jinping following reports that Beijing has encroached onto Nepalese land. The young protestors shouted slogans and waved placards saying “Go back to China!” and “Return Nepali land”. China has encroached onto Nepal in four border districts and there are concerns that this will continue, with further encroachment expected. China has also breached the border into the neighbouring Indian state of Uttarakhand. Nov 11: Mammoth Find The 15,000 year old remains of at least 14 woolly mammoths have been found in Tultepec, north of Mexico City. The skeletons were lying in traps built by humans - the first mammoth traps to have been discovered. Until now there has been no evidence that mammoths were deliberately hunted rather than being killed when trapped or hurt. Nov 10: Berlin Celebrates Berlin celebrated the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall with fireworks. European leaders gathered to mark the occasion and German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Europe to defend democracy and freedom. The fall of the wall marked the end of communism and the reunification of Germany. The 45-kilometer concrete wall was built in 1961 by the Soviet Union. Nov 8: Migrants Evacuated In France, around 1,600 migrants have been evacuated from two camps in northern Paris. 600 police officers were deployed to put them on coaches to reception centres nearby. The migrants are from Afghanistan or sub-Saharan Africa and many were families with children. The move follows the French government’s announcement of a series of measures to curb immigration. Nov 7: Pay Equality The Matiildas, the Australian women’s football team, are to have equal pay and entitlements as the men’s team, the Socceroos, although the men will earn more because their prize money is greater. The women will receive the same cut from advertising and other commercial revenue, business class travel and identical training conditions. The issue of the gender pay gap was highlighted following the Women’s World Cup in July. Nov 6: US Says “No” The United States has notified the United Nations of its intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, prompting international condemnation. The move begins the one-year process of leaving the global climate change accord which brought 188 nations together to combat climate change. Hundreds of US local governments, businesses and organisations, however, have pledged to cut emissions and move to renewable energy, signing the We Are Still In movement.

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Dharamshala Film Festival Feature DIFF Draws Crowds From Around the World having its Indian premiere. Made by the American director Dawn by Ghazala Abdullah Dharamsala International Film Festival (DIFF), held from Engle, it follows the story of the young Dalai Lama fascinated November 7 to 10 in Mcleod Ganj, was an event not to be missed! by technology and science while still in Tibet, and his regular Many of us rearranged our schedules, and put work on hold, so interaction with world-class scientists since he has come into as to be able to attend. The annual festival was celebrating its exile. The documentary explores some of the overlap between 8th consecutive year, and for the hundreds of movie buffs who Buddhist philosophy and the academic disciplines of quantum physics, cosmology, psychology, sociology and neuroscience. attended, all came away more than satisfied. The short documentary, Light A Candle, by local Tibetan This year it was held in the newly built halls at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA), which had been inaugurated director, Tenzin Kalden, was also a big hit at the festival. It just a few days earlier by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. What charts the efforts of young Tibetan activists who attempt to luxury to watch these hand-picked films/documentaries in three break a Guinness World Record by lighting 130,000 candles on large halls projected onto giant, unwrinkled screens! Finally the a birthday cake. In this way they want to draw attention to the facilities did justice to the superb quality of the chosen films. In disappearance in Tibet of the Panchen Lama by the Chinese, and years past, we had made do with rather make-shift amenities – in to mark his 29th birthday. Whatever the perspective taken in the films – pariah dogs less than grandiose locations. What a treat therefore to watch in comfortable seats, in a spacious auditorium, and with excellent in Kolkatta, an aging widow in Allahabad, parents of a newborn baby in war-torn Alleppo, a 95-year-old Bharatnatyam dancer sound! There were many thought-provoking themes covered from Kerala, or traditional bread makers in Kashmir, all of them cinematically in the wide range of films shown at the festival. expanded the imagination and understanding of the enthusiastic There were almost too many excellent films to choose from! audience. There was a small army of volunteers which ensured the Fortuitously, many of the directors were actually present in person, to hold question and answer sessions after the viewing. smooth running of the festival. Some were recruited from colleges that offer Film Studies or Mass Media/Communication degrees, This definitely added an extra dimension to the experience. The festival goers came from all over India, and even from including some students from Himachal Central University. Many of these older students had the chance to attend several the wider world, to attend the screenings. Amongst the many interesting people present, I also rubbed shoulders with students special programmes given by the filmmakers, actors and other guests from the film industry. This from The Ardee School in Delhi. was an excellent and rare opportunity They told me that they had found for aspiring students to get away from the children’s film Kastoori very abstract theorising, to the practical disturbing, but unforgettable. It was nitty-gritty of the many aspects of based on a true story of a young Dalit filmmaking. boy who had to clean toilets and septic The DIFF film festival’s Outreach tanks and who did post-mortem work Programme, led by Mathew Singhat a local hospital to support his family. Toor and Abhishek Thakur, had already Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV) been held last month in Dharamsala students, as well as children from District Jail, Central University Gamru Village School, and some 250 Photo: DIFF Facebook Campus, and at the Government students from other local schools also attended and were visibly moved. A lively discussion followed Bachelor of Education College. In these locations the films afterwards between the children and the director, Vinod Kamble. reached over 500 appreciative viewers and there were moderated Many visitors expressed their appreciation for the high discussions after the screenings in which the themes and issues quality of the films selected and the fact that many directors were further explored. Many of us practically lived at the festival for three full days, were having their Indian premier at this festival. There was such a diverse range of subject matter, and the films came from as which was easy as there was a variety of food stalls that catered far afield as Syria, Poland, Peru, Iran, Italy, Japan, Germany, to the palates of both vegetarians and non-veg festival-goers. Local arts and crafts and NGOs were also well represented. So Cambodia, Portugal, Macedonia, Palestine, Sweden etc. There were also plenty of Indian films and documentaries staying from morning to night, watching fantastic films, meeting from all over the country, including Kashmir, Maharashtra great people and eating well, continues to be a delightful high and Tamil Nadu. Two of my personal favourites were the film point in our calendar year in Mcleod Ganj. The husband and wife duo, (renowned film directors Khanaur by Gurvinder Singh, which was set in nearby Bir, and a jewel of an animation film, Bombay Rose, which took the themselves), Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam, who are also the director Gitanjali Rao six years to make. Again, having both DIFF Directors, did a marvellous job once more this year. They directors in attendance made the viewing experience all the more have truly achieved their original aim of bringing high-quality, independent, national and international films up here to us in special and insightful. There was also a wonderfully appropriate Tibetan angle to the mountains. We are grateful, and we can’t wait to see the the festival, with the documentary The Dalai Lama – Scientist cinematic gems they will offer us next year!

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Dharamshala Film Festival Feature Bringing Film to the Himalayas We are delighted to feature an interview with the DIFF founders – Ritu Sarin and Tenzin Sonam, who make the festival happen every year by Theadora Walsh Though neither Ritu Sarin nor Tenzing Sonam was born in Himachal Pradesh, the filmmaking couple were drawn to Dharamshala. Ritu’s family is from the area and Tenzing saw many Tibetans, including his parents, take refuge in the former hill station when the Indian government chose it as the exile capital. Their most recent documentary, When Hari Got Married, displays the extent to which the two have become a part of the community. Following their local taxi driver through the excitement and trepidations of an arranged marriage, the camera becomes a sort of confidant. I met Ritu and Tenzing through their son. Living in their beautiful home, I have been privy to their creative process. Their devotion to great cinema comes from collaboration and a mutual respect and admiration for each other. I think this partnership shows in their films. Their documentaries, which mostly focus on Tibetan themes, are both personal and in constant dialogue with their subjects. Without cynicism or indifference, the filmmaking couple are totally dedicated to their craft and to the ever changing situation of Tibet. Their most recent feature film is The Sweet Requiem, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2018 and has since shown in many film festivals around the world. The film tells the story of an exile Tibetan woman living in Delhi who unexpectedly encounters a man from her childhood. Long suppressed memories of her traumatic escape from Tibet are reignited and she is propelled on an obsessive search for reconciliation and closure. How did you start making films? What are your backgrounds? Ritu Sarin: My family was from Dharamshala but I never really lived here even when I was growing up. My father had a job which caused us to move around. I saw my first alternate film when I was quite young and even though I didn’t understand what I was seeing, I found it so intriguing. When we were growing up, our lives were predetermined. You didn’t have many options –you were probably going to do your BA and get married, etc. So watching these alternate films sort of opened up a whole new world for me. I thought of studying film and went to art school in California to do a Masters in Fine Arts, specialising in film and video. Tenzing Sonam: I was born and brought up in Darjeeling. My parents were Tibetan refugees who moved from Tibet after the Chinese occupation. After school, I came to Delhi and studied Economics at St. Stephen’s and like Ritu I didn’t know what I was doing at the time. After my BA, I came to Dharamshala and worked for the Tibetan Government-in-exile for over a year. Then I moved to America and lived in many different places before finally ending up in Berkeley where I did a Masters in Journalism. RS: Tenzing and I re-met there and we started working on our first documentary together. That was a long time ago in the 80’s and the documentary was about the Sikh communities in northern California. It was called The New Puritans – The Sikhs of Yuba City, and was one of the earliest films about the Indian immigrant community and their

experiences, generational conflicts and what it all meant. Tell me about your first feature film, Dreaming Lhasa. What inspired you to write a fictional script? TS: We made a Tibetan feature film called Dreaming Lhasa. It was set in Dharamshala and was about the Tibetan exile experience. It was about a Tibetan-origin filmmaker from the United States who comes here to shoot a film. She meets a guy who comes from Tibet, learns about his story and helps him in his search for a missing person. It showed at the Toronto International Film Festival, San Sebastian Film Festival and had a theatrical release in the US as well. Most of your films cast light on Tibet’s occupation. How did you decide to focus on this issue? RS+TS: Tibet is always on our minds. It’s something we kind of live with. We constantly engage in the subject and there are so many films we want to make about it. When we started out making films we realised that most films about Tibet were being made by non-Tibetans and although well-meaning for the most part, lacked an insight that could only come from within the community. We made a decision to fill this gap by focusing on Tibet-themed subjects as we were both closely connected to the exile Tibetan community and passionately engaged in its struggle. Our films always come from a more personal perspective and the issues they address are issues that concern us personally. Many of the people you’ve made films about live in or pass through Dharamshala. What is it like to see them grow older and change? It’s very important for us to try and stay in touch with the people we have made films about. These relationships transcend the filmmaking process and are meaningful to us on a personal level. It’s been fascinating to see some of our characters –especially the younger ones –change over time, grow up, become adults, and in some cases, assume very heavy responsibilities. Our films are small snapshots of particular moments in the lives of these people –important moments, certainly –but life moves on and we are happy to be a part of their journey. Where did the idea to organise the Dharamshala International Film Festival come from? RS+TS: DIFF grew out of long conversations around our kitchen table in Dharamshala. Initially, our idea was to introduce the local community to good, alternative cinema. Starting a film festival seemed like the most natural thing for us to do. The second thing was that we thought Dharamshala was such an amazing place with such an unusual mix of people but it was lacking some kind of an event –an international event that could capitalise on its assets. So a film festival seemed like a good choice for us. As filmmakers yourselves, how do you approach curating a film festival? RS+TS: The fact that we are filmmakers is crucial to DIFF’s particular character. We bring to the festival our own experience of attending film festivals around the world, both large and small. We can call on a wide network of filmmakers, producers, sales agents, distributors, and festival programmers to advise us, recommend films, and often to help us get in touch with filmmakers. And most importantly, as filmmakers, we understand the importance of creating a platform to showcase independent films. DIFF neither has corporate sponsorships nor big celebrities taking over. It is a platform where audiences and filmmakers interact and intermingle quite informally. The philosophy of DIFF is purely to celebrate good cinema.

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Lha and Community News Cooking Contest A cookery competition was held to raise awareness of diabetes in the Tibetan community, and the benefits of low-fat, sugar-free, low salt vegetarian food. The event was organised by the Central Tibetan Administration’s Department of Health, and held on World Diabetics Day on November 14; it was later aired on TibetTV and shared on social media platforms. Health Kalon [Minister] Choekyong Wangchuk has called for people to adopt healthy balanced diets. First prize was won by Tenzin Tsephal, the second went to Penpa and the third prize to Kunga Choeying.

Climate Run

The Climate Run for Tibet was held in McLeod Ganj on Sunday November 17 as one of a series of events to raise awareness of the need for world leaders to recognise the global importance of the Tibetan plateau the climate crisis debate and to call on them to speak out and make Tibet central to discussions of climate change. The six-kilometre route started at CTA headquarters, continued through McLeod Ganj and on to Bhagsu before returning to the Main Square in McLeod. More than 150 people took part, each receiving a T-shirt. The Run was not a competition, the aim was to show a presence in the town in a public, eco-friendly way.

Poetry Night Gu Chu Sum - the association of Tibetan political prisoners based in Dharamshala held a Poetry Night in the Woods to highlight the plight of writers imprisoned in China and to celebrate their resilience and courage. It was the fourth time this event has been held and this year attracted more than a hundred people. Participants read poetry in honour of imprisoned writers, including seven poets who had composed poems specially for the event. The readings were in many languages, including Tibetan, English, Malaysian and Spanish and images illustrating events in China were projected onto a large screen. The event was designed to provide an introduction to the Tibetan situation for those who were not familiar with it, as well as to provide a forum to exchange poetry and ideas. The crowd enjoyed sweet tea and Tibetan noodles which were served during the gathering.

Buddha Group from US

Arriving in Dharamshala on November 12 and led by our founder and longtime friend Neil Guidry, the six members of the Buddha group stayed at Lha’s Ahimsa House for several days during which time they were introduced to Tibetan Buddhism, culture and the exile way of life through various activities, all under the Lha Cultural Exchange Programme. Lha facilitated tours to Tsuglakhang, the main temple in McLeod Ganj as well as the museum, Men-Tsee-Khang and Library so the participants could explore aspects of Tibetan religion, history and art. They also participated in meditation and yoga as well as going hiking and camping at Triund. After their time Dharamshala they visited the Bir Tibetan colony and the monasteries there.

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Rinpoche’s Birthday Celebration

Lha organised an event to celebrate His Eminence Professor Samdhong Rinpoche’s 80th birthday at Ahimsa House on November 5. The ceremony included a screening of a documentary of Rinpoche’s life, followed by a cake cutting ceremony. Monks from Gyudmey monastery were invited to the celebration to perform a long life prayer recitation for Rinpoche. Traditional Tibetan food was served with tea, and everyone enjoyed joining in with a Tibetan circle dance. The Lha team wishes Rinpoche long life, health and happiness in the years to come.

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, Tenzin Choekyi from Scotland shares her story with us. Volunteer job at Lha: French Teacher

Solidarity in Exile

In the late 1990s when the internet was available only in cyber cafes or offices, Lha provided a few computers with the educational Mavis Beacon Typing Game. It was free to locals who wanted to learn typing. So, as a small girl who enjoyed playing video games, I went to their classes a few times to play this typing game. Two hands on the screen, starting from the left with A, S, D, F, G and H untouched, then the right from J to the semicolon were to be imitated. To win the game, I had to quickly follow the screen fingers to type the words on a broken, floating iceberg before it reached the other end of the screen. Lha was as such an educational game centre for me. Since then my hometown has changed in many profound ways. Almost everyone has the internet on their smartphone and people type with their two thumbs as we well know. Also Lha, in this time period, has grown with even more beneficial services. Volunteering at Lha has reminded me not only of these memories, but also the culture of respect our community holds for teachers. Even if I came to McLeod mainly to spend time with my family, I also wanted to be directly of service to my community. Teaching the French language came as a perfect opportunity, given the growing number of Tibetans leaving for France. Learning a new language is still an ongoing experience for many Tibetans and it was my hope that what I taught could come to some use in their future. From that beginning until the last day as a volunteer, everyone at Lha was very kind and welcoming. The students and staff always share a friendly rapport and this is also true of the atmosphere in their community kitchen which serves healthy meals to the public and Lha staff every day. This environment of community spirit and respect in McLeod Ganj, and at Lha, makes contact between tourists or visitors and the locals more meaningful. Yet the influx of domestic tourists, the traffic, and more places being bought or sold in Mcleod seems to come at the cost of losing our space to meet, interact, learn and grow as a community. And that is why I am thankful that Lha continues even today to be that place of solidarity in exile in the heart of McLeod. I am grateful to everyone who keeps Lha running, and hope to find it there, always, with doors wide open.

Update on Lha’s Livelihood Programme Under Lha’s Livelihood Programme, new intakes of students started the Cookery, Massage and Spa Coursesthis month. The second Cookery Course started on November 1, with 20 students who will do two months intensive training with Mr Lekphel, learning about Oriental, Indian, Japanese and Koreancuisines. The fourth Tibetan Traditional Massage and Spa Course started on November 15 with seven students participating. The training is being held at the Tibetan Health Spalon over the next three months; one month of class and two months of internship. The focus of the training is Tibetan traditional, Swedish and Aromatherapy massage. For this batch, two different classes are running to enable students with different time commitments to attend: one in the morning and one after 5pm. Lha’s Livelihood Programme trains Tibetans in employable skills. Most of the courses are free and a free lunch is included during the course. Lha hopes to make a contribution to reducing the number of unemployed Tibetans with these vocational courses.

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 | November 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) 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 | November 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 | November 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 | November 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 | November 2019 | Page No 21

Jobs And Advertisements

Job Opportunities The Department of Health, CTA

Postion: Accountant Qualification: Bachelor of Commmerse (B.Com) Deadline : December 19, 2019 Documents required: Degree copies,updated greenbook copies, health certificate and no objection letter if currently working *Mention your email address and phone number in the application for further communication. Interested applicants should send their application and documents to the address below: Secretary Department of Health, CTA Gangchen Kyishong Dharamsala 176215 Distt Kangra H.P HP, India

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

Fellowship Opportunity: Apply to be a 2020 Dalai Lama Fellow

A 3-part Soul Purification and Healing


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

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

Dalai Lama Fellows is a one-year fellowship programme empowering young leaders around the world to address social challenges with contemplation, compassion and universal human values. With the support of mentors and coaches, each fellow works on a social change project in their community and integrates inner transformation with social innovation and impact. In order to build lasting solutions and strengthen their own resilience, fellows learn contemplative practices for cultivating selfawareness, compassion for themselves and others, and the ability to bridge cultural differences. Application deadline is January 5, 2020. Learn more and apply at

Contact magazine | November 2019 | Page No 22

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

NEPALI KITCHEN MULTICUISINE RESTAURANT Address: Chhaya Niwas Location: Jogiwara Road, Mcleod Ganj Indian, Chinese, Continental Mexican, Italian and Israeli Speciality: Nepali Thali, Wood Oven Pizza Fresh Seasonal Juice Contact number : 8628 878 743 / 9405 233 008 (Map # 18)

Contact magazine | November 2019 | Page No 23

Map Of McLeod Ganj

20 17



3 2


8 18 19



10 9

01. 02. 03. 04. 05. 06. 07. 08. 09. 10.

Lha Headquarters State Bank of India & ATM Smile Dental Clinice & Implant Centre Common Ground Cafe Woeser Bakery Nature Cure Health Club 8 Auspicious Him View Hotel Perfect 32 Dental Clinic Ahimsa House & Lha Soup Kitchen Chonor House

11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.

Tibetan Musuem and Temple Delek Hospital Central Tibetan Administration Tibetan Library Mentsekhang (Tibetan Medical Institute) Gangkyi Taxi Stand Rogpa Baby Centre Nepali Kitchen & Multicuisine Restaurant Carpe Diem Restuarant & Pizzeria Tarot by Meena

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)



12 16

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



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

Profile for Lha Charitable Trust

November 2019  

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

November 2019  

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