LONDON: Kalon Pema Chinnjor on 14 July addressed a gathering of Tibetans living in the UK at a meeting in Woolwich, east London. The event started with a performance of a Tibetan song and a dance by a group of young Tibetan children and a group of adults living in the Woolwich area.
In his introductory remarks, the Kalon informed the audience that despite the meeting being arranged at very short notice, as he was not originally scheduled to visit the UK, he was very happy to see a good turn out and to witness the efforts made in preserving the Tibetan culture reflected in the song and dance performances. He also informed the audience that Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay had wanted the Kalons to visit the Tibetan communities outside of India during their celebrations of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s 77th birthday, rather than staying in Dharamsala, in order to improve the contacts being the Kashag and the Tibetan Diaspora.
In his address, Kalon Pema Chhinjor highlighted the key priorities and achievements of the present Kashag, under the leadership of the Kalon Tripa, since taking office last year.
The Kalon also informed the audience that the spirit of the Tibetans inside Tibet, especially among the young, was very strong. This was reflected in the non-violent protests that took place across Tibet in 2008 and the very strong efforts being made by the Tibetans inside Tibet to preserve their Tibetan identity and culture. This, he said, was something that Tibetans living outside Tibet should take pride in. Kalon Pema Chhinjor also emphasised that the Tibetan struggle was against the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and not the Chinese people. The self-immolations by 43 young Tibetans inside Tibet, all born and brought up under the rule of the Chinese Communist Party, had proven the claims by the PRC Government of having created a ‘socialist paradise’ in Tibet to be a lie.
He also reminded the audience of the responsibility that each Tibetan had in not just forgetting their Tibetan roots but also in taking an active interest in the Tibetan cause and to doing whatever they can to help.
Kalon Pema Chinnjor informed the audience that the Kashag remained committed to the Middle Way Approach and non-violence in resolving the Tibet issue, and that it was ready and willing to engage the Chinese leadership in dialogue at anytime and anywhere. The Kalon emphasised to the audience that the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) was the legitimate representative of the Tibetan people.
Following his address, the Kalon responded to questions from the audience on a diverse range of subjects including on the problems faced by some Tibetans in getting a new Green Book, whether Tibetans living in the UK should protest against the Chinese athletes coming to London to participate in the 2012 Olympic Games, the standard of education in the Tibetan schools in exile and what the next steps in the dialogue with the government of the People’s Republic of China were following the resignation of the two Envoys.
Kalon Pema Chhinjor was accompanied to the event by His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s London based Representative, Mr Thubten Samdup.
Report by The Office of Tibet, London