DHARAMSHALA: Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay had a very meaningful and remarkable visit to meet Tibetans living in one of the highest and difficult terrains of India, an official from the Kashag secretariat who accompanied him during the visit told TibetNet in an interview.
After taking office of Kalon Tripa last August, it was Dr Lobsang Sangay’s first visit to meet members of the Tibetan community and local officials in Ladakh, and adjoining hamlets in Chanthang located above 14,000 ft from 8-12 July.
Kalon Tripa was accorded a grand reception on his arrival in Ladakh by local officials, heads of the various associations and the Tibetan community.
In his public talks, Kalon Tripa briefed the Tibetan settlers about the workings of the Central Tibetan Administration in the last 11 months since His Holiness the Dalai Lama devolved his formal authority to the elected leadership. He assured them that the Kashag has achieved a sustainable position with reassurance of continued support from the Indian people and government.
Kalon Tripa told them that current situation in Tibet remain critical and that the international community has responded positively to the efforts made by Kashag to garner their support towards finding a lasting solution to the issue of Tibet. He spoke about his visit to European countries, Japan, Australia and the US in this pursuit.
He said the Kashag and the Tibetan Parliament will jointly convene the second special general meeting of Tibetans in September to deal with continuing tragic self-immolation of Tibetans in protest against the Chinese government’s repression.
He emphasised that education is the top priority of the Kashag. He spoke of his plans to visit Tibetans living in Changthang areas to assess their socio-economic conditions. He also briefed the public about the status of dialogue process, including the resignation of two envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and a task force meeting in December.
Kalon Tripa took part in an interactive discussion with members of the Ladakh Buddhist Association (LBA) on ‘democratisation of Tibet society and situation in Tibet’. Efforts to sustain and strengthen ties between the Tibetan community and LBA were also discussed.
On the second day, Kalon Tripa met His Eminence Gaden Tripa Rizong Rinpoche. He also addressed students at TCV school on importance of education and urged them to make best efforts in their studies.
Next day Kalon Tripa travelled to Nyuma in Changthang, located at an altitude of 14,000 ft. and met the public and local officials, including heads of nine nomadic hamlets. The public sought Kashag’s support for drinking water pumps, employment for youths, medical trips, vital supplies for farmlands and livestocks. He also visited Dolly Dango at Kagshung, located 100 m from the border and Hanley, located at 14,000 ft.
The Ladakh Buddhist Association hosted a dinner reception in honour of Kalon Tripa’s visit to Ladakh on the fourth day. The Chief Executive Councilor Tsewang Spalbar of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council and other council members, LBA president Dr. Tondup Tsewang and members, additional deputy commissioner, representatives of Gompa Association, Ama Tsogpa, heads of the Muslim community, Superintendent of Police greeted Kalon Tripa on the occasion.
In his address, Kalon Tripa spoke about historical cultural and religious ties between India and Tibet in general and Ladakhis and Tibetans in particular. He further said cultural exchange between these two communities could be explored.
Chief Executive Councilor Tsewang Spalbar offered support for Tibetans living in Ladakh, but he also said, we Ladakhis need support from Tibetans in education and preservation of our culture.
A Ladakhi cultural performances added grace to the event.