TibetNet will bring out a series of statements by Kalons of the seven departments of the Central Tibetan Administration on their initiatives and developments in the past one year since they took office in the 14th Kashag led by Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay, the political leader of the Tibetan people, on 8 August 2011.
Department of Home
By Kalon Dolma Gyari
It has been one year since the new Kashag took office under the leadership of the democratically elected Kalon Tripa, Dr Lobsang Sangay. On this occasion, I would like to extend my heartiest greetings to the Tibetan public on behalf of the Department of Home, Central Tibetan Administration.
The Central Tibetan Administration is the legitimate representative of the Tibetan people, both politically and historically. And particularly at this critical time in history, the responsibility of the Central Tibetan Administration is much more than even a government of an independent country. And therefore, the departments under the Central Tibetan Administration, has an equally important role and responsibility to perform and fulfil.
Speaking about the Department of Home, since the arrival of the Tibetan refugees in 1959, the Department of Home has been working tirelessly to rehabilitate the Tibetan refugees. And under the leadership of His Holiness and the support of the Indian government and other aid groups, it was decided that the Tibetans should protect their distinct culture and identity while in exile. Particularly, in a big country like India with its huge population, there was a risk of disintegration of the small number of Tibetan populace. Hence, His Holiness the Dalai Lama with the help of the state and central government, established separate settlements for the Tibetan refugees in Nepal, Bhutan and India.
The Tibetan settlements in these countries have the right to pursue any profession, religious freedom and separate Tibetan schools. All these have been made possible due to the hard work of the former and present staff of the Tibetan settlements.
And since this is the first Kashag vested with full political authority, it has an enormous responsibility to fulfil. Sustaining the progress the CTA has made in the last 50 years and continuing the development of Tibetan settlements are the main concern of the home department.
We are very grateful to our host countries India, Bhutan and Nepal. And today, I would like to thank the people and the government of these countries for their gracious hospitality. Sometimes, it so happens that, due to sudden changes in political conditions of these countries, Tibetans had to face many hardships.
The department of home has initiated many programmes for the re-vitalisation and stability of the Tibetan settlements. Moreover, we consider it important to keep friendly and harmonious relationship with the local Indian people. I can’t say we have made so much progress in that field in one year, but we have devised many strategies and the settlement offices as well as the central administration must work together to achieve the desired results.
The economic conditions of the Tibetans living in Nepal, Bhutan and India are very different. The poor are very poor and we are doing what we could to help them. We don’t want to give them just financial aids but more importantly, we are trying to lift them up from poverty. And looking at the efforts the Central Tibetan Administration has put in the last 50 years, the results have been quite impressive.
The Central Tibetan Administration treats every Tibetan equally. Some Tibetans in the settlements are really poor, particularly some newly arrived Tibetans who face huge problems in India. We are doing what we could to solve all these problems. It would be a falsehood, if I say, we will be able to solve all these problems within a short span of time. But after five years, we hope to bring some positive changes that you all will be able to see.
Moreover, I also want to send this message across to the general public that, for the policies of the CTA to succeed, co-operation is very important. The work being done by the local settlement officers is crucial to the development of our settlements. We all should extend our full co-operation to them. But if there is any genuine grievances against the settlement officers, the people shouldn’t hesitate to contact us. You can send us a letter or talk to us directly about the matter. That way, we will be able to develop our settlements efficiently.
Lastly, I pray for the sufferings of the Tibetan people to end and may Tibetans, both inside and outside, reunite in Tibet soon. Long live His Holiness the Dalai Lama!