WASHINGTON, DC: Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay addressed the 13th North American Tibetan Association Conference held in Washington, D.C., under the aegis of the Office of Tibet from 30 August to 1 September. This year’s conference was participated by 33 delegates from 21 Tibetan Associations as well as by the two members of the Tibetan Parliament from North America.
In his welcome remarks, Representative Kaydor Aukatsang said the main tasks of the office of Tibet are to organise visits of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, maintain close contacts with the governments and public of the United States and Canada, as well as with the over 20,000 Tibetans in the United States and Canada through the Tibetan Associations, and raise funds for Tibetans in exile.
The special guest of the occasion, Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay, spoke on the state of Tibet issue and the priorities of the Central Tibetan Administration. He visualised the prospect of a generational shift in 2020 with the leadership role would rest on exile Tibetans who have not seen Tibet. He underlined the need to consider what the new generation would be able to do then.
Sikyong spoke about the benefits of the Middle Way Approach and the Central Tibetan Administration’s firm commitment to resolve the issue of Tibet through dialogue with the Chinese government. He also issues related with Taiwan, Mongolia, Xinjiang, India and China.
Explaining the Dholgyal issue, he said Dholgyal practitioners’ allegation that they have been denied religious freedom is not true. He also cited cases to explain why the Central Tibetan Administration has not discriminated Dholgyal propitiators. He also responded to questions from the conference delegates
Kalon Tsering Dhundup of the Department of Finance, who was a guest at the conference, explained issues relating to the Voluntary Contribution program, saying making the contribution was an indication of performing the duty as a citizen. He said that CTA plans to address problems faced by Tibetans residing abroad regarding the Green Book and plans to simplify application procedures.
Three former Representatives – Tenzin N. Tethong, Phintso Thonden and Rinchen Dharlo – also addressed the conference. They participated in a panel discussion on the oole of the Tibetan Diaspora Community in North America in promoting unity, innovation and self- reliance within Tibetans in and outside Tibet. Representative Kaydor Aukatsang moderated the discussion.
The Office of Tibet also arranged workshops on improving the governance of the Tibetan Associations, tax related matters, and strengthening advocacy and campaigning within North American Tibetan communities.
The Tibetan Associations unanimously agreed and resolved to follow under the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and the Central Tibetan Administration.
They unanimously expressed deep concern and condemn Dolgyal followers’ protests and groundless allegations against His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and request heads of different Tibetan Buddhist traditions to inform its followers that propitiation of the cult of Dolgyal and its harmful impact on Tibetan Buddhism and political cause.
It was also decided that the North American Tibetan Associations would organise a huge rally to raise the Tibet issue next year.
The next conference will be held in Portland from 5-7 September 2014.