Morning Tea with Governor of Himachal Pradesh
Friday, 23 March 2007, 2:28 p.m.
The Governor of Himachal Pradesh with a group of Tibetan civil servants from across India and Nepal
The Tibetan officials somehow managed to brace themselves up for the appointment scheduled on the morning of last Monday, 19 March--tea with the Governor of Himachal Pradesh, Justice Vishnu Sadashiv Kokje, at his official residence located alongside the long spur of Chotta Shimla.
Soon as a mini-bus landed the group in front of the Raj Bhavan, the security officials guided them towards the main entrance, where Indian officials greeted them with "Tashi Delek". Although the statues of the Buddha and the Ganesha placed on either side of the main entrance were somewhat incongruous, the grandeur and regalia within the Raj Bhavan was simply awe-inspiring. The erstwhile residence of the Governor General of Punjab also had a great historic significance as the place where Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Pakistan President Ali Bhutto inked the momentous Simla Agreement on 2 July 1972.
As the Governor met the group in the reception hall, the secretary of Public Service Commission, Nangsa Choedon, introduced the 23 Tibetan officials from across India and Nepal, led by Dr. Ngawang Rabgyal, additional secretary of the Department of Information and International Relations.
On behalf of the Tibetan Administration and the people, the general secretary of Tibetan Homes Foundation, Tashi Phuntsok, conveyed the exile communityís heartfelt gratitude for the years of generous support from the Government of India, particularly the Government of Himachal Pradesh. Mr. Phuntsok also conveyed the hope that India will continue to remain benevolent towards the Tibetan exiles.
On his part, the Governor shared that the recent reports suggest a lot of development has been brought in Tibet, and that a great many of Chinese are being settled in the country. On this, the chief planning officer of Tibetan Administration, Dr. Kunchok Tsundue, responded by saying that the Tibetans perceive this "development" as "Sinicization" of Tibet.
After an hour-long exchange on various issues, the governor appeared to have been highly impressed with the Tibetan officers. As the group bid farewell to the governor following a photo session, the governor told Mrs. Choedon that the Tibetan civil servants stand favorably in comparison to their Indian counterparts. Almost all of the state vernacular newspapers, on the following day, carried the group picture of the governor with the Tibetan officials.
(www.tibet.net is the official website of the Central Tibetan Administration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.)