Published By Tenzin Phende

President Dr Lobsang Sangay speaking at the inaugural function of Five-fifty forum. Photo/Tenzin Phende/DIIR

DHARAMSHALA: The three-day five-fifty forum organised by the Department of Information and International Relations began today at Hotel Pavilion.

Over 185 participants from 21 countries have converged in Dharamshala for the three-day forum. The participants include some of the top political strategists, politicians, communication experts, activists, bloggers and writers.

Addressing the inaugural session, President Dr Lobsang Sangay described the three-day forum as an opportunity to express unvarnished opinions, suggestions, and recommendations to re-energise the Tibet movement in the next five to fifty years.

“I welcome all of you here,’ President Dr Sangay said. “We have chosen each one of you individually by looking into your longstanding contribution towards the Tibet cause, or for your expertise and experience in the field of international relations.”

“After the forum, we will formulate our future course of action by taking into account your inputs. Therefore, we would want you to advise us just as you would advise your respective governments, MNCs or organisations that you work for,” he said.

He further spoke about the current political backdrop of the world, illustrating the rise in nationalist and extremist sentiments, and the decline of liberalism and Internationalism.

He explained the increased global attention on Tibet riding on the wave of liberalism in the early 90s and late 80s, and expressed concern at the repercussions of the rise of nationalistic global politics on the Tibet cause.

He also spoke about the depressing political situation prevailing inside Tibet and called for redefining the Tibet narrative to create an increased discussion on Tibet in the global political discourse.

President Dr Sangay also spoke about His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s immense contribution in the form of his visionary leadership of the Tibet movement and attributed the success of the Tibetan exile community on his charismatic guidance.

Other speakers at the inaugural session include Noted Indian academic Dr Meenakshi Gopinath, Political strategist Jamie Metzl, German politician Dr Schwartz Schilling and Taiwanese parliamentarian Freddy Lim.

The session was moderated by Information Secretary Tenzin Dhardon Sharling and the vote of thanks was delivered by Secretary Sonam Norbu Dagpo.

Secretary (Equivalent) Dhardon Sharling speaking at 5/50 Opening ceremony. Photo/Tenzin Phende/DIIR

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