VARANASI: Speaking at the 50th founding anniversary of Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies (CIHTS) at Sarnath on 1 January, Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile lauded the institute for its distinguished achievements in the field of Tibetan education over the last 50 years and wished it success in the next 50 years.
“The achievements of this institute and its goals for the next 50 years can be gauged from the international conference that it organised in the past two days and the blessed presence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama at this celebration,” Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel said.
“If we look back at the last 60 years since Tibetans took political exile, we have made a lot of progress. The establishment of a democratic administration and the support and appreciation that we have received from world leaders for our efforts in the revival of political freedom in exile are just few examples,” he added.
“Inside Tibet before Chinese occupation, the monasteries and nunneries used to be the main centers of education and learning. As a result, these centers have served as the custodians of Tibetan culture. However, during the military occupation of Tibet by China in 1959, over 6000 Tibetan monasteries were destroyed. Along with the destruction, numerous Tibetan scholars, academics and literary luminaries were killed which was a hard blow to the Tibetan education system,” Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel recalled.
“However, after coming into exile, we have been able to successfully revive Tibetan culture and education. This is particularly due to the indomitable spirit and efforts of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the support that we received from the Indian government,” he said.
Lauding the institute for its distinguished service in the field of education for the last 50 years, Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel said that CIHTS, which is one of the oldest and highly respected institutes of learning in exile, is a pillar of Tibetan education in exile.
“Over the last 50 years, this institute under the visionary leadership of former Kalon Tripa Prof Samdhong Rinpoche, has produced many scholars, bureaucrats and politicians, who have contributed immensely to the Tibetan cause especially in the field of education. Therefore, I deeply thank the institute, particularly Prof Samdhong Rinpoche and Vice Chancellor Geshe Ngawang Samten for the same,” he said.
Speaker further wished the institute success in the next 50 years.