-Filed by Tenzin Lhakmon, Communication Officer, Sikyong’s Office-
Kollegal: The President of the Central Tibetan Administration, Dr Lobsang Sangay interacted with the Tibetan community during his day-long visit to Kollegal Dhondenling Tibetan Settlement in the southern state of Karnataka.
Citing interacting with the Tibetan community during such official visit as a priority, the President also shared the inspection of the Sambhota School upon its recent completion of transfer from the Indian government to the CTA as one of the reasons behind his visit.
Education, which the President added as one of the priorities of the Kashag, holds much importance in pursuing the goals of the 5-50 vision and in curating the need for human resources to strengthen the Tibet cause, he added.
During the address, the President informed the community about the successful transfer of the Kollegal Settlement’s land from the Forest Department to the Revenue Department by the Karnataka government. A move that would procure a lease for the Tibetan residents’ land, which previously was listed as a forest land. Recapitulating the generosity of the Indian government, the President advised residence to live in harmony with the Indian community and reminded that the lands given to the Tibetan are on lease.
Thanking the state government and acknowledging the efforts of the Chief Representative Officer of the Southern Tibetan Settlement and the settlement officer of the Dhondeling, the President expressed that the residents are no longer living in a forest and that they are finally living in Tibetan Settlement both on land and paper and that they are eligible for all agriculture-related schemes and grants by the government.
The President added that these plans carried under the Tibetan Rehabilitation Act, 2014 together with other initiatives by the CTA such as the transfer of CST schools, loan schemes, and Tibetan Medicare system are all part of the 50 years plan under the 5-50 vision. Speaking of the five-fifty vision, the President iterated the importance of the Middle Way Approach in realizing the ultimate goal of seeking genuine autonomy, which he added is for Tibetans, but more so for Tibetans inside Tibet. He further added that the win-win proposition that Middle Way offers through peace and dialogue and which complies with the Chinese constitution itself has garnered support and offered various platforms to raise the Tibet issue and he added is one of the main reasons that has kept China on their toes.
The visit also saw the inauguration of the outdoor gym funded by the CTA’s Health Department and inspection of the school and interaction with staff and parents.
Dr Sangay visited STS Kollegal and held elaborate meeting with Principal Tenzin Jhesang, staff and students to discuss the next phase after the transition from CTSA.
One of the main purpose of the visit, Dr Sangay said is to discuss the school’s next phase of progress and innovations after the transition.
Accompanying the president during the inspection were Chief representative Choephel Thupten, Settlement officer Thupten Tsering and local Tibetan Assembly president Norbu Tsering.