SEATTLE: President Dr Lobsang Sangay of the Central Tibetan Administration inaugurated the 22nd Tibet Fest 2017 at the Seattle center in Seattle, Washington on 26 August. The Tibet fest is an annual event organised by the Tibetan Association of Washington that provides an opportunity to experience and explore the cultural roots and contemporary influences of Tibet through live performances, visual arts, hands-on activities, foods, games, and a lively marketplace.
Tibetans, Americans and other foreigners interested in Tibetan culture and the Tibetan movement attended the festival. Also present at the festival were Lt. Governor Mr. Cyrus Habib, City Mayor Mr. Ed Murray, and a representative of US Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal.
Addressing the festival, President Dr Sangay spoke about the current situation inside Tibet particularly the ongoing repressive policies adopted by the Chinese government in Tibet which is endangering the very existence of Tibetan religion, culture and identity.
He also spoke about the wave of self-immolation protests that swept Tibet since 2009 and the motivation of these self-immolaters, and their fervent desire to meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama and receive his teachings.
Emphasising the importance of preserving Tibet’s environment, Dr Sangay stressed on the irreparable damage being done to Tibet’s fragile environment by China’s illogical developmental policies and how it’s endangering not just the Tibetan plateau but the whole of Asia and the world.
President Dr Sangay also expressed his gratitude to the Government and people of United States, in his address, for hosting Tibetans and supporting the Tibetan cause especially for endorsing the Middle Way Approach for the peaceful resolution of Tibet by President Obama in the past.
President arrived in Seattle on 25 August and was given a warm welcome by executive members of the Tibetan Association at the Seattle airport. President Dr Lobsang Sangay visited the Sakya Centre after his arrival to meet and address the local Tibetan Community. President Dr Sangay addressed the gathering followed by question and answer session. Around 150 local Tibetans based in Seattle turned up to listen to the President.
In his address to the local Tibetan community, President Dr Lobsang Sangay spoke about the preservation of Tibetan language and culture, moral ethics and the Tibetan identity. He advised Tibetan parents to send their children to study Tibetan language and culture at the Weekend Tibetan language and culture schools.
He further encouraged parents to send their children to take part in summer programs in Dharamsala, India and explained Tibet Corps, a programme aimed to attract talented Tibetans to serve in the exile community.
He also gave a brief introduction of the activities and functions of the various departments of the Central Tibetan Administration.Dr Sangay also talked about the Kashag’s Five fifty Strategy.
President Dr Lobsang Sangay returned to Portland in the afternoon of 26 August and will address Tibetan Community on 27th morning. He will then fly to San Francisco the same afternoon.