Dharamshala: The four-day Five Fifty Youth Forum began at the Imperial Heights here on Friday with President Dr Lobsang Sangay of Central Tibetan Administration and Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel of Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile in attendance along with senior dignitaries of Central Tibetan Administration.
Presided by President Dr Lobsang Sangay, the four-day youth forum will deliberate on CTA’s Five-Fifty Vision in shaping Tibet’s political future and strengthening the Tibetan freedom movement.
The forum comes as a succession of Five Fifty Forum that took place in October 2017 which saw over 180 participants from 21 different countries take part in the three-day forum where they have had intensive discussions on wide-ranging topics concerning Tibet’s policy and further about Tibet’s struggle movement.
“What an honour it is for me to welcome the best and the brightest of our Tibetan youth, from across the world, to Dharamsala,” said President Dr Lobsang Sangay, in his inaugural address.
“The one-hundred of you in this room were carefully chosen by a Selection Committee for the first-ever 5/50 Youth Forum. Each one of you should be proud of yourself”.
Speaking on the ‘Five-Fifty Vision,’ President said the vision is premised on His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s advice to “Hope for the Best and Prepare for the Worst. “I remember very clearly in 2012 I had an audience with His Holiness where he told me, “One of your main responsibilities as a leader is to lead the movement forward as if I’m not there.” Those words struck me like a lightning bolt. I was shocked, emotional and overwhelmed. However, His Holiness continued to emphasise my duty as Sikyong to envision a movement without him. For our tsawai lama (Root leader), the movement is far more important than himself.
“After years of planning, the Kashag launched the Five-Fifty Vision in 2017. The vision aims to maximize efforts to resolve the Tibet issue in five years based on the Middle Way Approach while ensuring CTA’s resilience to sustain the Tibetan freedom struggle and preserve Tibetan culture for the next fifty years if needed,” said the President.
Zealous Tibetan youths between the age of 20-40 are taking part in the forum. There are a total of 100 participants from 15 different countries. This purposeful Forum represents a convergence of bright, determined young minds to express their opinions candidly and exchange ideas and knowledge regarding the challenges and opportunities facing the Tibetan movement.
The forum is particularly focused on generating opportunity for Tibetan youths around the world to assimilate themselves with Central Tibetan Administration’s vision in shaping Tibet’s political future and strengthening the Tibetan freedom movement famously known as the Five fifty Vision.
The forum will feature plenary sessions on four themes: 1) Tibet and China: Historical ties, Establishing Dialogue with PRC—institutional, civil society, individual level.
2) Young Voices in the Tibetan Freedom Movement: Communications, Advocacy, and International Relations
3) Homeland and diaspora—building linkages between Tibetans inside and outside Tibet.
4) CTA’s Leadership toward the Five-Fifty Vision- creating visionary leadership, and resource mobilisation within and beyond CTA frontiers.
The second segment includes rigorous breakout sessions that will delve into discussions about chalking out a strategic action plan on how to maximize the potential of Tibetan youth in shaping Tibet’s political future.
The Forum deliberations began this morning with an open Mic with President Dr Lobsang Sangay followed by an expert presentation by Michael Van Walt.
Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel of Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile also delivered an address, congratulating the youth participants of the first-ever Five Fifty Youth Forum.
The inaugural event was attended by Chief Justice Commissioner, Justice Commissioner, Commissioner of Public Service Commission, Auditor General, Members of Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, Members of the Standing Committee, Kashag Secretary, Parliamentary Secretary, Secretaries of CTA departments.