Mundgod: Kalon Sonam Topgyal Khorlatsang, Department of Home, Central Tibetan Administration began his first leg of tour to the southern Tibetan settlements from Mundgod Doeguling Tibetan settlement.
On arrival at the Hubli airport on 27 November, Chophel Thupten, Chief Representative Officer, Bangalore and Lhakpa Tsering, TSO Mundgod accorded a warm welcome reception. At the settlement Gaden Jangtse guest house the administrators of the monasteries, community leaders and NGOs lined to welcome and extended greetings with Kathak.
The next day program started with a visit to the TSO office and held a brief meeting with the TSO, followed by a tour around the office campus and met the staff.
At around 9.30 am, Kalon visited the new arrival Tibetan housing project site located at camp 10 and held a meeting with the site engineer Mr Singh, assistant to the contractor Tsering Ngodup. During the meeting, they discussed the details of the construction looking at the blueprint drawings and suggested some changes. 40 families have been allotted houses in two blocks, 24 single categories in A block with area size 300 sqft per house and 16 family category B block with an area size of a house 600 sqft.
Kalon informed that it is the responsibility and commitment of the administration to look after the rehabilitation and welfare of its people, though this project took some time to start but now during this Kashag’s term, the project is being implemented. And further asked the members to follow the rules and regulation of the settlement. The representatives of the newly arrived Tibetans expressed their joy and gratitude for implementing the construction project.
Later, Kalon visited the agriculture extension demonstration plot banana plantation farm. Kalon was impressed with the works of the agriculture extension officers and the result can be clearly seen of their hard work and lauded their efforts. The AEOs presented a brief report and explained on the plantation project, which was funded through USAID.
The next morning Kalon held a meeting with the monastery administrators, community leaders and NGO heads, around 40 members attended the meeting. In his address, he briefed on the purpose of the visit and since south Tibetan settlements have the maximum number of Tibetan population and area of land, it is the responsibility of the administration and particularly that of Department of Home to look after the welfare and understand the prevailing situation. And also to make public aware of the various initiatives undertaken by the administration, Kalon said.
Kalon spoke on the resolution passed during the meeting of religious heads and the 3rd special general meeting, Kalon said that the general public must be aware of these important developments on the issue of His Holiness Dalai Lama’s reincarnation and the relation between the Dalai Lama’s and the Tibetans are inseparable, continuance of the lineage of the Dalai Lamas.
He emphasised on the cooperative society role and fulfilling the aims and objective to make settlements viable and sustainable. Also, mention on the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model for the sustainable economic development of the settlement and through this model, resources of the settlement can be used to its maximum potential, thereby curbing outmigration and proper land usage. He suggested on the cooperatives to make the workshops more active by providing maximum benefit to the settlers.
Kalon elaborated on the dire situation of Tibet’s just cause and the efforts put by CTA and particularly of Sikyong’s advocacy tour in the international forums in garnering support. Also informed on the recent visit of important personnel to Dharamsala, the US Ambassador at large, US House of Representatives and former President of Botswana to show solidarity and supported our cause.
In terms of making the settlements sustainable, the rehabilitation policy 2014 allows the land to be used for preservation of culture, socio-economic development and welfare projects.
Followed by a visit to the farmer’s field of camp four mango plantation and cashew plantation.
Later visited camp 4 Norbu ri where a stupa of Guru Rinpoche, Santsraksita and Tibet’s 38 King Trisong Detsen are installed and the area has been beautifully landscaped.
On 30 November, Kalon visited Hunsur Rabgayling Tibetan settlement and held a meeting with community heads, later inspected the jhatorpha project site, internal camp road project and housing project.
Yesterday, Kalon arrived at Bylakuppe and visited the project location. He will leave for Kollegal on 4 December.