Dharamshala: As part of the annual media outreach program organised by the India Tibet Coordination Office (ITCO) in New Delhi, a delegation consisting of four members from the Indian Association of Foreign Affairs Correspondents (IAFAC) visited Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh from September 24th to 27th September to gain firsthand insights into the Tibetan issue, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), its operations, and the Tibetan exile community.
The four-member delegation included Surya Gangadharan, diplomatic editor at StratNews Global; Suhasini Haider, diplomatic editor at The Hindu; Nayanima Basu, editor (Diplomacy & Defence) and news editor at ABP Live; and Sachin Budhauliya, Special Correspondent at United News of India (UNI)/Univarta.
Upon their arrival, the delegation’s first-day itinerary involved a visit to the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) headquarters and a tour of the Tibet Museum, where they explored the exhibits related to Tibet with the assistance of the museum staff.
The following day, the delegation received an audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, during which they engaged in a brief interaction. His Holiness shared his commitment to reviving the ancient Indian wisdom of the Nalanda tradition. This interaction with His Holiness was subsequently covered by various media channels.
Additionally, the delegation toured the Tsuglakhang temple complex, where they observed a Guru Bumtsok prayer session. They also met with Sikyong Penpa Tsering, President of the Central Tibetan Administration, who provided insights into the CTA and the current political landscape of the Tibetan movement. Individual interviews with Sikyong were conducted.
The delegation’s visit included a stop at the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives (LTWA), where they met with Ngawang Yeshi, General Secretary of the library, and received a briefing on the library’s functions. They explored various sections of LTWA and later visited the Tibetan Reception Centre to meet newly arrived Tibetans from Tibet.
On another day, the delegation visited the headquarters of Men-Tsee-Khang, the Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute, where they met with Thupten Tsering, Director of the Institute, and toured the institute campus, including the museum. They also had the opportunity to consult with the institute’s doctors.
Subsequently, the delegation visited the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile (TPiE) and met with Deputy Speaker Dolma Teykhang. The Deputy Speaker provided insight into the challenging conditions faced by Tibetans inside Tibet, who continue to resist suppression through peaceful means despite cultural genocide, arbitrary detentions, custodial deaths, and other atrocities. One-on-one interviews with the Deputy Speaker were conducted, and the delegation toured the venue where parliamentary proceedings take place.
The delegation also engaged in an interactive session with representatives from the Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC), Students for a Free Tibet-India (SFT-India), and the National Democratic Party of Tibet (NDPT) in McLeod Ganj.
Finally, the delegation visited the Upper Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV), where they were greeted by Tsultrim Dorjee, Village Director. They toured the school campus, interacted with the students, and were impressed by the nurturing environment and holistic education provided to the students.
This visit provided the delegation members with a unique experience, allowing them to witness the Tibetan community and its exile administration firsthand. It left them with a deeper understanding of the Tibetan movement and a renewed commitment to support it in India.
In honour of the visiting media delegation, a dinner reception was hosted by the DIIR, CTA in the presence of Secretary Karma Choeying, Additional Secretaries Tenzin Lekshay, Tashi Phuntsok and Namgyal Tsewang. The members were felicitated at the dinner reception.
The four-member delegation was accompanied by Coordinator Thupten Rinzin and Program Officer Choney Tsering from the India Tibet Coordination Office based in New Delhi.
-Reported by ITCO, New Delhi