Salt Lake City: The Office of Tibet, Washington DC, convened the 19th North America Tibetan Associations Conference in Salt Lake City from 4 – 6 September 2021. The Tibetan Association of Utah facilitated the logistical arrangements of the conference.
The guest of honor at this year’s NATA conference was Secretary Karma Choeying from the Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR). Other guests include Congressman Ben McAdam, a representative of Congressman Chris Stewart, former Tibetan Parliamentarian Pema Chazoetsang, ICT President Buchung K.Tsering, and ITN representative Tao Tenzin Dhamchoe.
The conference was attended by the Presidents and Secretaries of 15 Tibetan Associations based in the USA. Tibetan Associations from Canada were not able to join the conference due to Covid restriction but sent their consents to the resolutions passed.
The conference began with a welcome note by Utah President Lobsang Tsering, followed by introductory remarks from Representative Ngodup Tsering, remarks by former Tibetan parliamentarian Pema Chazaoetsang. As the guest of honor at the conference, DIIR Secretary Karma Choeying delivered the keynote speech of the conference. Congressmen Ben McAdam extended a warm welcome to the participants of the conference and assured his full support for Tibet. Congressman Chirs Stewart sent in an inspiring video message of support for the Tibetan cause. Tashi Dhondup, Secretary at the Office of Tibet delivered the vote of thanks while OOT staff Tsultrim Gyatso emceed the program.
The conference thoroughly discussed the issues related to HIs Holiness’ health and safety including an offering of Tenshug. It also drew political strategies for rallies, protests, and advocacy to expose the PRC’s assimilationist policy, environmental destruction, and wanton abuse of human rights in Tibet. The conference also dwelled at length on the ways to preserve our language, religion, and culture. The conference agreed to collaborate with Uyghurs, Hong Kongers, and Chinese dissidents in their fights against the injustices, discrimination, and freedom with the CCP.
The Conference resolved to send a petition to the President of the United States to facilitate the visit of His Holiness to Mt Wutai Shan(Five Peak mountains) in Shanxi, China, and Tibet for the purpose of pilgrimage. While noting the present state of TPIE in Dharamsala, the delegates also unanimously agreed to send a letter to the Secretary TPIE, to help resolve the stalemate immediately in the larger interest of the Tibetan cause and democracy.
The ICT interim President, Buchung K TSering gave a presentation about how the Tibetan Associations can be a powerful force and talked about lobbying strategies. ITN Tao Tenzin Dhamchoe gave an overview of the ITN works and challenges and called for more participation.
All delegates of the NATA were invited to the 61st Anniversary of Tibetan Democracy Day organized by the Utah Tibetan Association on the evening of 5 September. Representative Ngodup Tsering and DIIR Secretary Karma Choeying spoke on the occasion. It was attended by a large number of Tibetan communities living in Salt Lake City – Utah.
The three-day conference concluded successfully to the satisfaction of all the delegates. It was decided that the next NATA conference would be held in Boston.
– Report filed by Office of Tibet, Washington DC –