Dharamshala: Parliamentarians Geshe Lharampa Gowo Lobsang Phende and Tenzin Jigdal successfully completed their official visitation program to Shimla and Dolanji Tibetan Settlement from 30th Jan to 2nd Feb 2023.
On 30th January 2023, the parliamentarians left Dharamshala via Chandigarh to Shimla. At Chandigarh, the parliamentarians were received by Tsultrim Dorjee, Chief Representative Officer of Shimla. The entourage was greeted by the Chairman and members of the Local Tibetan Assembly (LTA), the Office Assistant of the Chief Representative Office (CRO), the Secretary of Jonang Takten Phuntsok Choeling Buddhist Monastery, the Principal of Sambhota Tibetan School, the Regional Tibetan Woman’s Association.
The visiting parliamentarians, accompanied by the Shimla Chief Representative officer, Chairman of LTA, Office Assistant of CRO first visited the Jonang Takten Phuntsok Choeling Buddhist Monastery on 31 January 2023. At the monastery, there were received by the heads of the monastery, including Khenpo Kunga Choephel, Lharam Geshe Demay Woeser. Thereafter, they visited Namgyal Monastery’s old age home, Sambhota Tibetan School, Dorje Drak Monastery, Tenzin Hospital, offices of Yangchen Gatseling Tibetan settlement and the Local Tibetan Assembly. At Dorje Drak Monastery, they were received by Lopon Shedrub Jigme, who apprised the visiting parliamentarians about the history and the current state of affairs of the monastery. This was followed by an audience with Yangsi Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche. During the visit to the Sambhota Tibetan School, the parliamentarians were apprised of the overall situation and number of students at the Sambhota Tibetan School by the principal.
This was followed by a public gathering where parliamentarian Geshe Lharampa Gowo Lobsang Phende spoke on the great accomplishments of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and the current critical situation inside Tibet. Parliamentarian Tenzin Jigdal spoke on the status of Tibet on the international platform and the status of the exiled Tibetans. The addresses were followed by a Q&A session.
On the second day, they visited the Tibetan Market located in the Ajivka Bhawan building followed visit to the Institute for Advanced Studies where the 1914 Shimla Convention was signed between Great Britain, Tibet and China. The Secretary of the institution received the parliamentarians and apprised them of the history of the institution. The parliamentarians presented Tsepon W.D. Shakapa’s book “Tibet: A Political History” to the institution’s library to mark the 110th anniversary of the signing of the convention. The parliamentarians concluded the official engagement in Shimla with a series of meeting with Shri. Vikramaditya Singh , Himachal Pradesh Public Works Minister, Shri. Anirudh Singh, Himachal Pradesh Rural Development & Panchayati Raj Minister and Shri. Himachal Pradesh Agriculture Minister, at the Himachal Pradesh secretariat in Shimla. During these meetings, the parliamentarians updated the ministers on Tibet issues and briefed them on the welfare status of Tibetans residing in Shimla. They further urged the ministers for their support towards the Tibetans living in the state.
Following the meetings, the parliamentarians left for Dolanji Tibetan Settlement. Upon their arrival, the parliamentarians were received by the Dolanji Settlement officer Tenzin Choephel, Principal of Sambhota Tibetan School, Namgyal Yarphel and Office Assistant of Dolanji Settlement office, Secretary of Yungdrung Bon Monastic Centre Society, Vice President of Bonpo Association, President of Regional Tibetan Freedom Movement, President of Regional Tibetan Youth Congress and others.
The following day, the parliamentarians paid obeisance to the 34th Kyabje Menri Trizin Lungtok Dawa Dargyal Rinpoche and Kyabje Menri Ponlob Trinley Nyima Rinpoche at Pal Shen Ten Menriling Monastery. During the audience, the Rinpoches talked about the importance of following the guidance of the His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and the preservation of the Tibetan Language.
The audiences were followed by a visit to Pal Shen Ten Menriling Monastery, Tibetan Yungdrung Bon Library, Ratna Menriling Nunnery, Sorig Bum-zhi MenriLing and Sambhota Tibetan School, Dholanji. At Sambhota, the parliamentarians addressed the students and teachers on the importance of the Tibetan Language and culture, the roles of teachers in building the nation & its people and the importance of cultivating reading habits for the students.
The official visitation program concluded with a public meeting where parliamentarian Geshe Lharampa Gowo Lobsang Phende spoke on the great accomplishments of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the current critical situation inside Tibet, followed by parliamentarian Tenzin Jigdal, who spoke on Tibet in the international platform and status of the exile Tibetans followed by Q&A session.
-Reported by Tibetan Parliamentary Secretariat