As a part of its shoutout campaign, Social Media Desk of the Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR) will be profiling a civil servant of the Central Tibetan Administration. This week we are pleased to profile Mr Karma Sopa Thinley, Tibetan Settlement Officer at Gyalphak Tibetan Settlement in Nepal.
Social Media Executive (SME): Could you briefly tell us about yourself?
Karma Soepa (KST): My name is Karma Sopa Thinley and I was born in Pokhara, Nepal. I did my schooling at the settlement school Mount Kailash and then for high school, I went to Srongtsen School and Namgyal High School. After that, I went on to pursue a Bachelor’s degree at Pokhara College of Management. It has always been my wish to study Bachelor in India but due to some unavoidable circumstances, I could not go to India for my higher study. After my Bachelor studies, I worked as a manager cum accountant at our settlement’s cooperative society for a few years until my selection as a CTA civil servant in the year 2015 when I was appointed as Under Secretary at the Office of Tibet, Kathmandu.
Then, in the year 2016, I was transferred to Tashi Palkhiel Tibetan Settlement, Pokhara as a settlement officer and I stayed there for about 6 years. During then, I was assigned additional responsibilities of taking over the Dhorpatan Remote Settlement in the year 2017 and the Lo-Tserok Tibetan Remote Settlement in the year 2018. Then, in 2022, I was transferred to Jawalakhel Tibetan Settlement, Kathmandu and I was again assigned the additional responsibility of looking after the Gyalphak Tibetan Settlement Office. In the May of this year, I handed over the Jawalakhel Tibetan Settlement Office to a new settlement officer and currently, I am looking after Gyalphak Tibetan Settlement.
SME: Please explain about your job description and how best your work represents you or vice versa?
KST: I have to work for the welfare of the Tibetan people under my jurisdiction. It includes improving their livelihood, health and education along with the preservation of Tibetan culture. I also have to liaise between Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) and the people under my jurisdiction and also between local and central Nepalese governments and our people. Making projects and raising funds for infrastructural development in the settlement is part and parcel of our job. We also work as a local election commissioner, health committee chairman, Parents Teacher Association Chairman etc. In fact, we have to act as a representative to all the departments under CTA and be accountable to the people.
SME: What inspired you to serve the CTA?
KST: The unwavering spirit of our brothers and sisters suffering inside Tibet and His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama inspires and motivates me to serve the CTA and work for the cause of Tibet.
SME: What does it mean for you to be a CTA servant?
KST: I feel blessed every day to be part of CTA. It’s been my wish to work for the cause of Tibet and becoming a CTA civil servant was one of them. My parents have always encouraged me to work for the cause of Tibet and especially to work for the CTA. Whatever I am today is because of the blessings of His Holiness the Great 14th Dalai Lama and the support of the CTA.
SME: How best do you think you could make a difference to the CTA?
KST: Through my job, I try my best to improve the sustainability and self-reliance of the settlements where I am being transferred. The settlement offices, even though, can’t influence the resolution of Tibetan issues directly but it can surely contribute to the preservation of Tibetan’s unique identity and produce productive youths by linking them with opportunities and scholarships and those youths could go on to
influence the geopolitics in favour of Tibetan in the future.
SME: Who is your role model and why?
KST: My mother is my role model. Through her, I learnt to be compassionate and selfless. She has been ill most of her life yet she is concerned about her children day and night. The little compassion seed inside me, if there is any, is all due to her for which I am always grateful. I rarely have made any decisions that I would regret in life and the credit for it solely goes to her.
SME: What is your piece of advice for young Tibetan serving or wishing to serve CTA?
KST: Until and unless Tibet gets its genuine freedom, it is incumbent on each and every Tibetan to work for the cause of Tibet in their own ways. Deciding to serve the CTA has been the best decision of my life and it could be yours too.