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kalontripa-2012-June-09Dharamshala: The political head of the Central Tibetan administration, Dr. Lobsang Sangay was perhaps the crowd favourite with his speech which was often sprinkled with Hindi. He welcomed each of the guests as well as the group of people who had come to participate in the conference.

He thanked India and its people for being generous hosts for the last 50 years. “Over the last more than 50 years, the Indian people have stood for justice and freedom of Tibetans,” Even with a new Kashag we still appreciate the help we have given. The Kashag (Cabinet) was now into a new phase being run by Tibetans born in India.

He quoted the Dalai Lama by saying that “India is our guru.”A strong bond with India has been existent from his childhood, even being taught by Indian teachers as well. He speaks fondly of his Hindi Teacher ‘Guptaji’ and the initial learning of his now not fantastic Hindi.

“The bilateral ties between India and China will be the most important relationship in the 20th century.” So he asserted the precarious position that Tibet had put India in. “India’s security is very tight with Tibet.”

He was quick to say that the environmental issue that is affecting Tibet has further ramifications than just affecting itself. “Tibet is being exploited of its rich mineral resources, and ten major rivers of Asia originate in Tibet and flow through Southeast and South Asia.” It’s resource as a rich source of water is threatened by the exploitation of its rivers. He explained further that deforestation of the “pristine” Tibetan forests is affecting the many people within Tibet.

The situation he said in Tibet is “very grim and tragic” and he hoped that through this conferences India would fully reveal its policy on Tibet. He went on to describe the cases of self-immolation that have grabbed the headlines for the past three years. People are giving up their lives in a tragic form for a greater good. People can’t bear the thought of occupation and are resorting to such measures. “39 Tibetans have drank petrol and set their bodies on fire. These acts have demonstrated that occupation of Tibet is unacceptable and repression is unbearable,” he added.

The troubles of leadership he explained especially in his position were very hard because there isn’t much one is able to do from a position of exile.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrived at the TIPA; Kalon Tripa went outside of the Hall to receive His Holiness.

After His Holiness the Dalai Lama entered and the crowd settled down, he restarted his address by saying on how His Holiness has always had a vision of democracy and Tibet modeled itself on Indian democracy. The Indian constitution and its parliamentary system have been the models and framework that the Tibetan government in exile is based upon.

As each decade has passed His Holiness has been able to bring in various political reforms since the 1950s. In 2011 he continued that His Holiness had achieved in building a fully functional Tibetan administration in exile.

He stated that it was the responsibility of the Tibetan people to carry forward the movement from this point. The Kashag are fully functional and hence should work towards a better world for the Tibetan people.

The political legitimacy of the Dalai Lama is of paramount importance he said. The institution of the Dalai Lama of being the political head of Tibet has been existed since the 5th Dalai Lama. To hand over political authority to a government was a monumental action in the history of Tibet.

“We are now expected to carry forward the Tibetan cause on our own, but we are fortunate and blessed to have the presence of His Holiness to move forward.” He looked towards the future of the cause which he said would be “made in India”, hence India has played such an important role in the Tibet issue to spreading the Tibetan cause. He asked India to continue the support that they have already given, and together one day they could march together into Tibet.