Jamphel Wangdue, Chairman of AP Religion and Cultural Affairs (L), President Dr Lobsang Sangay (C) and Tsewang Dolma Shosur, Home Additional Secretary during the press briefing at Kashag hall, Dharamshala, India, July 31, 2018. Photo: TPI/Yangchen Dolma

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Dharamshala, India — The AP state government and the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) have jointly announced cultural exchange programs to further promote cultural awareness among students and to deepen the relationship between the two communities.

President Dr Lobsang Sangay on behalf of people of Tibet across the world extended his gratitude to the people of the state and CM Pema Khandu as well as the Monpa community for their unwavering support to Tibetans living in the Indian State.

'Cultural exchange programs not only propel students to raise a mass awareness programs on Indian State of AP’s centuries-old cultural and religious ties with Tibet, but also teach youth and make them aware about the shared cultural and religious values of Monpas and Tibetans.'

This was stated by Jamphel Wangdue, Chairman of Religion and Cultural Affairs, Arunachal Pradesh (AP), while addressing a joint press conference in Dharamshala, India, July 31, 2018, to deepen the relationship between the two communities.

'The cultural exchange program also aimed to solicit support from various students union bodies in Arunachal Pradesh like All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union (AAPSU), All Monpa Students Union (AMSU) and All Tawang Students Union (ATSU) etc. and thereby plan a strategic action to resolve the ongoing agitation fanned by a student body," Wangdue said while speaking of the primary purpose the meeting.

The program primarily focuses on enhancing and strengthening the relationship between the two governments and its people given the historical background of Tibet-Tawang relations vis-a-vis their shared religious and cultural bonds,' they said at the joint press conference.

'Moreover, the program also acts as a step towards restoring communal harmony in Arunachal Pradesh considering the recent protests and agitations stirred by an Arunachal student body against the implementation of “Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy,” they added.

Jamphel Wangdue, Chairman of Religion and Cultural Affairs, Arunachal Pradesh accompanied by CTA President Dr Lobsang Sangay along with Tsewang Dolma Shosur, Additional Secretary of Department of Home briefed the press conference today.

Conveying the purpose of his visit to Dharamshala, Wangdue informed that under the exchange program ten students from the State have joined the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts to gain knowledge and practical experiences of Tibetan culture and traditions.

Wangdue also discussed briefly about the ongoing conflict in the State terming it a sad turn of events and assured to hold a meeting on August 12 to discuss on finding a resolution to the problem that persists.

Tsewang Dolma Shosur, CTA Home Additional Secretary affirmed that the current predicament facing Tibetans in the State is not as dire as portrayed in social media platforms and therefore advised the public to avoid the spread of such exaggerated content which is solely aimed at creating communal discord.

Such exchange programs will allow to gain students new experiences and help them in expanding their horizons, providing a platform to the young students for empowering them with the right information and also make them learn how to co-exist and feel compassion for different communities around.