Dharamshala: The Gu-Chu-Sum Movement of Tibet - the Tibetan ex-political prisoners’ association in Dharamsala, north India - has elected a new executive and amended its bylaws to improve its democratic process.

The organisation's Fifth General Body Meeting resolved that members should relinquish their tenure for one term after working for six consecutive years - a decision hailed as their biggest democratic step in 19 years of its existence.

Gu-Chu-Sum works to help Tibetan political prisoners held in Chinese prisons in Tibet, and also provides support to ex-political prisoners and their families who are living in exile. Its membership includes 256 former political prisoners, from all three traditional Tibetan provinces.

The name Gu-Chu-Sum commemorates the months in which major demonstrations have taken place in the Tibetan capital Lhasa. "Gu" stands for September 27, 1987, "Chu" for October 1, 1987, and "Sum" for March 5, 1988.

The general meeting concluded with a pledge that its members “are dedicated to restore the independence of Tibet as soon as possible and give way for His Holiness the Dalai Lama to return to Tibet.”

Dharamshala: The Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh lodged a protest with the central government on Sunday (October 3) over Apple's iPhone4 containing maps which show the state as being part of Chinese territory.

Takam Sanjay, Congress Party representative for Arunachal in the Lok Sabha (lower house of parliament) said, "This is yet another attempt at painting a wrong picture of the territorial integrity of Arunachal Pradesh and we strongly protest this nefarious design." He added that, "A simple apology would fail to undo the damage and hurt caused to the people of Arunachal Pradesh," and claimed there is a conspiracy of technology companies, in light of a similar issue with Google Maps in the last two years.

Arunachal Pradesh has a 1,030km unfenced border with China, known as the McMahon Line or 'Line of Actual Control'. India and China fought a border war in 1962, with Chinese troops advancing into the Arunachal, but the state remains a part of India.

Dharamshala: Two officials from Mindroling monastery in Lhoka, Tibet, were arrested yesterday (September 29), in response to a request to the Chinese authorities that the monastery's teacher, Dralha Rinpoche, be allowed to visit. One of the monks has been named as Gyurmey Tenzin, the other remains unidentified.

Since the arrests the monastery has been closed to visitors, while more than 80 Chinese officials hold 'patriotic re-education' sessions with the monks.

On September 15, around 50 monks protested against the authorities' ban on such a visit, whereupon armed soldiers cordened off the monastery.

Lama Dralha Rinpoche is an heir to the throne of Mindroling - Mindroling being one of the six lineages within the Nyingmapa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.

Zurich: The Tibetan Youth Association in Europe (TYAE) launched their Deine Stimme Entscheidet (Your Voice Decides) campaign last Saturday (September 25) in Zurich, Switzerland.

The campaign aims to educate the Tibetan diaspora in Europe about the importance of the upcoming 2011 Kalon Tripa (prime-ministerial) and Chitue (parliamentary) elections.

After a brief introduction to the structure and function of the Central Tibetan Administration, and profiles of each of the candidates, an open discussion was held which, according to the TYAE, quickly turned into a passionate debate. The event concluded with a mock election.

Over 50 young Tibetans from around Switzerland attended the event, which coincided with the launch of the campaign's German-language website http://www.deine-stimme-entscheidet.org

Dharamshala: His Holiness the Dalai Lama will give four days of teachings in Mcleodganj, north India, beginning next Monday (October 4). The first will be on The Fundamental Wisdom Treatise on the Middle Way by Nagarjuna - widely considered to be the second Buddha.

Next will be Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment, the most celebrated text by eleventh-century Indian Buddhist scholar and saint Lord Atisha, which details the entire Buddhist path within the framework of three levels of motivation.

At the request of a group of Taiwanese followers, His Holiness will also teach In Praise of Dependent Origination and Concise Stages for the Path to Enlightenment by Tsongkhapa - a famous Tibetan Buddhist whose work led to the formation of the Geluk school.

Dharamshala: A 46-year-old Tibetan man, Dhongo Gyakpa, was sentenced to four years in prison by the Chinese Intermediate Court of Nagwa County on September 25, for giving sanctuary to the monk Choedhar - allegedly a leader of the 2008 protests.

Choedhar was located at Dhongo's house on August 25 last year, leading to the arrest of both men and of Dhongo's wife Solha.

All three were detained for just over a month before being released on 15,000 yuan bail, but were re-arrested soon after. Solha was then re-released, but Dhongo was held in custody until his recent sentencing.

Dhongo was formerly a small-business owner in Triken Village, Nagwa County, in the Amdo region of eastern Tibet.

According to the Tibetan government-in-exile, over 220 Tibetans have died and over 1,294 been seriously injured in the Chinese reaction to the March 2008 protests. Additionally, over 4,657 have been arrested, 371 received prison sentences, and more than 990 disappeared.

Dharamshala: The Central Tibetan Administration's (CTA) Home Department today (September 29) announced a series of courses starting in November for young unemployed Tibetans.

The training options will include beauty therapy, hairdressing, carpentry, tailoring, auto-mechanics, cell-phone servicing, medical transcription and a Microsoft-certified course in systems engineering.

Of the 54 places offered in this intake round, 30 are in hairdressing and beauty therapy, six in cookery and five in tailoring.

The courses will be held in Bangalore, south India, from November 17. Registration is at local settlement offices or the Home Department, with an October 15 deadline.

The CTA's internet site states that those taking the medical transcription course can expect a salary of Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 per month in their first job, rising quickly with experience.

The CTA are also offering loans to those who complete the courses and want start their own business.

Full details can be found at http://tibet.net/en/index.php?id=ann&annid=33&tab=7

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