Shewatsel, Leh, Ladakh, UT, India – His Holiness the Dalai Lama delivered a message on the International Tibetan Youth Forum on Tuesday. His Holiness stated that "the cause of Tibet is not only political, it is also about establishing peace in the world by training the mind on the basis of reason and developing love, compassion and the special resolve to bring benefit and happiness to all sentient beings".
The International Tibetan Youth Forum kicks off in Dharamshala with the participation of over 100 young Tibetans from more than 16 countries on July 18, 2023. This three-day forum, organised by the Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR) of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), aims to raise awareness among young Tibetans of Tibetan politics, culture and religion. It also aims to organise workshops on how to organise events on Tibet and raise awareness of the Tibetan issue and the critical human rights situation in Tibet for the future, as many of the participants will continue to work for the Tibetan cause and Tibetan freedom movement.
The inaugural session of the three-day seminar was chaired by Sikyong Penpa Tsering of the Central Tibetan Administration, together with Secretary Karma Choeying and Deputy Secretary Tenzin Lekshay. The DIIR secretary, Karma Choeying, gave the welcome speech, stressing the importance of participants continuing their efforts to support the Tibetan freedom movement after the end of the forum.
In his inaugural speech, Sikyong said, "Since the opening of the V-TAG in 2021 in Zurich, through slow and steady steps today we have reached this pinnacle under the stewardship of the Department of Information and International Relations. The vision paper states that we should be able to hand over the reigns of the Tibetan movement to the next generation of Tibetan youth. As His Holiness reminds us we should hope for the best while preparing for the worst, we hope to return to Tibet soon. Until that time, we should sustain our movement. The first generation of Tibetans who had no education, no experience had faith in His Holiness the Dalai Lama and worked extremely hard to provide for us".
"Today, the responsibility of the movement rests on the shoulders of this generation and this forum offers them the opportunity to interact and learn more about the Tibetan cause and more. This forum has also brought together eminent speakers, experts and scholars in their respective fields, who will provide in-depth knowledge on the Tibetan cause, culture, etc," he added.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama delivered a virtual message on the International Tibetan Youth Forum on Tuesday from Leh, Ladakh, and declared that "the cause of Tibet is not only political, it is also about establishing peace in the world by training the mind on the basis of reason".
His Holiness added,"By developing love, compassion and the special resolve to bring benefit and happiness to all sentient beings, we aspire to help all sentient beings, especially all human beings on this earth". His Holiness advised the Tibetan youths to replace negative emotions with compassion.
Among the speakers invited to talk to the young people were the former envoy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Kelsang Gyaltsen, former Chief Election Commissioner, Tashi Phuntsok, Director of Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, Geshe Lhakdor, Executive President of Kreddha, Dr Michael Van Walt Van Praag, Professor Tsangdruk Topla, College for Higher Tibetan Studies, former Tibetan Parliamentarian Kyinzom Dhongdue and former political prisoner, Phuntsok Nyidron.
The themes and topics of the International Tibetan Youth Forum were as follows: Introduction to Tibetan Culture, Identity, and History. Importance of Religion, Culture and Tibetan National Identity. History of Tibet: China's Failing Narrative over the years. Exile, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Sino-Tibet Conflict: A Way Forward. Our Living Memories: Gratitude to His Holiness the Dalai Lama for his lifelong contributions to Tibet. The Evolution of Sino-Tibetan Dialogue: Prospects and Challenges in Resolving the Conflict. 60 Years of Tibetan Resilience and Building Democratic Institutions in Exile. Advocacy and Activism: Tools, Networking and Communication. Alliance and Networking in Advocacy; Negotiating the Priorities. A special session is also planned: "Testimony of Phuntsok Nyidron, former Tibetan political prisoner".
His Holiness the Dalai Lama today thanked those who wished him a happy birthday on the occasion of his 88th birthday on July 6, 2023. His Holiness wrote," Dear brothers and sisters, Thank you so much for your warm greetings on the occasion of my 88th birthday."
"With a firm belief in the oneness of humanity, I have been devoting myself to contribute whatever I can to the welfare of all human beings and the creation of a more peaceful world. Accordingly, I recite the following prayer on a daily basis:
"As long as space endures,
And as long as sentient beings remain,
Until then, may I too remain
To help dispel the misery of the world.
"Although I have faced some difficulties over the years, I have continued to do whatever I could without losing hope or allowing my determination to flag. I am angry with no one, not even those Communist Chinese leaders who have adopted a harsh attitude towards Tibet and the Tibetans.
"Various predictions, including signs in my own dreams, indicate that I will live until I am more than 100 years old. In the meantime, I am committed to continuing to do whatever I can in the service of others. I thank you again for your greetings and for your prayers for my long life".