Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tibetan Youth Congress marks 40th founding anniversary

Tibetan Youth Congress marks 40th founding anniversary
Phayul [Thursday, October 08, 2009 19:35]
By Phurbu Thinley
Dharamsala, Oct 8: Pro-independence Tibetan Youth Congress on Wednesday marked its 40th founding anniversary by reaffirming its goal of restoring Tibet’s lost independence.

Tibetan Youth Congress marks 40th Founding Anniversary
Members of Tibetan Youth Congress and hundreds of supporters gathered at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) compound to observe an elaborate ceremonial event that began with Tibetan national anthem and a minute-long silence observed in memory of Tibetan martyrs.

“We are gathered here today to mark the 40th founding anniversary of the Tibetan Youth Congress since it was first formed on 7 October, 1970, with the sole objective of restoring Tibet’s lost independence from the repressive Chinese communist rule,” said Mr Tsewang Rigzin, President of the TYC, in his opening statement.

Describing Tibetan Youth Congress as the largest non-governmental organization in the exile Tibetan community, Tsewang said the organization remained more determined than ever to achieve its founding goal of freeing Tibet from Chinese rule and pledged to carry out series of relevant social, educational and political activities to further its goals.

Reading from a prepared text statement in Tibetan, Tsewang also appealed both members and general Tibetan populace, both in and outside Tibet, to render unyielding support to the organisation and stand united in the Tibetan freedom struggle.

The organization, while respecting the Dalai Lama’s leadership role in the Tibetan freedom struggle, does not, however, approve the “middle-way approach” seeking “real and meaningful autonomy” for Tibet as advocated by the exiled Tibetan Leader and the Tibetan Government-in-Exile based in Dharamsala in resolving the Tibet issue.

Deputy Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in exile Dolma Gyari was the chief guest of the anniversary function.

Dolma said Tibetans must draw inspiration from the Indian freedom movement to put a common front to overcome the challenges faced by the Tibetan freedom movement.

“Whether we follow the middle-way approach or seek complete independence to resolve the issue of Tibet, we must not miss the fact that Chinese communist government is the real and common enemy we are facing,” said Dolma. "In a situation like this, we must not allow our ideological conflict come in the way of our freedom struggle. If we remain preoccupied with our ideological stance and create conflict within ourselves it will only contribute division in the Tibetan community and not towards our freedom struggle," she added.

Urging Tibetans to maintain a strong sense of unity, Dolma went on to insist various Tibetan NGOs in exile, particularly TYC, to find a way and make efforts to connect Tibetans in and outside of Tibet, which she said would benefit greatly to the Tibetan freedom struggle in the long run.

“Indomitable spirit of Tibetans inside Tibet is the strength of the Tibetan resistance against Chinese rule and we in the exile community must work to keep that spirit alive,” she said.

During the function, the outgoing and the new executive member of the Regional TYC of Dharamsala were felicitated with Tibetan ceremonial scarves (Khata).

The Tibetan Youth Congress, which claims some 35,000 registered members under its 85 regional chapters in 12 countries around the world, has organized some of the most dramatic “Free Tibet” protests over the years, often targeting Chinese embassies and consulates in different parts of the world.

Irked by the organisation’s regular protest campaigns around the world, China has lately, especially after the massive 2008 unrest in Tibet, tried to denounce the Tibetan pro-independence group by condemning it as a "violent terrorist" outfits and equating them with Al-Qaeda.

The youth organisation refutes the allegations as being baseless and unfounded, and discards it as being part of regular Chinese propaganda.

Tibet was forcefully occupied by China after Communist Chinese troops marched into Tibet in late 1949.

Tibetan spiritual and political leader, the Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959 amidst a mass Tibetan uprising on 10 March in Lhasa against Communist China's continuing presence in Tibet.

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