The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile organized a five-day youth engagement workshop on “Youth Engagement: Capacity and Awareness Building” that got under way on July 24, 2023. Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel and Deputy Speaker Dolma Tsering Teykhang attended the start of the five-day training.
In his opening remarks, the speaker emphasized the workshop’s goals and objectives, which include teaching the next generation about Tibet’s legacy in terms of politics, culture, morality, and other areas. He also asserted that these young people will take care of Tibet in the future and will be the true representatives of the Tibetan struggle.
He encouraged the participants to actively participate in the democratic functioning of the Tibetan diaspora and take a greater interest in learning how the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile (TPiE) operates and advised them to use the three traditional methods of learning, thinking, and contemplation in any situations of uncertainty.
The Speaker continued, “With His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s gracious blessing, Tibet’s problem has reached a higher level on the world arena. It is therefore imperative that the younger generation contribute to lessening the impact of the Sino-Tibetan conflict.
He spoke briefly on the critical state of religion, culture, the environment, human rights, and other issues in Chinese-occupied Tibet and exhorted the young minds to have the vision and the willpower to put their visions for the Tibetan cause into action.
The workshop’s goal, which is to equip young people with the knowledge they need of the Central Tibetan Administration and to improve their ability to express their opinions and make decisions, was explained to the audience by the Deputy Speaker during her speech.
The Central Tibetan Administration will steer Tibet’s younger generation in the right direction, but it is the young people’s responsibility to take the initiative in contributing to the greater cause of Tibet. The Deputy Speaker noted that youth play a significant role in determining the future direction of the Tibetan struggle.
Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel began the day by outlining the historical context and introducing the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile. The Speaker began by defining the term “democracy” and providing a brief explanation before going into great length on the history, operations, and makeup of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile. A short discussion of the many forms of democracy, including direct democracy, representative democracy, constitutional democracy, and others, was given by the Speaker.
While the Deputy Speaker provided information on the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile’s outreach initiatives and their importance in relation to the Sino-Tibetan conflict. The Deputy Speaker spoke extensively about the specifics of the TPiE’s periodic visits, including visits to Tibetan settlements, sweater-sellers’ neighborhoods, and clusters of Tibetan communities; state advocacy campaigns; international outreach initiatives for Tibet; meetings with Indian MPs and leaders; the revival of the All Part Indian Parliamentary Forum for Tibet (APIPFT) and the International Network of Parliamentarians on Tibet (INPaT); the organization of local Tibetan workshops; and a visit to a Tibetan refugee camp.
The attendees were given a briefing on the political segment of the Standing Committee of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile by MP Tsering Yangchen in the session that followed.
The attendees were informed on the operation of the Gyundrel (Finance) department of the Standing Committee of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile by MP Dorjee Tseten during an interactive session.
Following Q&A sessions for each session, attendees brainstormed ideas related to the topics covered over the day.
The participants will be given a guided tour of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) on the second day of the program to offer them an inside look at the CTA’s initiatives.