By Lobsang Wangyal
McLEOD GANJ, India, 16 March 2019
The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) announced they will convene the third three-day Special General Meeting of Tibetans in exile from 3 to 5 October.
The meeting is described as a brainstorming session on short-term and long-term strategies in sustaining the exile Tibetan community and their struggle for a free Tibet. CTA will invite Tibetan leaders and activists from around the world to meet in the capital of the Tibetan Diaspora in McLeod Ganj.
More than 400 people from India, Europe, US, Canada, Australia, Taiwan, Nepal, and Bhutan are expected to participate in the event.
The participants will also dwell on the legacy of the Dalai Lamas, who ruled Tibet since 1642 beginning with the 5th Dalai Lama. The 14th Dalai Lama gave up his political powers in 2011 to an elected Tibetan leader in order to totally democratise Tibetan society.
When Tibetans amended their Charter after the changes, a proposal for him to remain as the ceremonial head of state, similar to that of the Queen of England, did not go through, as the Dalai Lama rejected the proposal.
Tibetans then made him the nominal Head of State, who would give suggestions whenever he sees a need. Because of his outstanding contributions, integrity, and charisma, he remains as the face of the Tibetan struggle. He is seen as the hope for the Tibetan cause by Tibetans both inside and outside Tibet.
The 83-year-old Dalai Lama has said that the continuance of the institution of the Dalai Lama is up to the Tibetan people. During this meeting Tibetans can express views about his reincarnation, and will mostly likely unanimously ask him to continue with the system.
Answering questions from the press, President of the CTA Lobsang Sangay said that the meeting is being convened so that the views and aspirations of the people could be heard.
He explained that 75% of the recommendations in the previous Special General Meeting in 2012 has been fulfilled. The remaining 25% of the recommendations weren’t seen as useful to be carried out.
Although there’s no way for the CTA to openly invite people or to receive views from Tibetans in Tibet, Sangay said that they would welcome any recommendations received from them.
Sangay was joined by Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile Pema Jungney in announcing the meeting. Jungney said that the decision to hold this meeting was taken in January.