By Lobsang Wangyal
McLEOD GANJ, India, 4 November 2019
The Middle-Way Approach and the issue of the Dalai Lama’s reincarnation remained the focus of the 8th International Tibet Support Groups (TSG) Conference, held in McLeod Ganj, the capital of the Tibetans-in-exile.
As many as 180 supporters of the Tibetan cause from different backgrounds such as politicians, intellectuals, and activists, from 42 countries have gathered for the three-day conference that opened on Sunday on the premises of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA).
They met Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Monday morning.
Puma Jungney, Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile, who was the chief guest, said that Tibetans have opted for autonomy through the policy called Middle-Way Approach, rather than independence, even though Tibet was an independent country before the illegal Chinese occupation in 1959.
Jungney stated that the Middle-Way Approach has been the political stand of the CTA since the early 1970s, and is the most sensible step in solving the conflicts of Tibet and China. He appealed to the participants to support this policy.
“This is a mutually-beneficial step in solving the Tibet-China issue.”
CTA President Lobsang Sangay spoke on reviving the spirit of activism of the 1990s to organise more activities around the world to resolve the Tibetan issue. He also spoke on the reincarnation of the current 14th Dalai Lama, who is now 84.
Sangay rejected the Chinese “Order no 5” as illegal interference in finding the reincarnation of Tibetan lamas, saying, “The reincarnation system was invented by Tibetans, and Tibetans own it.”
Vijay Kranti, a Tibetologits based in Delhi, speaking to Tibet Sun said, “I attended the first TSG conference in 1990. I have seen that the awareness and commitment by these groups for Tibet is improving, which shows there is hope for the future of Tibet.”
“These groups are going to give the response to China’s bullying designs, which is often missing from different governments.”
Chin Jin, a pro-democracy China activist from Sydney, Australia, said that the conference brings the people of Tibet, Hong Kong, Taiwan, East Turkistan, and Inner Mongolia (all subjugated by China) together to become a force to fight the communist China.
“The United States has the biggest responsibility to fight the communist China, as it was because of them that Mao Zedong was able to establish the People’s Republic of China. They now have to rectify the policy to change China into a democratic country.”
The first TSG conference was held in 1990 in Dharamshala. It was organised to bring more awareness about the issue of Tibet to a broader platform for bigger support from the international community. Today, there are more than 250 Tibet Support Groups around the world, actively working towards resolving the issue of Tibet.
The 8th TSG conference was convened by the Core Group for the Tibetan Cause, India, under the facilitation of the Department of Information and International Relations, CTA. Rinchen Khando Khrimey, the National Convenor of Core Group for Tibetan Cause, India, made the opening speech. He expressed full support for the Middle-Way Approach, and for reopening of talks between the envoys of the Dalai Lama and the Chinese government.