Australia: Mr. Tenzin Phuntsok Doring, Parliament Member for Australasia and Asia (excluding India, Nepal and Bhutan) attended the sixth meeting of the executive board members of the Australian Tibetan Community Association (ATCA) on 8th and 9th January 2022 in Nowra, a Southern Coastal city of New South Wales (NSW). The meeting was attended by the Presidents and an executive member from Tibetan Communities of Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), Sydney, Queensland, Victoria, Newcastle and Nowra.
The meeting began with the offering of traditional scarves (khatak) to the portrait of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, followed by singing of the Tibetan and Australian national anthems and by observing a moment of silence to pay respect to the injured, detained and demised Tibetans who have fought for the freedom of Tibet under Chinese authority.
Mr. Kalsang Yonten, the President of the ATCA presented the biennial report of the association, which was followed by presentation of reports from all the Tibetan Community Associations with Nigan Gotsang, secretary of the ATCA emceeing the meet.
Member of Tibetan Parliament in Exile (TPiE) for Australasia and Asia (excluding India, Nepal and Bhutan), Mr. Tenzin Phuntsok Doring was invited as the Guest of Honor. He addressed the meeting, requesting the committee members to make time during their community events to gather suggestions and grievances from the community that they would like him to be aware about.
Secretary of Tibet Information Office (TIO), Mr. Lhawang Gyalpo also briefed the participants about the recently issued guidelines on the Green Book by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA). While, Representative Karma Singey, who was Chief Guest on the occasion, addressed the meeting emphasising on the importance of lobbying with politicians, maintaining unity among the Tibetan people, preserving and promoting Tibetan culture and language, and engaging younger generations in the Tibetan struggle.
The meeting discussed various agendas, expressing solidarity with Tibetans inside Tibet particularly those 157 Tibetan people who have self-immolated for the cause of Tibet, strengthening of Tibet advocacy in Australia, facilitating the recently launched CTA’s Voluntary Tibetans Advocacy Group (V-TAG) program. The members also discussed the importance of membership drive in the payment of Green Book and Blue Book (Tibetan Solidarity Partnership) contributions.
The members unanimously passed fourteen new resolutions including a petition to the Australian government and Parliament members to call on the Chinese government to release all the Tibetan political prisoners including His Eminence Panchen Gedun Choekyi Nyima and raise concern about the lack of religious freedom and gross human rights violation in Tibet.
The meeting which was successfully concluded saw the election of the new President of ATCA Mr. Kalsang Tsering (Canberra) and new Secretary of ATCA Mr. Gurbum Gyal (Newcastle).
Parliamentarian Tenzin Phuntsok Doring and Representative Karma Singey also met with the Tibetan Community of Nowra. During which the MP urged them to meet their elected Australian leaders to press for the release of the Panchen Lama and on the enactment of Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act. Urging the Tibetan community leaders to take lead in ensuring timely and full collection of Green Book contributions , the Parliamentarian praised Nowra Tibetans’ collection, and urged their indivisible attempt to create Blue Book amongst the local Australian Tibetan supporters. While Representative Karma Singey spoke to them about the importance of participating in the events organized by the Community, maintaining unity among the members and nurturing the young Tibetans with a sense of Tibetan identity and cultural heritage.