Dharamshala: A five-day youth engagement workshop on ‘Youth Engagement: Capacity and Awareness Building’ organized by the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile began on 24th July 2023. The opening of the five-day workshop was graced with the presence of Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel and Deputy Speaker Dolma Tsering Teykhang.
In the opening remarks, the Speaker highlighted the aims and objective of the workshop which is to pass down the legacy of Tibet to the younger generation in the aspects of politics, culture, morality, and others, further claiming that they are the future custodians of Tibet and are the true representation of future of the Tibetan struggle.
He advised the participants to use the three traditional methods of learning, thinking, and contemplation in any cases of uncertainty and encouraged the participants to actively participate in the democratic functioning of Tibetan diaspora and take additional interest in learning the functioning of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile (TPiE).
“With the kind blessing of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s issue has reached heightened level on the international platform,” the Speaker added, “It’s high time for the younger generation to take their part in alleviating the outreach of the Sino-Tibetan conflict.”
He advised the young minds to have vision and will power to implement their visions for the welfare of the Tibetan cause, and briefly mentioned the current critical situation of religion, culture, environment, human rights, and others in Chinese occupied Tibet.
While, the Deputy Speaker in her address elucidated the participants on the objective of the workshop which is to empower the youth with the capability to embed themselves with the necessary knowledge of the Central Tibetan Administration and hone their skills in expressing their opinions and in making their decisions.
As youth holds a significant role in shaping the future course of Tibetan struggle, the Deputy Speaker said that the Central Tibetan Administration will guide the younger generation of Tibet into the right direction however it is the responsibility of the youngsters to take initiative in doing their part for the bigger cause of Tibet.
The day continued with the elucidating the historical background and introduction of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile by Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel. Starting with the terminology of the word “democracy” and its explanation in general, the Speaker delved into the details of the evolution, functioning, and composition of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile. The Speaker briefly spoke on the different types of democracy like direct democracy, representative democracy, constitutional democracy, and others.
While the Deputy Speaker imparted the details of the outreach programs of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile and on its significance on the Sino-Tibetan conflict. Covering specifically the details of the TPiE’s periodical visitations, the Deputy Speaker spoke extensively on visitation to Tibetan settlement, sweater sellers’ areas, and cluster Tibetan communities; state advocacy campaigns; international Tibet outreach programs; meeting with Indian MPs and leaders: revival of All Part Indian Parliamentary Forum for Tibet (APIPFT) and International Network of Parliamentarians on Tibet (INPaT); organizing of Local Tibetan Assembly Workshops; and others.
In the following session, parliamentarian Tsering Yangchen briefed the participants on the political section of the Standing Committee of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile.
While, parliamentarian Dorjee Tseten through an interactive session briefed the participants on the functioning of the Gyundrel (Finance) section of the Standing Committee of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile.
All the sessions were followed by Q&A sessions and the day ended with participants brainstorming on the day’s subject matters.
On the second day of the workshop, the participants will be taken on a guided tour of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) to give them firsthand experience on the undertaking of the CTA.
This workshop has been funded by USAID and NDI.