Dharamshala: As part of Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile’s periodical visit to South India, a delegation consisting of MPs Geshe Lharampa Atuk Tseten and Geshe Lharampa Gowo Lobsang Phende, successfully concluded their official periodical visits to Tibetan settlement of Bylakuppe, Bangalore, and Mysore from 29th Nov to 13th Dec 2023.
On December 1st, parliamentarians convened an internal meeting at the Chief Representative Office of the south zone. Present were the Director of the Tibetan Youth Hostel, the President of the Local Tibetan Freedom Movement (BRDL), representatives from Tibetan business owners, and other key figures. Additionally, a meeting was conducted with Rev. Sr. Sajitha Moothedan, the principal of St. John’s College of Nursing. During this session, the parliamentarians expressed their gratitude to the college for delivering quality education to numerous Tibetan students. They also appealed for the college’s ongoing support to Tibetan students. Subsequently, a meeting with Tibetan students enrolled in the nursing college took place. The parliamentarians addressed various topics, including the significant achievements of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the operations of the Central Tibetan Administration, the current situation in Tibet, and the status of the Tibetan struggle on the global stage. A question-and-answer session ensued, providing an opportunity for interactive dialogue. In the evening, the MPs held a public meeting with Tibetan residents and students of Bangalore at the Tibetan youth hostel where they spoke on the aforementioned topics.
On the following day, the MPs extended a courtesy call to Dr. Rajneesh Goel, IAS, the Chief Secretary of Karnataka. Congratulating him on his recent appointment, they conveyed the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile’s appreciation for his unwavering support to Tibetans, especially those residing in the state, during his tenure as the Secretary of Home. Grateful for his past contributions, they appealed for his continued support to the Tibetan community. Subsequently, the MPs visited Dubai Plaza, Shivajinagar market, Tibetan market, and various Tibetan-owned shops, concluding the day with a meeting with Dr. J. K Purushotham, Honorary Consul of Macedonia, who had an audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama on June 28, 2023.
On December 3rd, the MPs were granted an audience with Kyabje Gaden Tri Rinpoche, followed by a courtesy call on Shri Thawar Chand Gehlot, the Governor of Karnataka. During their meeting, the MPs expressed gratitude to both the Indian central and state governments for their enduring support to Tibetans, specifically acknowledging the assistance provided to the Tibetan community in Karnataka. They appealed for ongoing support from the state government in assisting Tibetans until a resolution is achieved in the Sino-Tibetan conflict. Additionally, they met with Shri (Dr.) Madan Gopal Krishna, a former Indian government official, expressing gratitude for his diverse assistance to Tibetan residents in Karnataka.
The subsequent day involved visits to the Dalai Lama Institute for Higher Studies, where the MPs discussed His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s significant accomplishments, the Central Tibetan Administration’s (CTA) political stance on resolving the Sino-Tibetan conflict, and the current alarming situation in Tibet. A Q&A session followed with students and faculty. Later, in Mysore, the MPs introduced the Sino-Tibetan conflict to Supreme Public School students through a public talk and Q&A session. They were then briefed on the programs of the Shenphen Charitable Trust, giving talks on the aforementioned topics at the trust office and hostel.
On December 6th, the MPs commenced their day with a visit to the Phodrang in Bylakuppe, paying their respects. They engaged in a public gathering with monks from Sera Jey, Mey, and other monastic schools at the Sera Thekchenling Lachi hall. Following this, they visited Sera Mey Thoesam Norling and Sera Mey monasteries, receiving honors such as a statue of white Tara and other mementos. A visit to an old age home ensued, along with an audience with Kyabje Gaden Tri Rinpoche, emphasizing the importance of promoting the Tibetan language, particularly in the context of Buddhist studies. Rinpoche inquired about the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile’s current initiatives, with the MPs detailing ongoing Tibet advocacy efforts in various Indian states. Commending their work, Rinpoche suggested an expansion of advocacy programs. On the same day, the MPs visited the Tibetan Settlement Office, BRDL office, Men-Tsee-Khang, Tso Jeh hospital, and the south branch of the Office of Auditor General.
On December 7th, the MPs paid their respects at Pal Sagon Tsechen Choekorling, Pal Drugkar Dupgyue Thoesam Dhargyaling, Pal Thekchen Choeling, Kagyue Nalanda Lungtok Tengyeling, and Namdoling. Subsequently, they visited Sambhota Tibetan School and others. A gathering took place at Namdoling with monks and nuns, followed by an audience with Tulku Choedar Rinpoche of Namdroling.
The subsequent day had inspection visits and talk programs at the Sambhota Tibetan School and Tibetan Children Village school of Bylakuppee where they spoke on the aforementioned topics. Thereafter, they visited STS Gulledhala, and STS Arlikumari, and their baby creche, classrooms, etc. and they also visited Tibetan cooperation’s incense factory, petrol pump, mechanical site, and others. Followed by a public talk at Lugsam Nyamdrel hall and a Q&A session with the public present on the next day, they continued their visit to Namdrel’s different sections.
On the day of the 63rd conferment of the Nobel Peace Prize on His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the MPs as special guests attended the celebration organized by the settlement. At the event, MP Geshe Lharampa Atuk Tseten presented thangkas and certificates to teachers under the Department of Education of CTA for providing their 25 years of services in educating Tibetan children, while MP Geshe Lharampa Gowo Lobsang Phende presented awards to topper students of the year 2023.
On the final leg of their official visit, 11th December, the MPs attended the Jang winter prayer festival of Sera, Drepung, and Gaden with the gracious presence of Kyabje Gaden Tri Rinpoche. The prayer festival was also attended by MPs Konchok Yangphel, Choephel Thupten, Tibetan settlement officer, TSO secretary, and monks.