Parliamentarians Khenpo Sonam Tenphel and Kunga Sotop Conclude their Official Visit to Kollegal, Ooty and Kodaikanal

Parliamentarians Khenpo Sonam Tenphel, Kunga Sotop, Khenpo Jamphel Tenzin at Kollegal

Dharamsala: As per the 16th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile’s Tibetan settlements visitation/assessment program, Parliamentarians Khenpo Sonam Tenphel and Kunga Sotop successfully conclude their official visit to Kollegal Tibetan Settlement, Karnata; Tibetan community of Ooty, Tamil Nadu, and Tibetan community of Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu.

Parliamentarians reached Bangalore on 17 August 2019 and attended a celebration ceremony as guests organized by South India Ladakhi Cultural and Welfare Association (Silcwa) on Ladhak becoming a union territory.

Parliamentarians at the celebration of Ladakh on becoming UT

They were warmly received by the Settlement Officer, Chairman of Local Tibetan Assembly, President of Tibetan Freedom Movement, Secretary of Tibetan Cooperative, representatives of monasteries, STS Principal, Administrator of the hospital, NGOs and camp leaders of the settlement at Kollegal on 18th August.

Next day, the Parliamentarians along with the Settlement Officer, Chairman of Local Tibetan Assembly, President of Tibetan Freedom Movement, and Vice President of Tibetan Cooperative visited Palace of His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Kollegal, chapel of protectors, Dzokchen Monastery, Taksham Monastery, Seyphug Monastery, Dhargye Monastery, Tanag Monastery, Bagyoe Monastery, Sangag Dhargyeling Monastery, and Kagyu Monastery.

Parliamentarians being welcomed at Kollegal 

Later on the same day, they visited U Village’s Nawang Chili Factory, which is famous for producing vegetarian and non-vegetarian packed chili called Nawang Kollegal. They also visited Tibetan Cooperatives Machinery Section, Kelsang’s Tsampa mill, village fields, and pit dug between settlement and forest to prevent elephants from entering village fields.

Students of STS Kollegal posing with the Parliamentarians 

On 20th August, they visited Sambhota Tibetan School and address teachers, staff and students on importance of education, four commitments of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, situation of Tibetans in and outside of Tibet, importance of learning both traditional and modern education, and health. They also advised teachers and staff of school to work with altruistic intention and visited hostel, classrooms and library of the school.

Later on the same day, they visited three baby crèches, Settlement hospital, Men-Tse-Khang, old age home, Regional Tibetan Freedom Movement Office, Settlement and Tibetan Cooperative office, and fields of three farmers.

Parliamentarians addressing the general public of Kollegal 

On 21st August, Parliamentarians addressed a gathering of more than 300 people at the hall of Tibetan Cooperative, Kollegal. Parliamentarians addressed on kindness of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, the morality of Tibetans, importance of staying united, Middle Way Policy to resolve the issue of Tibet, international status and support on Tibet’s issue, current status and changes in the status of Tibet and China. They answered questions asked by the public and clarified their doubts.

They further held a meeting with the Settlement Officer and staff of Settlement office; Chairman, Vice Chairman and members of Local Tibetan Assembly; President and members of Regional Tibetan Freedom Movement (BRDL); Vice President of Tibetan Cooperative; STS Principal; Heads of the two hospitals, and village leaders of the 22 villages.

Parliamentarians observing machines of Tibetan cooperative at Kollegal 

In the meeting, they discussed problems faced by the people of settlement and other important matters. They listened to their grievances and suggestions, which will be submitted to the respective related departments. Later in the evening, Settlement Office along with Tibetan Cooperative Office hosted a dinner to the Parliamentarians.

On 22nd August, they reached Ooty with a warm reception from the people of the Tibetan Market. They visited 63 shops of the Tibetan Market and later in the evening held a meeting with the shop owners of the Tibetan Market.

Parliamentarians observing shops at Tibetan market, Ooty

In the meeting Parliamentarian Kunga Sotop addressed on kindness and support of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and the Indian government to the Tibetans, importance of preserving good virtues of Tibetan people, importance of staying united and importance of following laws of the country. While Parliamentarian Khenpo Sonam Tenphel introduced four commitments of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and advised them to practice the commitments, evolution, and significance of Middle Way Policy of Central Tibetan Administration, International situation, changing status of China, situation inside Tibet, businesses of the 7th Session of the 16th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile. They answered questions asked by the public.

Parliamentarians addressing Tibetan shop owners of Ooty, Tibetan market

On 23rd August, the Parliamentarians reached Kodaikanal, which has 30 Tibetan shops and 2 Tibetan restaurants. In their last visitation site, they visited all the Tibetans shops and later in the evening held a meeting with all the Tibetans living there. Parliamentarian Kunga Sotop addressed on importance of unity within Tibetans, preserving good virtues of Tibetan people, and importance of following laws of the country.

Tibetans of Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu 

While Parliamentarian Khenpo Sonam Tenphel addressed on four commitments of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Middle Way Policy of Central Tibetan Administration to resolve the Tibet issue, International situation, status of China and Tibet, brief businesses of the 7th Session of the 16th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile.

Finally, they answered questions asked by the public and concluded their visitation program.

Pit dug to stop elephants from entering fields at Kollegal