DISCUSSING SCENARIOS, STRATEGIES & STRUCTURES FOR TIBET’S INDEPENDENCE STRUGGLE
On March 11 & 12 in New York City, the Rangzen Alliance convened a Roundtable to initiate a discussion on the possible scenarios the Tibetan issue might encounter in the near future; and also the structures that must be created and the strategies that must be formulated to advance and ultimately achieve the goal of Tibetan Independence.
Sixty-two participants from India, Japan, Switzerland, Germany, Italy and from such cities and states in North America as Toronto, Montreal, Amherst, Boston, Los Angeles, Colorado, Vermont, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Connecticut, Indiana, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Washington DC, Michigan and Tennessee, gathered for the discussions.
Attendance at the conference was by invitation only. The delegates were not only the familiar Tibet activists and university students, but doctors, lawyers, designers, writers, journalists, university professors, poets, professional musicians, filmmakers, artists, industrialists, former government officials, former members of the resistance and others who, despite their different backgrounds, shared a common and overriding concern for the future of the Tibetan freedom struggle. All participants paid their own travel expenses and made their own living arrangements in New York.
In his introductory talk the Spokesman for the Rangzen Alliance, Jamyang Norbu stated, “This conference is being held amid the escalating crisis in Tibet and the recent spate of self-immolations, which appears to be just the visible tip of a far greater unrest spreading across the plateau.” Norbu further added, “In such a volatile situation, it is conceivable that a window of opportunity might present itself for the advancement of the Tibetan struggle.” Norbu made a reference to Tibetan history when exactly a hundred years on the 26th of March 1912 the Tibetans formally declared war and after nearly a year of hard and brutal fighting, the Chinese surrendered, and Tibet became an independent nation.
The first presentation was made by the President of the Tibetan Youth Congress, Tsewang Rigzin, who talked in detail about the crisis inside Tibet, and the efforts by the TYC to bring world attention to the tragedy. He mentioned the hunger strike taking place before the United Nation by three brave Tibetans. One of the hunger-strikers, Shingsa Rimpoche, sent the conference a symbolic khatag, and his regret that he could not attend personally. He expressed his full support for the event.
The vice-president of the Gu-Chu-Sum Movement of Political prisoners, Mr. Lukar Jam made a presentation by video on China’s policy twists and turn on Tibet. Another presentation by video skype was made by attorney, Nyima la, from Washington DC, on the need for Tibetans to create a national political organization for the freedom struggle. A presentation was also made by the well-known freedom activist Tenzin Tsundue la.
After two days of discussions, moderated by Tenzin Dorjee of Students for a Free Tibet, Lhadon Tethong of Tibet Action Institute, and Tenzin Tsundue, the conference resolved to create a new movement for the Rangzen Struggle, and also set up three special committees to work on the implementation of the resolutions that had been arrived at after two days of deliberations.