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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Tibetan Settlement Conference gets Underway

February 26, 2010

Yangsham and Max French
The Tibet Post International
February 24, 2010

Dharamshala: The 6th Biennial Conference of
Tibetan Settlement Officers' on Administration
began today in Gankyi staff Mess Hall,
Dharamsala. It was organised by the Department
Home of the Central Tibetan Administration. The
Tibetan Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche and
other ministers of departments of government are
attending, along with the heads and coordinators
of Tibetan settlements all across India, Nepal and Bhutan.

At the conference, Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche began
the conference by giving a speech on behalf of
his cabinet: "We Tibetan refugees, unlike other
political refugees in other countries, have been
able to effectively preserve our culture,
politics and livelihood. We can attribute this to
the integrity of Tibetan settlements."

The Prime Minister commended His Holiness the
Dalai Lama, and the Indian Prime Minister
Jawaharlal Nehru for establishing Tibetan schools
for refugees, "after 50 years we look back and
can see their vision and how it has helped to
shape our community." The Prime Minister further
praised the Tibetan settlers keeping Tibetan
identity and culture active in the exile community.

The two day long meeting is being held to review
the fifty year history of the exiles, and to lay
down a clear agenda for future work based on these past experiences.

The Prime Minister concluded his speech by
talking about the Tibetan refugee status in
India, "as India has not signed any international
agreements for refugee rights, the Tibetan status
is not protected by international law. There is
nothing specified in the Indian constitution that
relates to our status as refugees. However, since
the first refugees arrived here, we have been
provided with refugee and foreign status."
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