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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Tibetan Youth Congress begins 14th General Body Meeting

August 5, 2010

By Phurbu Thinley
Phayul
August 2, 2010

Dharamsala, August 2 -- The 14th General Body
Meeting (GBM) of the Tibetan Youth Congress
(TYC), the largest non-governmental organisation
in the exile Tibetan community, began here this
morning at the Tibetan Children’s Village School's Hermann Gmeiner Hall.

Over 170 members from 47 regional chapters based
in Bhutan, India and Nepal, and members
representing chapters in United States, Canada
and Taiwan are participating in the meeting, which will end on August 8.

The meeting will discuss issues related to
organisation’s working objectives, and its future plans and programmes.

TYC president Mr Tsewang Rigzin said Tibetan
culture, security of the Dalai Lama, unemployment
among Tibetan youth, and the upcoming elections
of the Tibetan prime minister and the members of
the exile Parliament would be the major issues to be discussed in the meetings.

"During the meeting there will be open, frank and
thorough discussions on all aspects of our
organisation’s work and its goal of restoring
Tibet’s lost independence," TYC president Mr
Tsewang Rigzin told Phayul following the inaugural function.

At the end of the seven-day meeting, the members
will elect the organisation’s new executive members.

Elected for a term of three years, the executive
body, called the Central Executive Committee
(CENTREX), supervises the entire functioning of
TYC, provides guidance to the 'Regional Working
Committees' and represents TYC in all national and international forums.

Unspecified differences have, however, caused
rifts within the working of the organisation’s
central executive members, both during the previous and current executive body.

Observers say heated exchanges are likely during
the week-long meeting over the controversy
surrounding the ousting of the Vice President
Dhondup Dorjee just few months back.

Apparently for taking unauthorised decisions of
his own that disrupted a TYC's planned hunger
strike protest to be held in New York in February
this year, the organisation on February 11 issued
a letter announcing the sacking of Mr Dhondup.
The decision was not supported by two of the
remaining nine executive members. The move also
faced mixed reaction from public and regional TYC members.

TYC leaders have so far completely refrained from
making any comments to media on the issue, but
the matter did not stop from surfacing in public
discussions and internet forums.

Although officially relieved from his position,
Dhondup was, however, seen seated on the stage
alongside other executive members during the
opening function here this morning. He was seated
at the end of a row, and not next to the
president as it would have been otherwise.

A TYC insider on condition of anonymity said the
remaining part of the opening day would be fully
devoted to discussing and clearing the issue.

Rigzin said he was confident that the overall
meeting would come to a successful conclusion.

"We are hoping that the members will put all
partisan feelings aside to contribute to the
larger interest of the organisation’s work
towards the cause of Tibet and its people," Rigzin said.

The GBM, held every three years, is the highest
policy making body of the Tibetan Youth Congress
and it alone is empowered to amend the organisation’s written Constitution.

The inaugural function this morning opened with a
minute-of-silence to pay tribute to Tibetan martyrs.

Deputy speaker of the Tibetan
Parliament-in-Exile, Gyari Dolma, was the chief
guest of the function. TYC's former executive
members and members of the Tibetan parliament
were also present at the function.

During the function, three regional chapters with
exceptional contribution to TYC's work were
felicitated with honorary trophies. RTYC of
Bylakoppe in South India bagged the best prize
trophy. Darjeeling and Shimla RTYCs were given
the second and third best contributor’s trophies respectively.

TYC’s "Rangzen" (Freedom) award was dedicated
collectively to Tibetan demonstrators of the 2008
anti-China unrest in Tibet. The award was
presented to Mr Lhasang Tsering, a veteran
Tibetan independence activist and former president of TYC, on their behalf.

The organisation’s "Martyr’s" award, which was
received by the Gu-Chu-Sum Movement (Ex-Tibetan
Political Prisoner’s Association), was dedicated
to those Tibetans who lost their lives in the 2008 unrest.

Widespread unrest against Chinese rule rocked
Tibet in 2008. Tibetan government-in-Exile say
more than 200 Tibetans died and several more went
missing after Chinese government reacted with
violent military crackdown on the demonstrators.

The organisation also dedicated its "Social
Service" award to Tibetans in Tibet who actively
took part in rescue and relief works in Tibet's
Kyegudo (Ch: Yushu County) region after it was
hit by a devastating earthquake in April this year.

Founded in 1970, Tibetan Youth Congress is a
worldwide Organisation of Tibetans united in
common struggle for the restoration of Tibet’s
lost independence. It claims over 30,000
registered members and 81 regional chapters worldwide.

Tibet was illegally occupied by China after
Communist Chinese troops marched into Tibet in late 1949.

Tibetan spiritual and political leader, the Dalai
Lama fled Tibet in 1959 following a failed mass
Tibetan uprising against Chinese Communist rule.
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