After visiting Chennai, the four member delegation of the Tibet Policy Institute visited the Pavilion of Tibetan Culture, located in the international zone, adjoining the Bharat Vivas complex in Auroville, Tamil Nadu on 15 September. The delegation was led by Deputy Director Mr. Tenzin Lekshay, with three researchers, Dr Rinzin Dorjee, Karma Tenzin and Tenzin Dalha.
Mr. Claudi Arpi, author, Tibetologist and the Director of the Pavilion of Tibetan Culture, Auroville gave the introductory remarks during the presentation by Mr. Dalha.
Mr. Tenzin Dalha spoke on “Social Media Prevalence, Implications and Impact on Tibetan Community” He said, “In the age of growing internet freedom and government transparency, the print media is replaced by social media in paradigm shift to how we consume and convey information, elaborated more on the threat and challenges face by the Tibetans on handling digital espionage and cyber-attacks including how Tibetan people inside Tibet evade Chinese sophisticated censorship to disseminate sensitive information”.
After his talk, Mr. Tenzin Lekshay, and rest of researchers had fruitful interactive session with the audience.
On 17 September, Tibet Policy Institute delegation visited Bangaluru and started their outreach program in the Dalai Lama Institute for Higher Education (DLIHE) located at Sheshagirihally in Bengaluru. Vice Principal Mr. Dawa Tsering addressed the welcome remarks followed by short introduction by Mr. Tenzin Lekshay on Tibet Policy Institute. The researchers’ talk was attended by more than 70 participants including faculties and students. Discussions were held on issues ranging from China’s policy shift of Buddhism, soft power diplomacy, bilingual Education Policy implemented in Tibet and its implications on Tibetan language, stringent surveillance and its adverse effects. Mr Dawa Tsering delivered concluding remarks and presented memento of appreciation to the TPI researchers.
In the evening more than 80 students of Tibetan Youth Hostel gathered at the auditorium and Mr. Tenzin Lekshay spoke on the prospects and challenges of Tibetan struggle and stressed upon young Tibetans to be responsible. The deputy director also advised students to engage more with Indian friends while pursing higher education. He also shed lights on the post Dalai Lama scenario. Dr Rinzin Dorjee spoke about his research theme on Buddhism: Opium to the soft power diplomacy of China.
On September 18, Tibet Policy Institution delegation visited Takshashila institution, the center for research and education in public policy; it is an independent, non-partisan and networked institution of public policy. Tibetan researchers made formal presentation of their various research topics followed by interactive session lasting for three hours. The talk was widely engaged by youth researchers from the institute.
In the evening, the delegation visited to St. Joseph Evening College. Principal Dr. Albert Joseph Smith gave formal introduction where he said, “The rapid booming of two-way trade, the strategic discord and rivalry between China and India are sharpening. Thus, Tibet still remains the core issue in Sino- Indian relations. He added that he will be happy to open the gate of St. Joseph evening college for any Tibetan who need to render their help and shows his deepest solidarity for the cause of Tibet.
Mr. Tenzin Lekshay spoke on Tibet Factors in India and China relations with special reference to geo-politics; He explicitly spoke about how Tibet plays a major role in Sino- Indian relations, specifically emphasizing on historical significance of Indo-Tibet relations and Tibetan environmental concerns. He further added that without resolving Tibet issue, Sino-Indian ties cannot be stabilized. Dr. Rinzin Dorjee made presentation on “Buddhism from Opium to Soft Power diplomacy in China” He particularly spoke on China’s claim on Buddhism leadership, including Chinese government control on Tibetan Buddhism and reincarnation system. He further emphasized on desperate shift of China’s stand on religion, particularly Tibetan Buddhism and its failed attempts to exterminate it by Sinicizing it for political and economic leverage. More than 200 Students and faculty members attended the talk.
On 19 September, the delegation visited National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangaluru. It is center for higher learning in India engaged in interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research in natural science, social science, arts and humanities. Professor Lalitha Sundaresan of NIAS chaired the session. TPI researchers presented their research papers followed by interactive session. In the closing remark, Professor Lalitha expressed her happiness at being able to host the researchers of TPI at the Institution; she affirmed more collaboration with the TPI in the coming years. The attendees had shown keen interest during the discussion.
In the evening, more than 50 Tibetan students of St. Johns college of Nursing met the TPI delegation. Deputy Director, Mr. Tenzin Lekshay spoke about the responsibilities of Tibetans in advocating the Tibet cause and the researchers presented their research topics. Mr. Dhondup, Director of Tibetan Youth Hostels, Bangaluru coordinated the program.
On 20 September, the department of political science, St. Joseph college hosted a talk on India and Tibet Relations and the Tibetan delegation were welcomed by Professor and head of the Department of Political Science, Dr. P. E. Somaiah who gave a welcome remark. Mr. Tenzin Lekshay narrates the century old relationship between India and Tibet on the basis of history, geography and Buddhism. Dr. Rinzin gave an overview of China’s soft power diplomacy of Buddhism in China and the world for geopolitical purpose.
The last leg of the south India outreach program of the Tibet Policy Institute will finish at Bylakupee where the delegation will speak at SOS TCV school, Sera and Namdrolling monastery and the Tibetan communities of Deckyi Larsoe and Lugsum Tibetan settlement.