Chennai: On 11 September 2018, the research wing of the Central Tibet Administration (CTA), the Tibet Policy Institute (TPI) visited Indian Institute of Technology Madras. Delegation from the Tibet Policy Institute includes three researchers led by Deputy Director, Mr Tenzin Lekshay.
Dr. Sonika Gupta, head of China Studies, in her open remarks, wholeheartedly expressed her utmost joy at being able to host the researchers of the Tibet Policy Institute at IIT to discuss important issues related to Tibet and Tibetan people. She affirmed her willingness for many more collaborations as such with the Tibet Policy Institute in the near future. In her remarks, she also emphasized that it is important to have the the narration of Tibet China issues from the perspective of native people of Tibet. The conference was attended by more than 70 students from different departments of IIT Madras. The Deputy Director of the Tibet Policy Institute, Mr Tenzin Lekshay briefed the audience on significance of the Tibet Policy Institute and its core objectives. Two researchers of the Tibetan Policy Institute Dr. Rinzin Dorjee and Mr. Tenzin Dalha presented their research papers before the students of IIT, followed by an effective discussion among the audience.
In the evening, the visiting delegation met members of Tamil Nadu Young Thinkers Forum, led by Mr. Sudarshan Ramabadran at DAV Boys School in Chennai to interact and discuss about Tibet issues.
On 12 September 2018, Chennai Center for China Studies (C3S) in collaboration with the Tibet Policy Institute and the Department of Political Science, Madras Christian College (MCC), jointly organized a day-long National Conference themed “The Dynamics of Identity Culture, Continuity and Challenges in the Tibet Community” at Margret Hall Auditorium, Madras Christian College. The primary focus of the conference is the significance of Tibetan cultural and society. The conference also gives importance on the shifting nature of Tibetan struggle and identity today. The college Principal, Dr. R.W. Alexander Jesudasan inaugurated the conference and spoke elaborately on the central theme of the conference. He also emphasized on the need of friendship with neighboring countries.
Mr. Tenzin Lekshay, deputy director of Tibetan Policy Institute gave an illustrious introduction of the relationship between India and Tibet culturally and the significance of Tibet to India from geostrategic perspective.
Commodore R. Seshadri Vasan, Indian Navy (Retd.) Director, Chennai Centre for China Studies (C3S) spoke briefly about the Memorandum signed between the Tibet Policy Institute and CS3.
Three researchers from TPI presented papers to the scholars, researchers and students of MCC. Mr. Karma Tenzin spoke about the Chinese bilingual education policy in Tibet and the political motive behind it. Mr. Tenzin Dalha spoke about the prevalence of Chinese cyber security, surveillance, censorship and its implication on Tibetan community. Dr. Rinzin Dorjee spoke on how China is adopting Buddhism as soft power diplomatic tool.
Scholars from Indian community also took part in the conference. Dr. W. Lawrence S. Prabhakaran of MCC spoke on “Tibet in the Age of China’s BRI: Culture-Commerce-Connectivity.” Dr. Anurag Tripathi, assistant professor, Christ University, Bangalore spoke on “Tibetan Students and Higher Education in India.”
In the afternoon, a panel on “Challenges of preserving the Tibetan identity in the 21st century” was held including the panelist Mr. Tenzin Lekshay, Deputy Director TPI, Ms Raakee Suryaprakash, Director of Sunshine Millennium: Associate Member, C3S and Dr. Hanns J. Freddy, Assistant Professor Department of Political Science, MCC.
Serious discussions took place on forefront of the post Dalai Lama period, and Mr. Tenzin Lekshay elaborated on the traditional system of reincarnation and how China is preparing to claim an illegitimate authority over the reincarnation process.
The panels’ discussions were received with positive interest from the participant. The vote of thanks speech was by delivered by Mr. Kirubakar, Chairperson Association of Political Science. He applauded C3S and Tibet Policy institute for collaborating with MCC over organizing this successful conference. In the evening, TPI delegations scheduled to meet with members of Tibetans Student’s Association of Madras (TSAM).