By Kalsang Phuntsok (Toronto, Canada, March 26, 2014)
Today I am writing this as I can no longer stay silent and feign ignorance of this little thing that happened last year at the Tibetan Youth Congress General Body Meeting. This thing has been nagging me ever since. Many people, who were paying attention, have raised questions regarding one section in the final resolution of the 15th TYC General Body Meeting and to the best of my knowledge no explanation has been provided by TYC Centrex so far. And I think TYC has the responsibility to give a clear explanation of this resolution to the public as it has the potential for serious implications on the unity of Tibetan people, democratic principles and our struggle because it sets a dangerous precedent.
I must make it clear to the readers at the outset that I am not a member of TYC. However, like all Tibetans I support TYC and I have tremendous respect for this organization for leading the Tibetan struggle for Independence. It is not my intention to provoke TYC members or even raise questions about those people who pushed for this resolution. It is possible that they may have been under outside influence. I have not a shred of doubt that the passage of this resolution was a mistake. And therefore, through this article, I am requesting that TYC Centrex pass a new resolution to strike out Resolution No. 8. And if Centrex wants to continue with Resolution No.8 as is, then give the Tibetan people a clear and honest explanation as to the meaning and purpose of this resolution.
For those who don’t know what the Resolution No. 8 says I have cut and pasted below the section of page 5 of final resolution released last year. You can also access the document at this link http://tinyurl.com/lyxnebm.
The resolution declares that TYC has had no relationship with Tibetan National Congress (TNC) (Bhod Gyalyong Rangzen Lhentsog) in the past and resolves to never have any relationship with TNC in the future also.
As the readers can see, the second part of the resolution which I have bolded and underlined above is what worries me. Being a member of TNC, I was shocked and saddened to see this resolution. It is one thing to say TYC did not had any relationship with TNC in the past, but it is a different matter altogether to say TYC will never have any relationship with TNC in the future as well. To the best of my knowledge TYC has not passed such a resolution even against the Chinese Communist Party or any other anti-Tibetan organization. Then why is TNC, which is a pro-Tibetan Independence organization whose membership is entirely made up of Tibetan activists and supporters being singled out and condemned in this manner. TNC, like TYC believes that the goal of Tibetan struggle should be independence and believes in democracy and freedom of speech (Readers can access TNC’s Founding Resolution and other information about TNC at this link: http://www.tibetnc.org/).
Was this resolution passed under pressure from a section of the TYC who is insisting the organization give up the goal of Rangzen? Was it a politically motivated move by that section to isolate TNC because TNC is uncompromisingly committed to the goal of Independence?
Someone tried to put me at ease the other day by reasoning that it could be because TNC has a secondary role as an exile political party and that since TYC is a strictly non-political organization it needed to distance itself from TNC. But then TNC is not the first nor the only political party formed in exile. No such resolutions were ever passed against any other exile political party by TYC. And I wonder what TYC has to say to the majority of TNC members who are past and present members of TYC as well. What does TYC suppose these members should do?
It is blindingly obvious to any reasonable thinking person that this resolution serves no conceivable purpose for TYC and its larger goal of Tibetan national independence. Instead it raises all kinds of questions about the organization and weakens our unity and our struggle. And that very well might have been the intention all along of those who have orchestrated this resolution behind the scene.
I am respectfully requesting TYC Centrex to please rescind Resolution No.8 and spare the Tibetan people an unnecessary cause of worry and anxiety. I have always commended TYC’s policy to stay out of exile politics but this resolution gives the impression that it has unwittingly become an instrument of politics of some elements within or outside the organization with questionable motives.
Whatever differences that may exist in our small exile community can be overcome without affecting our unity. There is not a single society on earth which doesn’t have diversity of opinions and ideology. The question we should ask ourselves is do we want to stoop to the level of cheating, lying, ostracizing and intimidating the other side to make our case or do we want to be true to ourselves and uphold the democratic ideals, freedom of speech and have respect for those whose opinions you don’t necessarily always agree with.I think we get along pretty well most of the time despite our differences and I am sure we can do even better…if we are allowed to.