The Tibetan National Congress (TNC), Bhod Gyalyong Rangzen Lhentsog, a political freedom movement in the tradition of the great national liberation movements of India, South Africa, and the United States, was formally launched on February 13, 2013.
On this auspicious day when Tibetans all over the world celebrated the 100th anniversary of the re-assertion of Tibet’s independence in 1913, the TNC was formally launched at Tibet House, New York City and at Mairie (City Hall), Paris, France.
North America Launch, New York City:
The commencement ceremony started with the singing of Tibetan National anthem. It was followed by a minute of silence in respect and remembrance of the Tibetan martyrs who sacrificed their lives. A brief video presentation emphasizing the history since the declaration of independence by the 13th Dalai Lama till the founding of a democratic government in-exile was shown. This was followed by the reading of the organization’s mission statement in Tibetan by Dr. Sonam Nyatsatsang and in English by Jigme Ugen. Dakpa Andrugtsang, son of late Andrugtsang Gonpo Tashi, the founder of Chushi Gangdruk unfurled the official banner of TNC. Wangchuk D. Shakabpa, grandson of Tibetan historian the late W.D. Shakabpa, read the Founding Resolution of TNC, which was followed by a brief statement by Jamyang Norbu, noted writer and one of the Rangzen movement’s most recognizable faces. Gyato Kalsang la, a veteran freedom fighter, despite his advanced age and poor health, honored the function by lighting the ceremonial butter lamp.
Image:courtesy of jigme ugen
Techung, a well-known Tibetan singer/songwriter with his musician friend Rinzing Wangyal, sang two of his signature songs ‘Lama Khyen’ and ‘Nyingtop’ to end the inauguration on a rousing note.The formal launch was attended by over two hundred Tibetans and non-Tibetan supporters from different parts of North America. Many different representatives from local and global organizations were in attendance: SFT (Students for a Free Tibet), RTYC-NY/NJ (Regional Tibetan Youth Congress, NY & NJ), Chushi Gangdruk, TWA (Tibetan Women’s Association), US Tibet Committee, etc. The official website www.tibetannationalcongress.org and was declared open for membership
Image: courtesy of jigme ugen
TNC Europe Launch, Paris, France:
The TNC Europe was launched at the Mairie (City Hall) of Paris 2nd Arrondissement and was attended by around one hundred people, including Tibetans, supporters and dignitaries from the French government. These included Noël Mamère, Member of the French National Assembly, 2002 presidential candidate and Co-President of Parliamentary Study Group on Tibet, Senators André Gattolin and Jean-Patrick Gille, and Jacques Boutault, the Mayor of Paris 2nd Arrondissement, who threw his full support for the restoration of Tibet’s independence, remembering every guest that the people of Paris had always fought — often with blood — for its freedom and against dictatorship.
The TNC Europe was represented by Tenzin Namgyal (Co-president of SFT, France), Migmar Dakyel (Tibetan Youth Association in Europe, Switzerland), Tsewang Norbu (Tibet Initiative, Germany), Sonam Dorjee (former political prisoner, Switzerland) and Christophe Besuchet (former Vice-President of the Rangzen Alliance, Switzerland).
TNC India, Dharamsala:
Lukar Jam, the president of Ghu Chu Sum, a group representing ex-political prisoners in exile, sent his hearty congratulations for the successful launch on behalf of the Indian TNC Interim Committee and assured his steadfast support and planning for the 1st TNC General Assembly and Election on September 2, 2013 in Dharamsala, India (to coincide with the Tibetan Democracy day celebration). TNC plans to eventually have an office in India to underline the importance of Tibetans in India and to support its constituents there effectively. The TNC Executive Board will be formally selected and its constitution ratified by the members.
Reactions from the attendees:
“I think a political organization like TNC is much needed to make our democracy better and effective.” Tseten Lhagyal, President RTYC NY&NJ
“I believe this is a big step for democracy in exile. This is one clear difference between Communist China and our government.” Tenzin Dorjee, Executive Director SFT
“I wish all the success to TNC as it is duty of all Tibetans to work for Tibetan freedom” Kalsang Emchi, President RTWA NY&NJ
Founding Resolution of the Tibetan National Congress
The Tibetan National Congress (TNC) is hereby established, in the tradition of the great freedom movements of the United States of America, India, and South Africa, as a Tibetan freedom movement dedicated to fulfilling the following five objectives:
1. To re-establish the sovereign independent state of Tibet — comprising of the three traditional regions.
2. To ensure that a democratic system of government is established in Tibet, based on free elections, the rule of law, and the primacy of individual human freedom.
3. To ensure the continuation of the Tibetan Government-in-exile, until a legitimate and duly elected government of the Tibetan people is established inside free Tibet.
4. To ensure that the principal mandate of the Tibetan Government-in-exile — the struggle for an independent Tibet — is carried out with unwavering integrity and determination.
5. To bring about a renaissance in Tibetan society of Tibet’s ancient culture, language, history and literature, and strive creatively to ensure their vitality in the 21st century.
Report by Jigme Ugen