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Appalling Show of Conduct to President
Press statement

Thursday, Jul 14, 2011

While the Kalachakra Initiation in Washington DC was ongoing, TYC had arranged a small stall to sell its merchandise to raise funds for its activities. The stall was manned mainly by the President of TYC, Mr Tsewang Rigzin, with assistance from regional Tibetan Youth Congress chapters in the US. On July 14, he was rudely expelled from the Verizon Center (the Kalachakra venue) by Mr Kalden Lodoe, the President of Capital Area Tibetan Association and the Co-Chair of Kalachaka 2011, for selling T-shirts bearing the text, “Tibetan Government in Exile”. This was considered too political.  Mr Kalden Lodoe even threatened to call security if Mr Tsewang Rigzin did not leave the building immediately. This T-shirt has been on sale since the beginning of the Kalachakra Initiation, a week ago.

Additionally, while he was ejecting our President, Mr Lodoe made a reference to the Secretary of the Private Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. When TYC contacted Mr Tsegyam (the Secretary) to inquire if he had any knowledge about this incident, it was told that while the Private Office had been aware of TYC’s presence and its stall in the venue, the contents of the merchandise it was selling was not relevant and that people were free to sell and buy whatever they liked. This clearly indicated that by indulging in name-dropping, Mr Lodoe was misusing his privilege as someone in charge of organizing this event.

Moreover, the fact that he tried to intimidate our President by threatening to call security was a direct attack against an organization that has over the decades kept the alive the spirit of the struggle for our cause. In the last 52 years of Tibet’s tragedy, Tibetans have suffered separation, loss and untold miseries. While Tibetans in Tibet are labeled “splittists” and suffer arrest, beatings, torture anddetention for even remotely showing signs of recognizing and respecting our exile government, we who live in the free world should be able to express ourselves without any fear or intimidation. Yet, it appears that those of us who demonstrate the same love, respect and gratitude for our government in exile are now viewed as the adversary. Isn’t this a sad and tragic situation?

Today, the President of a 35,000-member organization and the symbol of Tibetan independence was insulted, humiliated and disrespected. The head of a movement, which has proved itself to be a strong opponent of China and which is the bedrock of faith of Tibetans both inside Tibet and in exile was insulted in such a despicable manner by a fellow Tibetan. This appalling act is a direct attack against the movement and the spirit of Tibetan independence, and demonstrates a total lack of understanding and respect for the hundreds of people who died for our cause as well as those who continue to keep alive their aspirations for Tibet in the last 52 years of our struggle. This kind of behaviour by a Tibetan is one that makes our enemy happy and saddens our own kin. It raises serious concern and doubts about what and who could have incited Mr Lodoe to engage in such an action.

By misusing the title of the Secretary of the Private Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Mr. Lodoe has indulged in a serious misuse of his position as the Co-chair of the Organising Committee of Kalachakra 2011. TYC is extremely disappointed and it asserts that if we tolerate such an issue, it will only show that TYC has ignored the sacrifices made by hundreds and thousands of Tibetans and will demonstrate our lack of responsibility towards maintaining the dignity of our movement. Therefore, TYC has called this press conference to seek a written and oral public apology to the President as well as the organization of Tibetan Youth Congress latest by 15 July 2011.

TYC’s pledge to continue to honour, recognize and use the name “Tibetan Government in Exile” (Tsenjol Bo shung) in body, speech and mind is not only aimed at safeguarding the historical legacy of Tibet’s independence but is also to ensure that this continues to provide us with the strength and inspiration we need in order to restore Tibet’s independence. Regardless of any pressure from any source, TYC will continue to use this name with pride, and will also distribute this T-shirt, for which we were so appallingly humiliated.

Note: Translated from Tibetan which should be considered final and authoritative

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  • [...] Much has been written over the years about this organization, that while its charitable arm carries out welcome work bringing relief to Tibetans in exile, it has not been able to prevent questions regarding what some have suggested is an overly close relationship with Britain’s Foreign Office. Some of the Tibet Society’s former executives were previously either Ambassadors or junior Ministers at that Department, speculation continues as to what (if any) connection currently exists. Does such influence matter in regard to the presentation of Tibet’s cause within Britain? Most certainly due to the important consideration that Britain’s Foreign Office has one prime duty with respect to China; to maintain, encourage and protect British commercial and political interests. Within that context it is no friend of Tibet’s independence and is wholly unsupportive of an assertive campaign for Tibetan independence, it is such an intolerance that has fuelled the suggestion that within the United Kingdom the Tibet movement is corrosively undermined and manipulated by individuals sympathetic to the national goals and orthodoxy of the Foreign Office. Is this perfidious control behind the consistent failure of Tibet-related bodies within Britain to represent Tibet’s true cause? Partly maybe, however there is another pressure that exerts a stifling influence, that of the exiled Tibetan Administration, which shares the same dismissive arrogance on the subject of Tibet’s independence as the Foreign Office. It is engaged in a campaign to undermine, vilify and censor those who demand Tibet’s rightful independence, actively promoting breathtaking compromises with China’s regime, to secure some form of ‘autonomy’, in opposition to the struggle waged by its compatriots in occupied Tibet,  the Tibetan leadership seeks to control the political activities of exiled Tibetan communities and those of its supporters. It regards independence for Tibet as an irritating inconvenience that undermines its appeasement of China to reach a negotiated ‘solution’ and therefore is unsleeping in extending a censorial influence across the Tibetan movement. One only has to note the recent disgraceful incident in Washington DC in which the President of the Tibetan Youth Congress and colleagues were censored, by a fellow Tibetan loyal to the policies of the exiled Tibetan Administration. See Here [...]

  • avatar dolma says:

    In my time in Dharamsala we used the term Bod Zhung” and “Tsenjol Bod-mi”.

    Although the Tibetan term is Tibetan Government or Government of Tibet it was translated as Tibetan Government in exile –such as the government in exile run by Charles DeGaule in England to fight German occupation of France.

    His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaks the Words of Truth and Kalachakra teaching is to help people in degerate times in the thrall of greed, falsehood and cowardice.

    Kalden Lodoe appears to have trashed the words of truth spoken by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the truth at the heart of Kalachakra teachings.

    Of course, in the context of the power grab in Dharamsala to appease Chinese occupation of Tibet– it is but part of the trend.

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