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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Arab Spring spurs Tibetan hopes - PM-in-exile wants to reach out to China...State scraps unit tests till Class X

Arab Spring spurs Tibetan hopes - PM-in-exile wants to reach out to China
VIVEK CHHETRI, TT, Darjeeling, Oct. 21: The Arab Spring and the fall of Muammar Gaddafi seem to have given hope to the Tibetan government-in-exile, which is now preparing the ground to reach out to China once again.Lobsang Sangay, the prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile, could not but refer to Gaddafi while interacting with the media in Darjeeling today. He was here to attend the golden jubilee celebration of his alma-mater Central School for Tibetans.

“People say China is doing this and that and that; China is becoming even more powerful. We all see that, but look at Muammar Gaddafi. Look at the Jasmine revolution, look at Egypt, Tunisia. Things are changing in this world. Things have always changed for the good. Freedom has prevailed over authoritarian rules. The same will happen in the case of Tibet also,” said Sangay.
The prime minister, who is known as the kalon tripa, said one of the first things he had to do after assuming charge was to reach out to China. “We want to reach out to the Chinese government to find a peaceful solution through dialogue,” said Sangay, the first democratically elected PM of the government-in-exile.
Sangay said a task force had recently reviewed the relations with China. “Our review is very much on and we are willing to go to Beijing if China invites us,” he said.
A number of protests have been taking place in Tibet for the past few months during which nine persons have self-immolated. Sangay believes the current unrest is an outcome of the policies of “some hardliners in the Chinese government” .
Sangay, who was born at Lamahatta in Darjeeling, also expressed concern over the strong anti-Tibetan policy being adopted by Nepal in recent times. The Nepalese government has reportedly disrupted kalon tripa elections and also arrested Tibetans and deported them to China.
“Tibetans and Nepalis have so much in common, they look alike and historically, the ties between Tibet and Nepal have been strong,” said the Tibetan leader.
“When Nepal had applied for a UN membership, one of their justifications to claim sovereignty was the trade treaty they had with Tibet. This partly helped them get UN membership. Tibetans should not be treated as they are being treated and we hope the Nepali people will urge their government to treat our people in a better way,” said the Tibetan leader.
He added that the government was ready to send formal or informal emissaries to Nepal to sort out the issue.
Tibetan Administration eager to revive Nepal-Tibetan ties
Amitava Banerjee, HT, Darjeeling, October 22, 2011: Lobsang Sangay the Kalon Tripa (Prime Minister of the Central Tibetan Administration) has shown willingness to adopt diplomatic measures to ensure Nepal-Tibetan relation back on track. Off late the age old cordial relations between Nepal and the Tibetans residing has soured with the
Government on Nepal ordering a crack down on all forms of anti-Chinese pro-Tibet demonstrations in Nepalese soil.
Sangay the political head of the 6 million Tibetan living worldwide, on a visit of his alma mater, the Central School for Tibetans (CST,) Darjeeling stated “The sudden change in attitude of the Government of Nepal towards the Tibetans is unfortunate. Tibet and Nepal have a long historic bond. Nepal while applying to become a member state of the United Nations had cited its good relationship with Tibet and the treaties as evidence of Nepal’s sovereign nature. It is sad that all these facts are being shelved now.” stated Sangay.
Lobsang Sangay, the Kalon Tripa (Prime Minister of the Central Tibetan Administration)
However he stated that he was willing to walk the extra mile to renew the good relationship with Nepal. “In order to resolve this issue we are willing to send formal or informal emissaries to Nepal to talk the Government into stopping this unfair treatment towards the Tibetans. Even the Nepali people should remain alert and create pressure on their Government to immediately stop such treatment on the Tibetans” stated the Kalon Tripa.
In June this year around 200 “Free Tibet” posters had appeared in the Chinese Embassy and Consular area in Kathmandu, Nepal. In August around 60 Chinese delegated led by Minister of Public Security Zhou Yong Kong had visited Nepal.
Within a few days of this visit the Ministry of Home Affairs, Nepal, ordered its Police, Armed Police Force and National Investigation Bureau to crackdown on all anti-Chinese demonstrations, to identify the anti Chinese protestors and funding sources.
“Nepal and Tibet have a lot in common including culture, tradition and to an extent language and script. There have been numerous treaties between Nepal and Tibet. Even the founder of the Tibetan empire Emperor Songtsan Gampo had married Nepali princess Bhrikuti. Nepal has hardly anything common with China” remarked Sangay.
It was a home coming for the 42 year old Tibetan political head. Sangay was born in 1968 at the first Tibetan settlement at Lamahatta near Darjeeling. He did his schooling Central School for Tibetans (CST) in Darjeeling and Sonada. He did his BA in English Literature and Bachelor in Law from Delhi University. In 1995, he became a Fulbright Scholar and completed his masters at Harvard Law School.
“I have been excited and looking forward to the golden jubilee celebrations of my alma mater. Even the cancellation of my flight from Dharmasala could not deter me. I took a four hour drive to Jammu and then onto Delhi and then Bagdogra to Darjeeling. I wanted to see my school and the Mount Kanchengunga” stated the Kalon Tripa. He will be visiting Lamahatta on Saturday.
He even enthralled the crowds by speaking Nepali “Namastey, Kasto Chau” (Namastey, How have you been) displaying his strong bond with the Darjeeling Hills.
In support of the Jasmine Revolution which has gripped the Middle East and African countries, Sangay remarked “ It is all about universality of freedom. Things are changing for the better. Authoritarian regimes are ending paving way for freedom and democracy. Tibet one day will also be free” stated Sangay.
Regarding certain reservations of the Tibetan Youth Congress in the change of nomenclature from “Tibetan Government in Exile” to “Central Tibetan Administration,” Sangay stated “The name has been changed in Tibetan due to certain technicalities but is the same in English. It was always the Central Tibetan Administration in English” he stated.
“The legitimacy, legality and the legacy continues with me. While administering oath on August 8, 2011, HH the Dalai Lama had stated that he was handing over the political authority which had been handed over by the Regent in 1542 to the 5th Dalai Lama, to me. He even handed over the Tibetan seal made by the 7th Dalai Lama to me” added the Kalon Tripa.
State scraps unit tests till Class Xexamination

SNS, KOLKATA, 21 OCT: The state government is all set to abolish yearly unit tests till Class X to reduce the burden on the students. A third language is also going to be introduced up to Class X. State school education minister Mr Bratya Basu today said the state government will implement this after the syllabus committee places its report by the first week of November. 
He said that he was in favour of retaining the promotion system and it was better to scrap the five unit tests that was being conducted by the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education.
It may be noted that the Left Front government had curtailed the number of unit tests from eight to five. With the scrapping of the unit tests, the schools will have to conduct only mid-term examination and annual examination.
Further, the students will now have to study a third language. The languages include Hindi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Urdu. Although all students will have to appear for the third language examination, but qualifying the examination will not be made compulsory. Senior officials of the department said that the process is likely to be implemented from 2013 academic session.
According to vice-president of government school teachers association, Mr Dipak Das, the unit tests creates tension among students and it was found that students have a tendency to skip the tests.

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