Tibetan Youth Association in Europe posed several important questions to all the European Chitue Candidates, here are my responses below. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Tibetan Youth Association for taking this kind of initiative and exercising our democracy!
Questionnaire for Chitue 2011 candidates
European Chitue Candidate: Chungdak Koren
1 Foreign policy
1.1 What approach do you support in the sino-tibetan dialogue?
It has been the consistent position of His Holiness the Dalai Lama that the question of Tibet must be resolved peacefully through dialogue with the best interest of the Tibetan people in mind. Need to pursue more actively from Tibetan side.
1.2 How do you consider building up or improving relationships with the governments of other nations? What should be the focus of the discussions with foreign governments?
I do believe that one of the key factors influencing the relationship between Beijing and
Dharamsala has no doubt been international pressure. Therefore, building up relationship with International community seems to be important for our struggle.
Focus of the discussion with foreign governments should be: make clear the policy of Tibetan Government in Exile for solution of Tibet.
By putting the basic principle of Freedom of people according to the ratification of the United Nations Charter in 1945 the right of self-determination into the framework of international law and diplomacy.
I strongly feel that we shoud use all International platforms by CTA and also by NOGs.
1.3 Do you think “the middle way” is a solution based approach to reach our goals or are there according to your opinion other ways?
Looking into the urgent situation of Tibet and realistically to reach our goal, I feel the Middle Way is more realistic. This vision and thought of the Middle Way Approach has received the support of International Community and governments. However, it is the responsibility of the Tibetans to turn this massive support to bring about a meaningful result. It can be achieved if all the Tibetan works together as a single entity. We can do this by exerting pressure on the respective government through their elected representatives. We should give ourselves a time frame to achieve this goal and if no concrete result is achieved, we always have the choice to pursue other options.
2 Domestic policy
2.1 Do you support the secularization in the Central Tibetan Administration? What are your reasons for supporting / not supporting the secularization process?
I do support secularization.
2.2 What do you think about the actual parliament structure? The seats are already fixed and there is no party system at the moment. Is there a change to be made? If so, what would be the next steps you would facilitate in what time line?
There need to be certain change in the parliament structure but I am not sure at this moment on party system like in other democratic nation. We are struggling for our country and our movement should be united. I am favor of upper and lower house parliament system that is capable of representing the regional Tibetan communities in exile and from three provinces of Tibet in both house without increasing the number of parliament members.
2.3 The youth is the future. Do you think the relationship between the CTA and the Tibetan youth in Europe should or can be improved? If so, what measures would you take?
I have always felt very strongly for youth empowerment and engage our youth from Europe in our community. I would suggest CTA to have internship seats in CTA and in the office of Tibet. This would result in long-term recruit of well-educated young Tibetans in CTA . Youth is future of our nation and its struggle.
2.4 Tibetans widely agree that the Tibetan language is of central importance for the Tibetan identity. Fact is, that young Tibetans in Exile are losing the knowledge of the language more and more and in cases even feel deterred by perceived pressure. What is your stance on this issue and what measures would you suggest bridging this gap?
Tibetan language is most important for one’s own identity. However I know that moral pressure and condemnation exist in our community for those who cant speak Tibetan and this is not very helpful.
We need to stress to the parents to speak Tibetans to their children. We need also encourage the youth to take Tibetan language class.
2.5 The Tibetan Community Associations are seen as governmental organisations. How do you see the cooperation between the Tibetan Community Organisations and Tibetan support groups (NGO’s)?
Tibetan community Associations is not governmental organization; it is non-governmental organization but there has been some misunderstanding and it needs to refine.
I would actively engage in discussion with the Tibetan communities and associations to understand their views and problems. I feel also it is extremely important that Tibetan community, Tibetan NGOs and (TSGs) Tibet support groups should have working cooperation. This will give stronger voice to our struggle.
2.6 How do you see the role of the European Union? Can you figure out precise steps to improve the relationship with the EU?
Since most of our Tibetan community and TSGs in Europe are from EU member countries we should use the EU platform for lobby and put more pressure on EU for our issue. We should also use more effectively EU human rights dialogue with China. I would also like to suggest Tibetan community to have Tibet lobby day in EU once in a year.
3 Tibetan society based questions
3.1 What are your opinions to mixed marriage between Tibetan and non-Tibetan?
I am married to Norwegian for last 33 years and my husband has been very supportive to my work for our issue. As you know when I was representative for His Holiness in Swiss for 6 years he was alone in Norway and he didn’t have any objection.
3.2 What do you think about homosexuality in the Tibetan society? Is it allowed?
They should be treated equal and not to discriminate.
4 Motivation based questions
4.1 What is your motivation to be the European Chitue?
As Tibetan it is my duty to work for our issue and I have been involved with our struggle for last 35 years and always thinking of our people inside Tibet. Time is running out and to achieve our goal let us unites all forces especially the youth for our freedom struggle. Our youth is our future
4.2 Why should we elect you as our Chitue?
I have worked with Tibet issue with sincerity and I will try my best to mobilize more support from the parliamentarians in Europe for our struggle and aslo work closly with Tibetan community and Tibetan NGOs.