(TibetanReview.net, Dec19, 2015) – The Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC), founded in the 1970’s to campaign for Tibet’s independence from Chinese rule, has on Dec 16 announced a temporary closure of its New York New – Jersey Chapter following a turmoil which arose from a demand raised by a section of its executive members that the organization give up its founding objective and toe the exile Tibetan administration’s line of seeking some sort of autonomous administration under Chinese rule. The issue has been rocking the TYC bandwagon over the past several years and led to the chapter’s President, Mr Ngawang Palden, being suspended in Mar 2015.
The Central Executive Committee of the TYC has appointed a four-member interim committee – made up of Tenzin Kalden, Chime Tsering, Pema Gyalpo and Tsering Palden – to take charge of the assets and office of the Chapter, with the handover being required to be completed by Jan 20, 2016.
The handover will be followed by the election of new executive members. And until that election takes place, no one is permitted to use the chapter’s TYC name, flag, stamp, emblem and letterhead.
TYC is the largest grassroots Tibetan organization with chapters in almost every part of the world where Tibetan communities exist. However, it has recently been under pressure from a section of the Tibetan community who insist that it should give up its independence campaign and instead ask China to give Tibetans a degree of internal autonomy on the basis of a middle way policy being pursued by the exile Tibetan administration. They consider persisting with the independence demand as being opposed to Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader who had initially proposed it and still advocates it. The Dalai Lama himself has said those who believe in independence have history on their side in campaigning for it.
During the TYC’s annual Working Committee meeting in 2013, people representing the regional chapters in India from Bengaluru, Bylakuppe, Mundgod, Hunsur, Kollegal, Dalhousie, Pandoh and Ladakh had demanded that the group change its founding objective by adopting the middle way approach. Those who raised this demand later held their own meeting and were expelled as they no longer believed in the movement’s founding aim.
China has ridiculed and rejected the middle way policy many times, calling it unconstitutional and as a disguised campaign for independence and vowed never to negotiate for any sort of autonomy for Tibet.