Norbu Tsering's Answers to "10 Questions"

By Norbu Tsering
North American Chitue candidate
Toronto, Canada 

Answers in Response to TPR's
"10 Questions for North American Chitue Candidates"

Dear Supporters and fellow Tibetans in North America,

I would like to take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt gratitude for the tremendous support that I received in the preliminary election of the deputies for the exile Tibetan Assembly. I am humbled and honored to have the overwhelming support and trust of the Tibetan community in North America that has placed me inthe second place of the top ten candidates. Your overwhelming supports further strengthen me to work harder for our wider causes as your elected representative to the Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies. 

Over the past ten years of my volunteer to the community services, I have done with my utmost sincerity and hard work mainly as an executive member of the Canadian Tibetan Association, Canadian Multicultural Council and as a key player in the Tibetan-Chinese dialogue group.

Brief Introduction:

I will introduce very briefly of my backgrounds for your information. I finished my school from Central Tibetan for Tibetan, Mussoorie, India in 1980. Under the scholarship program of Department of Education (Tibetan Government-in-Exile) sponsored by Narita Shinshoji Temple I went to Japan and studied electronic at Chiyoda Technical Institute, Tokyo. Coming back to India I worked at Binatone Electronics Pvt. Ltd. as a Research & Development Engineer for 5 years. In 1990 I joined National Service Manager of the Sony India, New Delhi and later promotedand transferred to Sony Canada, Toronto, Ontario in 1997. Since then, I am working as a Senior Service Manager in Sony Canada Ltd.

Social Services: 

I have worked many social services since my childhood in the School and later as a President of the Canadian Tibetan Association of Ontario in 2002–04 and 2006 tocurrent. During this period I had an opportunity to chair the visits of His Holinessthe Dalai Lama and the Toronto Kalachakra Initiation. With the help of the members of the Tibetan Association of Toronto, it was the first-time Tibetans organized a very successful Kalachakra Initiations in the West.

Following are the list of Community Services and Awards:

Achievements – Awards and Community Service:

2011: Nominee – June Callwood Outstanding Achievement Award for Volunteerism

2010: Recipient – Community Leader Award, Member of Provincial Parliament.

2007: Recipient - Outstanding Asian Award, Canadian Multicultural Council.

2009 to current: Adviser, Global Tibetan Professional Network (GTPN) - Toronto Chapter

2008: Organizing Committee Member, NATA Tenshug, Madison

2007 to current: Co-chair, Tibetan-Chinese dialogue group, Toronto, Ontario

2006 to current: President, Canadian Tibetan Association of Ontario – Toronto, Ontario

2006 to current: President, Tibetan Canadian Cultural Centre – Toronto, Ontario

2006 to current: Vice-President, Canadian Multicultural Council – Toronto, Ontario.

2002 to 2004: Chair, Kalachakra 2004, Visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama toToronto

2002 to 2004: President, Canadian Tibetan Association of Ontario – Toronto, Ontario

(1) What, in your opinion, makes you qualified to represent North American Tibetans in the Parliament-in-Exile? 

In my capacity as President of the Canadian Tibetan Association of Ontario I have worked very closely with Tibetans and non-Tibetans in the Tibetan community over the past 10 years. These (role) opportunities led me to develop a keen understanding of the issues and concerns of Tibetans, both at the local and broader levels. The Tibetan Diasporas in North America has experienced significant changes and will continue to experience developments that will impact Tibetans. I have facilitated change for Tibetans that lead to positive outcomes. For example, as a President of the Canadian Tibetan Association of Ontario, I will be interacting with the Committee that will play a crucial role in partnering with the Federal Canadian Government to facilitate the sponsorship of 1,000 Tibetan refugees from Arunachal Pradesh. During my years of long community services, I have initiated and undertaken numerous community development projects, such as the establishment of the Tibetan Canadian Cultural Centre. My activeparticipation in the Tibetan-Chinese dialogue in Toronto makes it more important to strengthen this front to benefit our long term cause. I wanted to share my experiences that I have gained during my years of volunteer service and extend the work for our causes not only in Toronto but also in the Northern American continent. I also wish to interact more with the Tibetan communities in America and represent their voices in the Exile Tibetan Parliament, which formulate the working policy of the Tibetans in Exile. The Tibetan community’s trust and confidence have encouraged me to pursue the privilege to represent Tibetans in North American at the Parliament-in-exile.

(2) What would you do as Chitue to best represent the interests of Tibetans in North America? 

If elected, as one of two representatives (Chitue), I would play an active role to improve and build upon the existing relations and communications between the Government-in-Exile and Tibetans in North America. In addition, I would also facilitate bilateral communications with Tibetan Communities across North America by visit, holding frequent conferences, encouragingyouth exchange programs by utilizing technology (such as video conferencing etc) to reach out to communities across the continent. I would involve the Office of Tibet in New York to liaise and to ascertain the various community issues.

(3) What do you see are the short term (1-5 years) priorities of the Parliament-in-Exile and what would you do as Chitue to deal with those priorities?

I firmly believe that any person who represents the community must understand the opinion of the people and respect their majority decisions. To achieve that I will undertake as many visit as possible to Tibetan communities across North America in order to meet the community members that I have been elected to represent. This will enable me in a better position to understand the people's voices and priorities of the issues related with Tibet and Tibetans and to look for opportunities to redress or solved these pressing priorities by working with the Office of Tibet, New York and Tibetan Administrations in Dharamsala. If need arises I will raise the issues in the Assembly of the Tibetan in Dharamsala. In addition, it is of great importance to me to open communication channels between Tibetan Government –in-exile and Tibetan communities so there is clear understanding of the work undertaken by our government and its impact on the Tibetan communities.  As a Chitue I would encourage Tibetan communities to develop, enrich and create more immersion for young Tibetans in the areas of Tibetan language, culture and values. These are critical ingredients for the survival of the Tibetan identity in Tibetan communities across the globe. I will be an advocate to instill and educate Tibetan values and heritage. By doing so, we enrich the future of Tibetan communities in exile and the countries in which each of us live. Another important priority relates to improved effectiveness and efficiency of Tibetan parliament. While my direct experience in working with the Tibetan Government-in-Exile is limited. I recommend establishing effective and efficient working groups/committees amongst the members of Assembly. This would involve timely follow-ups and actions identified of the important issues while parliament is in session.  Another important step is to take a greater initiative to lobby and strengthen our existing support for Tibet and Tibetan causes. I would also work to increase membership on the Parliamentarian Friends of Tibet (PFT) at the provincial and federal levels. My experience has proven that membership/support from government officials is critical for a unified and strong voice on issues related to Tibet and Tibetans. I would work with my US members and to encourage increased support networks in the US.  Lastly, I would like to highlight that we need to utilize and expand current networks of the Tibetan-Chinese dialogue (networks) for both short and long term benefits for us. I am currently involved in Tibet-China dialogue at the local level; however, it is my goal to develop a similar dialogue established across North America and strengthen the existing one.

(4) What do you see are the long term (5-10+ years) priorities of the Parliament-in-Exile and what would you do as Chitue to deal with those priorities?
For the long term benefits, I feel that we need to strengthen and to create more channels of communication within the Tibetan communities. It is also my long term priority to strengthen and expand our friendship networks with the Chinese communities at the grass-root level. This will give us to clarify the misunderstandings created by the Chinese Government propaganda about Tibet and Tibetans, specially in regards on the issues related with His Holiness the Dalai Lamaand genuine demands of the Tibetan people.  Han Chinese is the second largest immigrant communities across major cities in North America. As Chitue I will work with Tibetan communities across the continent to assist them in building networks to dialogue with the Chinesecommunities.

(5) What do you see are the greatest issues or problems currently facing the Tibetan Government-in-Exile and what recommendations would you make to deal with those issues?

Tibetan political issue is the greatest challenge facing the Government-in-Exile despitenumerous efforts to create an atmosphere for dialogue and confidence building measure with the Chinese Government. I would recommend to continue put international pressure, like Burma's ruling Junta regime, and in the meantime, getting the support of ordinary Chinese people so that through their pressure the Chinese Government might be forced to redress the true grievances of the Tibetan people.

(6) What changes, if any, would you recommend concerning the Parliament-in-Exile? Examples could be in the term of office for Chitues or the current regional make-up of the Chitue representatives?

I would like to get an additional one seat for North America, for Canadian Tibetans based on the Tibetan populations’ census. It is a common practice in the democratic countries that the representation seats of the people in the Parliaments or Congress changes with the populations of their states or constituencies.

(7) What amendments, if any, in the Charter for Tibetan Exiles would you recommend?

Except for the amendments to adjust extra seats to Canada, I have nothing at themoment. However, if there is any opinions or suggestions for amendments need from the majorityof the Tibetans in the North America than I will raise it and table a motion in the Assembly forthat amendment.

(8) How do you think His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s retirement frompolitics would affect the Tibetan struggle and what suggestions would you make to the Exile Government for handling the issue of His Holiness’ retirement from politics?

I do believe that His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s retirement will have a great short-term impact on the Tibetan people, specially our fellow countrymen in Tibet. But I believe that His Holiness will provide continuous guidance and the process of democratization of the Tibetan Community. As such, there is no gap in how our government will operate. Moreover, with his profound knowledge and wisdom, His Holiness already drafted political guidelines on the future of Tibet by announcing the 'Constitution of the Future Tibet' in 1963. So our struggle is not an issue of the Dalai Lama but of the rights and wishes of the six million Tibetan. Interestingly, the Chinese have repeatedly said in the past that the Tibet issue is just an issue of Dalai Lama and few Tibetans. We must move forward with our struggle even when His Holiness retires. This will prove that the Tibetan struggle and the Tibetan issues remain strong and alive without His Holiness’ active involvement.

(9) What are your views towards the Middle Way Policy (Ume Lam) and rangzen for Tibet? Do you support either one or something else and why?

As a participant of the Special Meeting convened at Dharamasala in 2008, I had an opportunity to take part in the discussions on the Middle Way Approach and Rangzen. As a people's representative I have voiced always voiced the majority people I represent. At that meeting I fully supported Middle Way Policy which is also the final resolutions of the Special Meeting.

(10) Is there anything else you would like to tell voters, either about yourself or the issues, on why they should vote for you as a North American Chitue?

My volunteer community services spans over 10 years. Over these periods of time I have gained widespread support and trust of the people I represent. The people have spoken and submitted my nomination for Chitue. I will not disappoint my supporters and will do my utmost duties with dedication, sincerity, transparent and foresighted initiatives, as I have served Tibetan Canadian Association of Toronto and Tibetan Canadian Cultural Centre