CHAIRMAN’S NOTE July – August 2018

Birthday Celebration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama: The 83rd Birthday of His Holiness was held on 30th June at the Beach Haven Ratepayers Hall. This year was designated by the Central Tibetan Administration in India as the global “Thank You” year to all our Tibet supporters. The Auckland Tibetan Association decided to host the dinner for all our members and supporters, and to present certificates and gifts to some individuals who represented our support organisations over many years.

Our guests for the evening were Kalon (Minister) Phagpa Tsering and his secretary Karma Rinchen from Dharamsala, and Representative Lhakpa Tshoko from the Tibet Information Office in Canberra.

We started the evening with the singing of the Tibetan and New Zealand national anthems and a welcome by me. We then showed a video message from Dr Lobsang Sangay, President of the CTA, who thanked the people and the government of New Zealand for their support, and asked them to continue to support the struggle for our just cause.

The certificates and gifts were then presented to the recipients by Kalon Phagpa Tsering and Mr Lhakpa Tshoko as their names were read out and a brief description was given of their involvement. The recipients who were not able to come were acknowledged also.

The entertainment for the evening was led by Kunsang Jigme with his singing and dancing, which were enjoyed by all. Everyone enjoyed the dinner provided by the Tibetan community.

Kalon Phagpa Tsering addressed the Tibetans before the event and answered questions from the community.

“In the Name of Confucius” documentary: In July I was asked to support and advertise the showing of the documentary “In the Name of Confucius” which was to be held once in Wellington and twice in Auckland: firstly at Auckland University, then later at Auckland University of Technology on 23rd July (where FOT was hosting the filming). At Victoria University the showing drew a full house. However, at Auckland University, the showing was firstly restricted to its students only, then cancelled at the last minute, supposedly due to lack of numbers of those due to attend the free event. I am sure that this was due to pressure from China. I and several FOT members and Tibetans attended the showing to a full hall at AUT. The documentary dealt with Chinese influence and interference in Canadian education under the guise of Confucius. This resulted in the resignation of the chairman of the institute and later the cancellation of the contract with the Confucius Institute there.
After the showing, there was a panel question and answer session with the documentary producer and director Doris Lui and myself on the panel. We were informed that in New Zealand there are Confucius Institutes in three universities and twenty schools, where Chinese influence means that the topics of Tibet, Fulan Gong, Taiwan and Hong Kong are barred. We asked those in attendance to make others aware of this interference by China.

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Best wishes and Tashi Delek

Thuten Kesang
National Chairman