As a part of NGO introduction to its audience, the Radio Free Asia (RFA) Tibetan programme interviewed Tsering Passang, Founder and Chairman of the Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities (GATPM) about the new non-governmental organisation. The interview, conducted by RFA journalist Rigzin Chodon, was broadcast on Friday, 25th March on its channels.
Here is the gist of the interview compiled by the interviewee:
Tsering Passang gave an overview of the situation of Tibetan affairs in the UK and beyond. He began by explaining his over 20 years of service to the Tibetan cause mainly in the form of development work through raising funds to support Tibetan school children, university students, monks, nuns and old people in India, Nepal and Tibet as well as organising many cultural programmes and public talks, in addition to his community leadership roles in the UK. He said that the Tibetans in Exile have achieved a great deal in various fields since coming into exile in March 1959 but the main political resolution – to secure freedom for the Tibetan people has yet to be achieved.
He then spoke on the slow decline of Tibet supporters in the West, particularly in the UK. He also explained the situation of closure of Tibet-related organisations as well as the deaths of long-time Tibet friends/supporters due to old-age. Whilst many older supporters could no longer join Tibet protests in London he said that Tibetans and the remaining Tibet groups have not been able to draw in new/younger friends/supporters to the Tibetan cause.
Passang also said that since the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic a new opportunity has risen for Tibetans and all those who are being persecuted by the CCP regime and this should not be missed. He explained that the GATPM was started as an ‘online platform’ and the very first events were held in August 2020 in the form of a webinar with parliamentarians, scholars and activists; and a protest with submission of petition to the UN Secretary-General. Soon, Passang started lobbying MPs and giving them briefings. He said that the GATPM was formally registered as a company, non-profit in nature, in England and Wales, on 2nd November 2021.
He also said that the key objective of setting up the GATPM is to work with like-minded causes who are facing persecutions in the hands of the same brutal regimes. He explained that during his past Tibet activism a little attention was given to other causes such as Uyghurs, Falun Gong and more recently Hong Kong. With this new opportunity, Passang said that Tibetans and others have to come together and confront the Chinese regime which would be more effective to bring about some positive change to their respective causes. He also said that by working together with like minded causes they not only share their own experiences but support each other too. He said that the GATPM continues to develop new friends, alliances and connections.
He said that GATPM’s current programmes are conducted via various channels. He said that by working with parliamentarians, scholars, activists as well as others the GATPM hopes to raise the plight of Tibetans and other persecuted communities whilst exposing China’s ongoing atrocities. He said that the current programmes/activities are based on the significant dates for each community.
On budget and expenditure, Passang said that the GATPM has incurred very little expenses as it has no paid-staff and all works are done on voluntary capacity. So, any expenses incurred were all paid from his own pocket.
About Radio Free Asia Tibetan Programme:
RFA Tibetan programme has listeners in Tibet, India, Nepal and Bhutan. It also has reporters/stringers in India, Canada and Switzerland. In addition, the RFA transmits its programmes on radio, satellite channels as well as via website and social media channels. The programmes are accessible via its website – http://www.rfa.org/tibetan. The Washington-based Radio Free Asia is the leading Tibetan broadcasting channel outside Tibet, which is being funded by the US government.