By Phuntsok Yangchen
Participants registering for the Second Tibetan National General Meeting on May 21, 2011. (Phayul File Photo)
DHARAMSHALA, August 2: The deadline for voluntary applicants to apply for the second Special Meeting has been extended to August 15. The earlier deadline set was July 31.
Announcing the decision, the Dharamsala based Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile in a release yesterday said that the secretariat will continue to receive applications till August 15, following which participants will be selected through a draw.
50 seats have been reserved for voluntary participants from outside the Indian subcontinent, while 35 seats have been made available for voluntary participants from India, Nepal, and Bhutan.
Speaking to Phayul, parliamentary secretary Tobgyal said that the decision was taken by a joint sitting of the Kalons and members of the parliamentary standing committee.
“The decision to extend the deadline was taken as we still have a few vacant seats left for voluntary applicants from outside the Indian subcontinent,” Tobgyal said. “We do not want Tibetan youth to miss out on this opportunity to share their ideas and experience.”
The secretary admitted that the reaction time between the formal announcement and the earlier deadline was short for willing participants to apply.
“By the time the English version of the announcement came out, there wasn’t much time left,” the secretary said. “With the extension of the deadline, we are expecting more youngsters from the west to apply.”
Voluntary applicants are required to submit proof of their updated Green Book Voluntary Contribution along with their applications.
The second Special Meeting of Tibetans is scheduled from September 25-28 in the exile Tibetan headquarters of Dharamshala. The meeting will hold extensive discussions and brainstorming on campaign ideas and plans for activities by exile Tibetans in light of the critical situation inside Tibet.
Delegates at the four-day meeting will also deliberate on ways to garner support for the ongoing crisis in Tibet from the international community, India and South East Asian countries.
Delegates at the meeting will include incumbent and former Kalons, present and former members of the parliament, representatives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, representatives of NGOs etc. Additional reserved seats for Lodrik Welfare Association in Pokhara, Nepal and Jonang School have also been provided.
Representatives of Tibet Support Groups and Chinese friends and supporters are also expected to attend the meeting as observers.
Preparations are being made for more than 650 delegates, which would make it the largest gathering of Tibetan leaders and representatives.