Dharamshala: The 2nd Legal Education Workshop and Awareness Programme for Tibetans was held in the exile seat of Dharamshala from July 3-4.
Aimed at educating Tibetans on the legal status and provisions they enjoy as ‘foreigners’ under the Indian constitution, the workshop was organised by Delhi based network of lawyers and social activists, the Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) in association with Tibetan Youth Congress, Tibetan Women’s Association, Gu-Chu-Sum Movement of Tibet and Students for a Free Tibet-India.
Around 60 leaders representing Tibetan non-governmental organisations, monasteries, nunneries, institutions and other social organisations from 12 different Tibetan settlements in Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand took part in the first day of the workshop.
Widening the scope of the legal awareness programme, the second day’s workshop was opened to more than 200 public participants.
Advocates from HRLN Mr Annant Asthana and Ms Maura Finn from Delhi, Mr Jitender Rana, Mr Vinayak and Mrs Nikita from Dharamshala, Mr Anand Sharma from Shimla, Inspector Ashok Prahmar, Station Head Office of Dharamshala, and Mr Dawa Tsering, a member of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile spoke during the two-day workshop.
An elderly Tibetan, who attended the second day of the public workshop, highlighted how he had always considered himself being a refugee for the last 52 years of his exile in India and never thought of Tibetans as a foreigner.
“The program helped me realise the legal status of Tibetans in India”, he said.
Besides the legal status of Tibetans in India, the legal experts dealt with legal document issues such as Identity Certificate, Registration Certificate, citizenship, future of Tibetans living in India and the Dharamshala based Central Tibetan Administration and its functioning in India.
The Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) is a collective of lawyers and social activists dedicated to the use of the legal system to advance human rights in India and the sub-continent.