Where there is more than one candidate, they are listed alphabetically. Cast your vote – in your region only please – by emailing Tenzin Jigdal on firstname.lastname@example.org by the end of WEDNESDAY 19 July. You may have as many votes as there are seats in your region.
WESTERN EUROPE (2 seats)
Günther Cologna – nominated by Associazione Italia Tibet
Dr Günther Cologna is a Director and former President of Associazione Italia Tibet. He has been involved in the Tibet issue for well over 20 years. He would bring to the Steering Committee many years of experience of working on Tibet, superb language skills, and longstanding relationships with key personnel in the Central Tibetan Administration, where he has conducted and facilitated many training courses as a result of his profession. He is the Head of Education at EURAC (European Academy); an applied research centre in South Tyrol that works on the protection of minorities and multilingualism, investigates climate change, draws up sustainable development plans through the use of renewable energy, and contributes to the health of the community by conducting biomedical studies. Günther is a writer and has translated a number of books by His Holiness into German. He has served on the Steering Committee since 2015.
Han Vandenabeele – nominated by Lungta: Tibet Support Group Belgium
It most have been somewhere in the late ’90 when our roads crossed; rocking the Beastie boys on the tape-deck; going on the hippie-trail to Nepal and India; on the road – in search for the/a meaning of life; having first-hand encounters in settlements; getting aware of the cause and feeling a solidarity and connection that never went away – difficult to explain so I will try to stick to the facts – while hobbling on through those college years; and Tibet became the common threat throughout my ‘academic’ career and life to come.
Graduation – interlude/working – and going back on the road again; reaching China and Tibet in 2005; took a personal oat; and evolved from passive activism to active activism in the last decade: board member and Editor in Chief Friends of Tibet – TSG Belgium 2006-2012; Belgian Editorial Board Tibet.nu – TSG The Netherlands 2012-2016; Lungta – TSG Belgium 2013-present; being present at demonstrations; attending hearings at the EU-Parliament; upholding contacts with the local Tibetan community and representatives of the CTA – Tibet office in Brussels; networking with other TSG’s (TSG-NL and Tibet Initiative Deutschland); did the ICT European Lobby days training; volunteered in Dharamsala for some months, traveled; met many people; interviewed them; wrote about them; became – in the process – an obsessive-compulsive collector of books on the matter (450 and counting)… and participated at the International Tibet Meeting last year in BXL, which brings us to the present day.
Being part of a network, and especially our network, is being part of something much greater; but it can only work if we – all the individuals – do our part, work together and take our responsibility; I just figured it was my time to take that responsibility to be on the Steering Committee; it feels the right next step to take; I can only give you the best of my abilities but I’m confident; ’nuff said.
SOUTH ASIA (2 seats)
Narender Ayar Chowdhary – nominated by Youth Liberation Front of Tibet, East-Turkistan, Manchuria & Inner-Mongolia
I, Narender Chowdhary have been struggling incessantly to raise & strengthen voice of Tibet & Tibetan for past 19 years. When just I stepped in university & invested my fertile time in Tibetan struggle movement by staging demonstrations, organising seminars, tractor, bike, cycle & car rallies, awareness campaigns, workshops, hunger strikes, youth colonial awareness games, staging protests infront Chinese officials, embassies, UNO office & sundry events. I also organised small educational meetings importance of free tibet for farmers to make them aware about damming of Bhramputra & others major rivers which are backbone of lives & agricultural activities in India & even other Asian countries. To intensify this movement at global scenario, I need your support because I feel lot of things have been done but lot needs to be executed at this juncture. I hope you will strengthen Tibetan struggle movement by your heartfelt support & cooperation. Last, though not least, I want to rope in youth & grass root level support in this struggle to raise Tibetan flag at the Potala Palace, Lahasa with it’s sovereignty, dignity & glory of Tibet. Thanks.
Jyotsna Sarah George – nominated by Students for a Free Tibet, India
Jyotsna Sarah George is a campaigner at Jhatkaa, an organization committed to building grassroots citizen power across India in effective and innovative ways. The organization collaborates with civil society to engage citizens to hold corporate, cultural and government leaders accountable in real time at key decision moments through various digital communication platforms.
Jyotsna is an alumnus of St.Stephens, Delhi and later pursued her Masters in International Development in Paris. During both those years, she had been actively involved in the Tibet cause through Students for a Free Tibet. Following her studies, Jyotsna worked with SFT- India as the Campaigns Director during which she was instrumental in conceiving the Tibet’s River campaign http://www.savetibetanrivers.org/.
Dolma Yangchen – nominated by Tibetan Women’s Association
Dolma Yangchen first studied in C.S.T Mussoorie and later studied in Convent of Jesus & Mary at Mussoorie and completed Senior Cambridge. She was appointed as the Secretary at MYRADA, an NGO which established three Tibetan Refugee Settlements at Bylakuppe, South India. She was elected as the President of Regional Tibetan Women’s Association Bylakuppe in 2001 and served for two consecutive terms and also served as the Central executive member from 2006 to 2009 in the south. She was also one of the founding members of Indo-Tibetan Friendship Society in Bylakuppe. She was elected as the Board of Director for Dickyi Larsoe Tibetan Settlement and served for a year, from which position she had to resign after being elected as the President of the Tibetan Women’s Association Head Quarters. She has served on the Steering Committee since 2015.
East & SE ASIA (1 seat)
Adam Pantouw – nominated by Roof of the World Foundation, Indonesia
Adam was quite instrumental in the 2008 Olympics Campaign in Jakarta, from organising participants, liaising with other activists and providing legal information to be able to carry off the demonstration at the Jakarta Sports Complex. His dedication to the cause was amply proven by letting himself get arrested by the police, in order to buy others time to continue the demonstration. His work with the Legal Aid Institute in Indonesia and his support for various Indonesian NGOs working for Human Rights is well known. His command of the English language and abilities in Public speaking is also excellent as amply proven when served as translator for Kalon Dicki Chhoyang during the Meet and Greet event I organised for her in Jakarta. Adam has served on the Steering Committee since 2016.
AUSTRALASIA (1 seat)
Kyinzom Dhongdue – nominated by Australia Tibet Council
Kyinzom is the Communications and Government Relations Manager with Australia Tibet Council, an organisation that campaigns for the human rights and freedoms of the Tibetan people. Kyinzom grew up in Dharamsala in India and was schooled in the Tibetan Children’s Village. After studying at Delhi University, Kyinzom worked as a journalist for the Times of India and The Asian Age. She moved to Australia in 2006. She has served on the Steering Committee since 2013 and was Co Chair from 2013 – 2014. In March 2016 she was elected as Member of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile representing Australasia.
CANADA (1 seat)
Tenzin Nawang Tekan – nominated by Canada Tibet Committee and Tibetan Cultural Association of Quebec
USA (2 seats)
Wangchuk Shakabpa – nominated by US Tibet Committee
Wangchuk was born in Kalimpong, India and is the grandson of noted Tibetan historian, Tsepon W.D. Shakabpa. Wangchuk grew up in the United States and graduated with a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1992. Wangchuk served two years on the Board of Directors of Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) and is currently a board member of U.S.-Tibet Committee (USTC) and Tibet Justice Center (TJC). Recently, Wangchuk has been serving as a co-editor of Tibetan Political Review, an online forum for critical discussions of Tibetan politics. He has served on the Network Steering Committee since 2011.
Tenzin Jigme – nominated by Students for a Free Tibet
Jigme was born in Lhasa and educated in Tibetan Children’s Village school and University at Albany in NY. He worked for the International Campaign for Tibet as its field researcher in Dharamsala, and joined International Tibet Network as International Coordinator in 2008, memorably hanging a banner off a bridge in Washington to protest Xi Jinping’s visit in 2012. He left the Network staff in 2013 to return to full-time education. He has since served as General Secretary of the Capital Area Tibetan Association. He joined the Steering Committee in 2015 and is the Network’s Chief Financial Officer.
CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA (1 seat)
Sandra Erickson – nominated by Rangzen Free Tibet Natal
Portuguese: Sinto-me grandemente inspirada por Tereluz Flores a participar do movimento de resistência contra a ocupação colonial e violenta da China sobre o Tibete. Acredito firmemente que o Tibete será livre e que o mundo inteiro já é um lugar melhor graças a esse extraordinário movimento de libertação sob os princípios da não-violência pregados por Sua Santidade, XIV Dalai Lama. As estratégias do movimento são fortes! Poderosa! E cada vez mais tocam corações, mentes e falas. Me sinto honrada de ser parte dessa história de amor à liberdade e a paz. Quero fazer o melhor que eu possa para que o amado Tibete re-conquiste sua liberdade. Todavia eu não julgo inapropriada qualquer ação que tenha por fim libertar o Tibete da presente extrema opressão do brutal regime chinês que qualquer Tibetano possa ou venha a realizar. Toda pessoa tem o direito e mesmo o dever de lutar contra a opressão e o sofrimento dos seres. Tibete: Pàtria Livre! Juntos Haste la vitoria final: Venceremos!
Spanish: He sido inspirada en gran medida por Tereluz Flores a participar en este movimiento de resistencia contra la ocupación colonial y violenta de China sobre el Tíbet. Creo firmemente que el Tíbet será libre y que todo el mundo ya es un lugar mejor gracias a este extraordinario movimiento de liberación bajo los principios de la no violencia difundidos por Su Santidad el XIV Dalai Lama. ¡Las estrategias del movimiento son fuertes! Poderosas! Y cada vez cuenta con más corazones, mentes y discursos. Me siento honrada de ser parte de esta historia de amor a la libertad, y la paz. Quiero hacer lo mejor que puedo para que nuestro añorado Tíbet vuelva a tener libertad. Sin embargo no juzgo inapropiada ninguna acción que cualquier tibetano pueda llevar a cabo y que pretenda liberar al Tíbet de esta opresión extrema y del brutal régimen chino. Toda persona tiene derecho e incluso el deber de luchar contra la opresión y el sufrimiento de los seres. ¡Tíbet: Patria Libre! Juntos hasta la victoria final ¡Venceremos!
English: I have been inspired largely by Tereluz Flores to participate in the resistance movement against colonial and violent occupation of China over Tibet. I firmly believe that Tibet will be free and that now the world it’s a better place because of this extraordinary liberation movement under the principles of non-violence spread by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. The strategies of the movement are strong! Powerful! And that the hearts, minds, and talks are increasing on this topic. I am honored to be part of this story of love, freedom, and peace. I want to do the best I can for our longed Tibet again be free. However i do not judge improperly any action that any Tibetan can perform and that seeks to free Tibet from this extreme oppression and brutal Chinese regime. Everyone has the right and even the duty to fight against oppression and suffering of beings. Tibet: Free Country! Together until the final victory, We’ll be victorious!