04/25/2017 – Page A01
UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING
TALKING TIBET : Speaker to discuss history, future of nation
By JEFF VICTOR
The executive director of the Tibet Museum in Dharamsala, India, will talk about the history and culture of Tibet and its people during an event at the University of Wyoming tonight.
Tashi Phuntsok has worked for the Central Tibetan Administration — Tibet’s government-in-exile — since 2001, previously serving under its Department of Education, Department of Home and Center for Human Rights and Democracy before joining the Tibet Museum.
Phuntsok said it was important for people — even in Laramie — to understand the contentious and sometimes bloody reality of Chinese-occupied Tibet.
“Right now, the situation inside Tibet is very terrible,” Phuntsok said. “One hundred forty-seven Tibetans have selfimmolated against the Chinese repression (since 2009). As Tibetans-in-exile, it is our moral responsibility to let other people know what is really happening inside Tibet.”
The Tibet Museum — with the rest of the Central Tibetan Administration — is located inside the temple complex, which also serves as a residence for the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of and an important political figure for the Tibetan people.
Phuntsok’s talk, “Tibet: The Story and Struggle of a Nation,” will focus on Tibet’s tense political history with China, its government-in-exile, the diaspora of the Tibetan people across the globe and the future of Tibet.
Phuntsok said China is actively distorting the historical record of Tibet and the small nation’s relation to its more powerful neighbor.
“I just want to bring into light the history of Tibet,” he said.
The talk is part of a coordinated effort to expand and popularize the small but busy museum, said Nicole Crawford, curator of collections at the UW Art Museum and one of the event’s organizers.
“They get about 70,000 visitors and those include Tibetans, Indians and foreign visitors who come to Dharamsala,” Crawford said. “And they’re moving into a much larger space, so they’re looking to expand the story on the history and culture of Tibet.” Phuntsok’s talk is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. today in room 127 of the UW College of Business Building. The event is free to the public, and will be the last Center for Global Studies event of the semester.