The International Campaign for Tibet’s fourth annual Light of Truth Essay Competition (LTEC) in 2005, announced on February 1, 2005, will address the issue of laws and regulations governing various parts of Tibetan territory. The contest seeks to recognize talented Tibetans and to foster debate as well as articulate innovative and practical solutions to pressing issues facing the Tibetan people.

The topic for this year’s contest is:

The counties, prefectures and the autonomous region in which Tibetans reside in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) have adopted a variety of laws, regulations and policies relating to religion, language, education, culture, economy, etc. In addition, there are national laws governing these areas. This system, governed by the Communist Party’s policies on minorities and autonomy, has created a patchwork of regulations and policies.

How have the Tibetans been impacted by being administratively divided? How a particular area has been affected by a certain local regulations and policies? Why regulations and policies are different in different areas? What steps could be taken to make regulations and policies more uniform? How local areas have achieved some autonomy or had their autonomy undermined by local regulations and policies?

“Even as the Dalai Lama tries to find a lasting political solution to the issue of Tibet, we feel that the Tibetan people, as stakeholders in the preservation and promotion of their culture and tradition, need to have a better understanding of the different Chinese regulations governing their life currently,” said Bhuchung Tsering, Director of the International Campaign for Tibet.

“We hope that the contest will put the spotlight on the viability of Chinese rules relating to Tibetan culture and challenge their implementation,” Tsering added.

Since its inception, the essay contest has generated strong response from the Tibetan community and despite practical and political problems Tibetans inside Tibet have also provided feedback on some of the past topics.

The judges for this year’s contest are Dagyab Rinpoche, eminent lama and scholar residing in Germany; Dr. Yeshi Choedon, Associate Professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India; Mr. Thubten Samphel, Secretary, Department of Information & International Relations, Dharamsala, India; and Mr. Jampa Samten, Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, Sarnath, India.

Winning essays will be posted on ICT’s website (www.savetibet.org) and printed in full or excerpted form in the Tibet Press Watch and some Tibet-related journals. You can find the Tibetan version of this press release and the announcement on our website. For further details on the contest please email essaycontest@savetibet.org , visit the LTEC Guidlines page, or call us at (202) 785 1515.