The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) is holding the fifth annual Light of Truth Essay Contest (LTEC) in 2006. 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. Winning essays will be posted on ICT’s website (www. and printed in full or excerpted form in some Tibet-related journals.


The Tibetan Plateau is rich in natural resources, including wildlife, and is the source of the major rivers in Asia. Tibet provides water resources to a major portion of the world’s population. Based on this situation, what impact can Tibetan natural resources have in the social and economic development in Tibet and in the world? Within the reality and limitations of the current Chinese government regulations, what can Tibetans do to protect the water resources, wildlife (including the prevention of illegal trade), and other natural resources of Tibet?

Judges: This year’s distinguished judges are as follows:

  • Mrs. Pema D. Gorap, Journalist at VOA, USA
  • Dr. Thupten Jinpa, Scholar, Canada,
  • Mr. Tashi Phuntsok, head of Tibetan Homes Foundation, Mussoorie, India
  • Mr. Lobsang Shastri, Chief Librarian of Manuscript Department at Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, Dharamsala, India.
  • Prizes: First prize: $1,000. Second prize: $500. Third prize: $250 (all awards in USD).

Eligibility: Open to Tibetans from any country.

Guidelines: Essays are accepted in Tibetan or English. Essays can be submitted by e-mail, fax or by post, but our preference is via email. Electronic submission of Tibetan essays must be in TCRC Bod-Yig font. The length restrictions are as follows: English – 1500 words, Tibetan – 3000 words. These are strict word limits. Essays over these limits will not be considered. Applicants must include the following data for verification and eligibility purposes: full name, mailing address, e-mail (if available), phone (important), occupation, age, and birthplace. The information is needed only for our record and will not be forwarded to the judges.

Due Date: Tuesday, May 16, 2006 by midnight (Eastern Standard Time). Winners will be announced on Thursday, July 6, 2006.

Mr. Rinchen Tashi
Light of Truth Essay Contest Coordinator
International Campaign for Tibet
1825 Jefferson Place, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Fax: 202-785-4343
email: [email protected]

For additional information please contact us at [email protected].

Biographies of the Judges

Pema Dechen Gorap

Pema Dechen Gorap was born in Tibet, raised and educated in India and served the Tibetan community in India for 23 years from 1973 to 1996 in the following capacities: Started teaching career as a teacher at Tibetan Homes Foundation and later as a Senior School teacher at TCV, Dharamsala for over ten years. She was an active member of the Tibetan Youth Congress in its formative years in the early 1970’s in Bangalore and Mussoorie. She served on the board of the Tibetan Women’s Association for two terms as Vice President and Acting President.

She was elected to the Tibetan Parliament in 1991 and served for a term. She alsoserved as the General Secretary / Director, Tibetan Homes Foundation, Mussoorie – appointed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. After immigrating to the US in late 1996:she served as the President of Tibetan Association of Colorado, the Executive Director of Colorado Friends of Tibet, and as the President of the Capital Area Tibetan Association.

Currently, she is a Broadcaster and Reporter at the Voice of America, Tibetan Service. She has traveled extensively to Europe and the US and attended international conferences on Tibet as well as appeared on TV and radio shows to talk about Tibet.

Thupten Jinpa

Thupten Jinpa was educated in the classical Tibetan monastic academia and received the highest academic degree of Geshe Lharam (equivalent to a doctorate in divinity). He also holds a BA in philosophy and a Ph.D. in religious studies, both from the University of Cambridge, U.K, where he also worked as a research fellow. Since 1985, he has been the principal translator to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, accompanying him to the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand. He has translated and edited many books by the Dalai Lama, including the New York Time’s bestseller Ethics for the New Millennium, The Universe in a Single Atom: Convergence of Science and Spirituality, and Transforming the Mind.

His published works include also scholarly articles on various aspects of Tibetan culture, Buddhism and philosophy, including the entries on Tibetan philosophy for Routledge Encyclopedia of Asian Philosophy, Songs of Spiritual Experience: Tibetan Poems of Awakening and Insight (co-authored) and Self, Reality and Reason in Tibetan Philosophy. He is currently the president of the Institute of Tibetan Classics, a non-profit educational organization dedicated to editing and translating key classical Tibetan texts into contemporary languages, and the editor-in-chief for the Institute’s The Library Of Tibetan Classics. He also teaches as an adjunct professor at McGill University, Montreal, and sits on the advisory board of numerous cultural and educational organizations as well their scholarly publications.

Tashi Phuntsok

Tashi Phuntsok was born in 1958 in Tibet. He studied first in Central School for Tibetans Panchmarhi and later finished from CST, Mussoorie, in 1973. He did BA (Hons), B.Ed and later LLB; Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy. He taught in CST, Kollegal, for six years and was a full time Central Executive member of the Tibetan Youth Congress from 1986 to 92. He headed the Africa and Middle Office in Dharamsala from 1993 to 97 and was the Representative of HH the Dalai Lama in Pretoria, South Africa, from 1997 to 2001. He was the Representative of HH the Dalai Lama in Paris, from 2001 to 2005. Since December 2005 he has been serving as the General Secretary of Tibetan Homes Foundation, Mussoorie, India.

He has widely traveled in India, the Middle East, Africa and Europe and has participated in numerous international seminars and conferences.

Lobsang Shastri

Lobsang Shastri was born in Ngari, Rutok, Tibet, on July 6, 1958. He completed his high school from Central School for Tibetans in Darjeeling in 1977. In 1985 he graduated with Shastri degree from the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, Sarnath, India. In 1985 he joined the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives becoming the Chief Librarian in the Manuscript Department in 1988. He has presented papers on different aspects of Tibetan life at many international conferences on Tibetan studies. He also served as an advisory board member of the International Association of Tibetan Studies. In 1995 he was elected as a member of the Tibetan Parliament and is currently serving his second term. He has served on the board of the Tibetan Youth Congress while in Darjeeling and also of the Ngari Welfare Association.