Press Release by North American Tibetan Associations
March 20th, 2019
On February 17th 2019, a Chinese government-supported parade was held in New York’s Chinatown as part of the Chinese Lunar New Year celebration. Participating in this parade was Dechen Tulku and a few other Tibetans, all of whom are US residents and Shugden devotees. They were seen waving the Chinese national flag and displaying a banner that read, ‘Tibetan Association of North America.’ Many may have seen the photos and videos of their participation that have since been circulated online.
You may also be aware of the fact that back in April 2017, a similar incident involving Dechen Tulku had taken place during the meeting between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping in Florida. In this case, under the guise of being representatives of the North American Tibetan Association (NATA), Dechen Tulku and a few other Tibetans had gone to Florida to greet Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Against this backdrop, Tibetans living in North America have expressed deep concern over the attempts by Dechen Tulku and others to falsely represent NATA. It is possible that Tibetans, Tibet supporters and the general audience may become confused and unable to distinguish between the real NATA and its imposters.
The truth of the matter is that under the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), there are now 33 Tibetan associations of varying sizes established in North America – many of which are 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations registered under the US law. These Associations, collectively known as “NATA”, are the sole legitimate and rightful representatives of all Tibetans living across North America.
Shugden followers such as Dechen Tulku frequently visit China without any issues as they have connections with the New York Chinese consulate. These people are not the elected representatives of North America-based Tibetans. As such, any future activity that they carry out in the name of NATA will be firmly rejected by all 33 North American Tibetan associations.