New Delhi: Student representatives from Stellenbosch University (SU) in South Africa had an audience with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama in McLeod Ganj, Upper Dharamshala as a precursor to the upcoming SU SRC Human Rights conference which takes place in Stellenbosch in South Africa, from 21 – 23 March 2008.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Christian Rode, Brandon Como, Conrad Kassier and WJ le Roux
The official delegation consists of Brandon Como, SRC member: student development; WJ le Roux, SRC chairman and Christian Rode, student development portfolio committee member and Conrad Kassier, who serves on the SRC Student Development Portfolio committee.
During the meeting, probable solutions for the challenging circumstances which South Africa and Tibet share were explored. The role of youth in creating a more just, equitable and compassionate society were a point of focus.
His Holiness stressed the importance of non-violent engagement between opponents, whether they compete socially, politically or commercially.
The delegation was especially interested in establishing an understanding of the relationship that may exist between the political agenda of leaders and their duty to preserve and promote basic human rights. Various situations were discussed and options explored. Video footage of the audience will be aired at the Human Rights Conference.
On behalf of the acting Rector and Vice-Chancellor of SU, the delegation has formally invited His Holiness the Dalai Lama to include Stellenbosch University in his itinerary while visiting South Africa.
A meeting was also held with Tibet’s minister of Information and International Relations, Kesang Takla. Prevailing education systems in the two countries were looked at and during a dinner hosted by Sonam Dagpo, secretary of department of Information and International Relations, the role that could be taken up by sensible, dynamic and brave young people was discussed at length.
In India from 10 to 17 February, the delegation aims to highlight the youth’s role in ensuring that Human Rights are afforded to every human being. This theme complements SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor Prof. Russell Botman’s vision of SU being a beacon of hope for Africa and its people, and shows students’ commitment to this cause.