The Danish Centre for Conflict Resolution have experience in establishing national centres for conflict resolution. From 1999 to 2003 we worked in the Tibetan exile community in Dharamsala, in Northern India, assisting the establishment of the Tibetan Centre for Conflict Resolution. This article explain the background for the project and the lessons learned.
“His Holiness Dalai Lama asks me to thank you for your letter of support for the Tibetan Centre for Conflict Resolution. I drew His Holiness’ attention to the conversation we had in my office March 20th 2003. His Holiness was impressed with the results obtained by the members of TCCR during the past two years. He deeply appreciates the considerable effort you (Else Hammerich, ed) and Mister Bjarne Vestergaard have provided to make the establishment of the Tibetan Centre for Conflict Resolution possible”.
This is an extract of the letter H.H. Dalai Lama sent in May 2003 concerning the Tibetan Centre for Conflict Resolution (TCCR). The TCCR became a reality based on one of the projects of the Danish Centre for Conflict Resolution. The project is now completed, and that the TCCR is already becoming well-established in the Tibetan exile community is indicated in the extract quoted above.
The goals of the project were:
- To educate Tibetan trainers, who represent different sectors of the society. These trainers would acquire competences in teaching democratic processes: co-operation, conflict management, mediation and negotiation.
- To support these trainers in the establishment of a Tibetan centre for conflict resolution – an NGO.
- To prepare pilot projects and teaching programmes for specific sectors in society (e.g. schools, workplaces, NGOs, monasteries, settlements).
- To develop and produce a manual, which integrates the theory of conflict resolution with a Buddhist understanding and which would be published in Tibetan.
These goals have all been met: A group of Tibetan trainers have been trained, and they are competent conflict workers. This involves broadly:
- To teach and train conflict handling via workshops, seminars and longer courses
- To lead negotiations
- To counsel people who are experiencing conflicts and/or collaborative problems
- To mediate between parties in a conflict
- To facilitate public meetings concerning problems in society
- To train groups and workplaces in democratic co-operational processes and hereby contribute to the creation of conflict handling environments in society
The Tibetan trainers have established Tibetan Centre for Conflict Resolution (TCCR). In the first two years of its life span the centre was attached to the Home Department of the Tibetan government in-exile. TCCR is now established as an independent NGO and well established in the Tibetan exile community.
A conflict resolution manual and a manual on adult education has been published in Tibetan and English. The manuals, “Meeting Conflicts Mindfully” and “Mindful Adult Education, theory and practical suggestions” can be downloaded on this page.
TCCR wants to reach all Tibetan settlements in India, to train contact groups in every settlement, so that conflict-handling networks can be formed. The two articles “Empowerment of Exiled-Tibetan Youth in the fires of modernity” and “Intercultural Workshop on Conflict Transformation exploring non-violence with members of Indian and Tibetan communities in north and south India” are written in 2008 and describe the status of TCCR and their work as well as the historical., economic and religious background of the Exiled-Tibetans in India.
Both articles can be downloaded on this page.
Rapport_Projektbeskrivelse_Dharamsala_1999 (In Danish)
Rapport_Evaluering_Dhraramsala_2005 (In Danish)