In a rare gesture in the 40-year-long history, leaders of the Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) - the largest pro-independence group in-exile - has apologised to the spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, for the mistakes they had made in the past.
With this sudden change in the stance on policies advocated by the Dalai Lama, the TYC has hinted to re-evaluate the stand of the orgnisation on various prominent issues, including future activities.
The TYC is holding its 15th general body meeting that started in Dharamsala on Sunday.
Over 130 delegates representing more than 40 regional chapters from the Indian subcontinent, the US and Canada are taking part in the highest decision-making body of the organisation, which meets every three years.
In his inaugural address, TYC president Tsewang Rigzin expressed the organisation's profound gratitude to the Dalai Lama for his tireless efforts in leading the Tibetans.
Calling the Dalai Lama the “strength behind the Tibetan people's unity and the life vein of Tibet's courage,” Rigzin clarified that TYC would never intentionally do anything directly, indirectly or otherwise to upset the spiritual leader.
“TYC as an organisation has never intentionally slandered or belittled His Holiness and the Tibetan administration in -exile,” Rigzin said.
“If unknowingly, TYC made any mistake by going against His Holiness, caused even the slightest of offense and slander or belittled him, through this meeting, we apologise from depth of our heart,” he added.
The TYC leader also promised to follow the Dalai Lama's guidance, co-operate with and support the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA).
Paying tributes to those who have lost their lives protesting Chinese repression, Rigzin said the courage and strength of the martyrs and those suffering under the repressive rule had shown would be the basic route of the Tibetan struggle.
The TYC apology came after the Dalai Lama's recent remarks concerning the organisation and the demand for complete independence, following which a handful of regional chapters had made calls for a change in the position of TYC from independence to seeking genuine autonomy.
However, sources said a resolution reinstating TYC's goal for complete independence of Tibet was adopted on a majority vote. In the next five days, the meeting will discuss issues related to the organisation's working objectives, and its future plans and programmes.
Special discussions will also be held on the critical situation in Tibet and aspirations of over 100 Tibetans, who have self-immolated protesting against the release of 11th Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and measures to counter and prevent threats to the security of the Dalai Lama.