Statement of the IATS

The IATS has recently been notified about accusations of sexual abuse of young students, Tibetans and others. The president and members of the advisory board are deeply concerned about these accusations. We strongly oppose any and all types of sexual abuse and harassment within our field of Tibetan Studies. We highly respect those vulnerable students who seek justice for speaking out about their experience of predatory sexual behaviour. They have our heartfelt sympathies, and it is our sincere hope that they will achieve the justice and healing they need, although we know that this will be difficult. As an organization that only holds a meeting every three years, IATS is not, however, a judicial body nor an employer and does not have the capacity nor the legal charge or basis to take a stance in individual cases about which individual members are aware. It is our sincere hope that all such allegations will be brought for a thorough investigation and to justice. We profoundly regret the pain suffered by victims of sexual abuse, wherever and whenever it occurs. We unanimously expect all members of IATS to behave according to international standards that unambiguously condemn sexual harassment and abuse of any kind. We call upon all relevant funding bodies to investigate the way they finance and monitor aid programs involving vulnerable persons engaged in Tibetan Studies.


Hanna Havnevik (Oslo University, Norway), President of the IATS

Françoise Robin (Inalco, France), General Secretary of the IATS

The Advisory Board of the IATS:

Daniel Berounsky (Charles University, Czech Republic)

Hildegard Diemberger (Cambridge University, UK)

Lauran Hartley (C.V. Starr East Asian Library, Columbia University Libraries, USA)

Lama Jabb (University of Oxford, UK)

Matthew Kapstein (emeritus, École Pratique des Hautes Études, France)

Geoffrey Samuel (emeritus, Cardiff University, UK)

Tsuguhito Takeuchi (Kobe City University of Foreign Studies, Japan)

Tashi Tsering (AMI, India)

Tsering Thar (emeritus, Central University for Nationalities, China)

Dorji Wangchuk (Hamburg University, Germany)

Past IATS presidents:

Samten Karmay (emeritus, CNRS, France)

Janet Gyatso (Harvard University, USA)

Charles Ramble (École Pratique des Hautes Études, France)

Tsering Shakya (University of British Columbia, Canada)