The 5th International PEN Tibet Congress held its inaugural function this morning in Dharamsala. The chief guests at the function were Tashi Tsering, Director of Amnye Machen Research Center, and Thupten Samphel, Director of the Central Tibetan Administration’s Tibet Policy Institute. Tashi Tsering, addressed the gathering by highlighting the challenges and difficulties faced by lay authors in the early days of the Tibetan exile community and the various pressures from the exile government on writers. He held up some books which he said were nearly banned in the exile community as evidences of the problems faced by authors and writers. Tsering urged PEN members to distinguish themselves by researching the work and conditions of authors and writers inside Tibet. Thupten Samphel reminded the young writers at the conference of the saying, “The pen is mightier than the sword” and urged them to make writing an integral part of the non-violent struggle for Tibet. After the inauguration, the congress held its main debate session with invited speakers, and it will elect new executive members on Tuesday.