By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, Sept. 30: The elected representatives of the 17th Tibetan Parliament in Exile have approached His Holiness the Dalai Lama for direction, after the two-and-a-half-day internal meeting at Dharamshala held since Monday failed to gather consensus to resolve the ongoing parliamentary deadlock.
According to a credible source who wishes to remain anonymous, the representatives discussed on various possible solutions to resolve the matter but could not secure majority for any of the solutions. At the end, the elected representatives voted through a secret ballot and reached a consensus to approach the octogenarian Tibetan leader and ask for forgiveness as well as appeal for direction on the matter.
The spokesperson from the two oath-taking sides, elected representatives Khenpo Sonam Tenphel and Dolma Tsering, along with Pro-tem Speaker Dawa Tsering visited the Dalai Lama’s private office on Wednesday afternoon and submitted a letter of appeal.
Since the internal meeting began on Monday, the members of the media were not given any details of the meeting or any collective statement despite repeated request for updates of the discussions.
The meeting convened by the five MPs from abroad was participated by 44 members, barring Australasia elected representative Tenzin Phuntsok Doring, due to the country’s Covid-19 restrictions. Sources say that expenses for travel and accommodation arrangements are being borne by the participants themselves.
The impasse that has dragged on for almost four months has been noticed by international community including the US government as well as New Delhi among others. Last month, in a letter addressed to TPiE Secretary Tsewang Ngodup, the US Department of State’s Acting Secretary of State Lisa Peterson wrote, “We note there has been a long delay in swearing in the new members of the Parliament. The September session is eminent and there is much to do in very little time.
“Disputes over parliamentary procedures which are not resolved in timely manner and in accordance with the rule of law risk undermining the confidence placed by the Tibetan diaspora and the international community in the CTA and TPiE. We urge the elected members to move past their differences and turn to the pressing matters that need their attention”.
The 17th Tibetan parliament is yet to appoint the new Speaker, and approve the Kalons or the ministers of the respective departments under CTA. The ongoing parliamentary deadlock stemmed from two oath-taking ceremonies on June 8, as 21 MPs took oath from the Pro-tem Speaker Dawa Tsering as mandated by the Charter, whereas 22 MPs took oath in front of His Holiness’ portrait and the Charter.