By Tenzin Dharpo
Tibetan Parliamentary delegation at the Thank you Canada event in Ottawa on June 12, 2018. MP Yarphel standing 3rd from left, photo- tibet.net
DHARAMSHALA, June 15: A four-member delegation from the Tibetan parliament in exile, currently on an official visit to Canada to attend official programs has been met with appeals from Tibetan organisations and WeChat groups to remove MP Tenpa Yarphel form the visiting delegation.
The delegation which participated in the ‘Thank you Canada’ event and testified before the Canadian Parliament’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development at Ottawa earlier this week, is also scheduled to tour Montreal and Toronto till 17 June. The parliamentary delegation is comprised of Dhondup Tashi Tsaneytsang, Tenpa Yarphel, Migyur Dorjee and Namgyal Dolkar Lhagyari.
Two prominent Tibetan organisations, grassroots community group ‘The Canadian Tibetan Association of Canada’ and ‘Tibetan Canadian Cultural Centre’ have written to the Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament appealing to remove Yarphel from the delegation citing his “blasphemous” statement during the 4th session of the 16th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile.
The Canadian Tibetan Association of Canada (CTAC) in a letter to the Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament dated June 6, stated that MP Yarphel’s statement is guilty of disrespecting and humiliating the state oracle Nechung as well as causing unnecessary friction and upheaval in the Tibetan community. The association said that that many members have verbally as well as in written form called for the removal of the sitting MP from the visiting delegation, and that they cannot take the responsibility of the success or the safety during the proceedings.
The Parliamentary Secretariat in response on the same date wrote back to the two Canada based Tibetan associations saying that they could not make changes to an official schedule that had been planned months in advance. The letter also stated that MP Tenpa Yarphel’s statement in question has been retracted by him and the matter deemed resolved by the Speaker in the concluding remarks of the session that was convened in 2017.
On March 17, around 70 people by the name of “Truth Seeking Volunteers” from various parts of India and US demanded impeachment of Member of Parliament Tenpa Yarphel on “legal, ethical and moral” grounds following his statement in the house.
The Tibetan parliamentary delegation unmoved by the development called on MP Dave Vankesteren and met with MP Garnett Genuis, Co-Chair of Parliamentary Friends of Tibet Canada and member of Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development on Tuesday and is scheduled to visit Toronto on Saturday where there is the largest concentration of Tibetans in Canada.
Sources also said that the MPs might have to face protests in Toronto, adding that “Tsadhonling” WeChat group, which had earlier led protests in Dharamsala against the Kashag’s decision to sack Penpa Tsering, have arranged two buses to Toronto for protestors from New York.