By Tenzin Sangmo
The 7th session of the 16th Tibetan parliament-in-exile commences, Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
DHARAMSHALA, March 19: The 7th session of the 16th Tibetan parliament-in-exile commenced this morning here at the Ghangchen Kyishong, the premises of the Central Tibetan Administration. The 10-day session that will go on till 29 March will see discussions and approval for the Central Tibetan Administration’s (CTA) annual budget for 2019-2020.
The Speaker of the house, Pema Jugney who took over on December 1, 2018, after Khenpo Sonam Tenphel on a tenure-sharing basis briefed the session about the activities carried out by the legislators in the 6 months’ period since the last session.
“Since we were all elected and entrusted with the hope and trust by the Tibetan public, one of our main responsibilities is to meet their expectation and not disappoint them,” he said.
In the opening address, Jugney said the topic of discussion must serve the interest of the Tibetan people and nation. “The quality of the session rests on the shoulders of each one of us and If possible, we should set an example not only for the public but for other democracies of the world.”
The session mourned the passing of the Nyingma head the 7th Kathok Getse Rinpoche, self-immolator Dhopo, and Kasur Lodi Gyari Rinpoche, former Parliamentarian Ngari Trunglo Dakpa Namgyal, the former Indian Defence Minister Sh. George Fernandes and former US President G.W Bush Senior. The deceased were remembered and prayed for.
To the grave situation in Tibet, following seven areas of discussion for official solidarity was tabled in the house:
1. After 70 years of repression of Communist Party of China (CPC), we pay homage to the courage and altruism of the sacrifices made by thousands of Tibetans for Tibet, Buddha Dharma and the Tibetan race, and demand the release of the 11th Panchen Lama and other political prisoners and hold PRC responsible for their lives and will put pressure on China to allow Tibetans to practice their fundamental human rights.
2. To clearly state to the PRC that instead of preparing the ground for dialogue along the lines of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s broad-minded, mutually beneficial Middle Way Approach, and by hurting the sentiments of Tibetans in the name of one China, the real separatist is the Chinese authorities in Tibet.
3. Even if the PRC has brought about ostentatious economic development in Tibet to an extent, their main objective is to facilitate the settlement of the Chinese population being transferred into Tibet. The Chinese authorities in Tibet will be told that it doesn’t serve to even marginally compensate for the acute violation of Tibetans basic human rights, right to practice religion, obliteration of Tibetan language, destruction of the natural environment, violent repression and murder of generations of Tibetan people.
4. To remind the PRC leaders to not keep passing blames and to instead have the confidence to allow international journalists and researchers to ascertain the emergency situation in Tibet and the depth of Tibetans people’s devotion and love for His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
5. To thank the government and people of India from the bottom of our hearts for the unbounded kindness it extended to the Tibetan refugees for the last sixty years and to thank the international governments, parliaments, NGOs, local people and individuals, especially to the countries that passed Tibet related laws and resolutions and for their support and participation in the struggle.
6. PRC has not only occupied Tibet but other minority races of which it is currently enforcing severe restrictions in East Turkestan. The Tibetan parliament-in-exile extends its solidarity and asks for the termination of the oppression.
7. The Tibetans in Tibet who have seen torture and oppression in the last 70 years, have maintained the characteristic Tibetan courage, conviction and pride which should be taken as an example and when we should get the opportunity to be reunited, we should pay tribute to that and we shall promise to never create grounds for them to feel disappointed or to lose their will.
The session also saw the representatives of United Tibetan Community distributing a written appeal to everyone concerned to find a resolution in the Yongling School ownership case that remains pending despite the rulings of Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission and the Kangra District court in favour of transferring the school’s ownership to the Department of Education of CTA.