By Tenzin Dharpo
File picture shows Speaker Penpa Tsering of the 15th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile congratulating Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay in 2016. They were the final two candidates of the Sikyong election, May 27, 2016 File Photo:TibetNet/file
DHARAMSHALA, Dec. 7: Non-Profit organization Tibet Fund in a statement on Wednesday said that the 1.5 million USD provided by the organization for the purchase of the Office of Tibet property is a “loan” which however was “expected and hoped” to be forgiven in the future. “We are issuing the statement to clarify Tibet Fund’s position on the loan issue,” the statement read.
Tibet fund said they “entered into a $1,500,000 loan agreement with the Office of Tibet on March 31, 2014,” and that, “the loan was scheduled to be repaid in thirty years.” The organisation also mentioned that the agreement was “consistent with customary legal practice in New York.”
Tibet fund cited an official correspondence from the organization’s Chairman to the CTA (Central Tibetan Administration) dated July 6, 2017 stating, “At the time the loan was made, both the Board of Tibet Fund and the CTA hoped and expected that at some point the loan would be forgiven and the full amount would then be deemed outright grant from Tibet Fund to the CTA, although the specific timing of this grant was never discussed or agreed. It was certainly our hope that after some number of years and experience working together, the board would feel that the time right to confer the loan to a grant.”
However, the non-profit organization wrote that the conversion of the loan into an “outright grant” is condition upon the CTA honoring the terms and condition of the loan and where the relationship between CTA and Tibet is “one of mutual respect and support”.
On Dec. 5, former North America envoy Penpa Tsering said that the agreement between the two parties concerning the 1.5 million USD, a part sum used to purchase a 500 square feet office space for the OoT in Washington was not as per laws of the host nation. Penpa Tsering said that the act was in violation of the the article 6 of the Tibetan charter where compliance to the laws of the host nation is stressed. A copy of the “promissory note” between Tibet Fund and CTA was shared by Tsering to the media yesterday.
The acting-President Yuthok Karma Gelek today told Tibetan media that the Kashag maintains that the amount of 1.5 million USD is not a loan.
Tibet Fund is an organization that is reliant heavily on US government funding and is essentially a social service outfit based out of New York, US, that has been involved in uplifting various spheres of the exile Tibetan community in the Indian sub-continent and in the west.