DHARAMSHALA, September 20: The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile today unanimously adopted a resolution to change the official title of the head of the Dharamshala based Central Tibetan Administration from “Kalon Tripa” to “Sikyong.”
Kalon Tripa, in English has been referred to as ‘Chief of Cabinet’ while the new title, Sikyong, translates to ‘Political Leader.’
However, the title ‘Kalon’ for the remaining members of the Kashag (Cabinet) will continue to remain same.
The Charter amendment bill number 39 was introduced by Kalon Dhongchung Ngodup of the Security Department, who read out from a recent speech given by Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Italy on his preference for the use of the title ‘Sikyong.’
He revealed on the floor of the house that strong sentiments for the title ‘Sikyong’ have also been expressed and shared by Tibetans inside Tibet.
Last year, during the public inauguration of the democratically elected leader of the Tibetan people, Dr Lobsang Sangay, the Dalai Lama had used the term Sikyong in his congratulatory speech.
“I took over the political leadership of Tibet from Sikyong Tagdrag Rinpoche when I was 16-years old. Today, in the 21st century, when democracy is thriving, I hand over the political leadership of Tibet to Sikyong Lobsang Sangay,” the Dalai Lama had said.
During the ensuing debate in the parliament, few lawmakers expressed concerns over the title change, inquiring whether or not it would invite unwanted repercussions and pressure on the existing Tibetan exile administration. Reservations were also raised on whether the title change would effect a departure from the present administrative role of the head of the cabinet.
However, a large majority of the Tibetan parliamentarians and Kalons, who took part in the debate and supported the Charter amendment bill, prominently cited from His Holiness’ speeches.
Discussions on the political, diplomatic, administrative, and historical need and repercussions of the title change remained minimal.
Few of the speakers also made strong requests to their colleagues in the house not to obstruct the bill and clear the path for its unanimous adoption considering it to be the Dalai Lama’s guidance.
The Charter amendment bill number 39 was unanimously adopted in the afternoon session on the 7th day of the ongoing 4th sitting of the 15th TPiE.
Speaker Penpa Tsering in his address thanked the parliamentarians for their cooperation and support in the unanimous adoption of the resolution and guided the Kashag to table all needed amendments in the Charter of the Tibetans-in-Exile following the title change.