14th ATPD in session. (Photo: Sangjey Kep/Tibet.Net)
Dharamshala September 8 – The sixth session of the 14th Assembly of the Tibetan People’s Deputies commenced today. The session will run until 16 September.
Today’s morning session saw the passage of 2 resolutions. The first resolution was to mourn the death of Tibetan brethrens under Chinese crackdown following the March protests in Tibet. The resolution also called to pray for the victims of the Chinese brutality since March and express solidarity with the families of the victims. The second resolution was to mourn the sad demise of a former member of the Tibetan Parliament Yungdrung Namgyal Gyaltsen on June 18, 2008 at age 76.
In his inaugural address, the chairman of the Assembly Karma Choephel said that the sixth session shall discuss various administrative issues with emphasis on the recent situation of urgency in Tibet.
At the session the Chairman also announced the nominees for the caretaker Chairperson for the current session in the absence of both Chairman and his deputy. The nominees are Deputy Juchen Kunchok Chodon, Deputy Karma Sherab Tharchin, and Deputy Phelgay Dolma Tsomo.
The handover of the Assembly’s Chairmanship to Deputy Pempa Tsering remains a major expectation from this session in the Tibetan political circles. However, the transfer of Chairmanship seems an unlikely agenda for this session. On May 31, 2006, the Assembly’s 43 votes for Chairman’s election went into two halves with 1 abstention and 21 votes each in favor of Deputy Pempa Tsering and Deputy Karma Choephel leaving the Chairmanship to be shared between the two. The 14th Assembly saw the first Chairperson in the Tibetan Assembly’s history with no majority. It was decided that Deputy Pempa Tsering and Deputy Karma Choephel would hold the Chairman’s office for two and half years each. The Assembly meets for 10 sessions in its five-year term. Deputy Karma Choephel’s tenure of two and half years has not ended, interestingly his Chairmanship is in its sixth session. Sources in the exile Tibetan government however say that the handover will take place at the end of this year.Click here for the opening speech of the Chairman.