NDPT President Chime Yungdrung, TPIE Deputy Speaker Gyari Dolma and TYC President Tsewang Rinzin at the opening function. (phayul photo/Sept 24/08)
Dharamshala, September 24 - The fifth general body meeting of the National Democratic Party of Tibet began here today at the Toepa Community hall. Presiding over the modest function was Ms. Gyari Dolma, the Deputy Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile. She categorically stated that her presence at the gathering was not official but on a personal capacity.
About a hundred people gathered for the opening ceremony including representatives from various Non Governmental Organizations of the Tibetan Community. Chime Yungdrung, the president of the NDPT told the gathering that the three-day meeting will discuss various Tibet related issues, Kalon Tripa's election related campaigns, and the organization's future activities. The meeting will also hold the election for the new executive members of the NDPT.
Addressing the Gathering, Ms Gyari Dolma said that the 'special meeting' in November which the NDPT will attend as a Tibetan NGO should represent the opinions of the general public. Though the meeting is held in exile, she said that the 'special meeting' is equally a platform for the Tibetans inside Tibet and that efforts should be made to bring out the views and opinions of the people inside Tibet, and present it during the 'special meeting' in November.
The first women to become the exile Tibetan parliament's Deputy Speaker also said that the issue of Tibet has reached a critical period and that it is a high time the Tibetans acted to bring a lasting solution to the Tibet issue.
Also present at the gathering was the President of the Tibetan Youth Congress Tsewang Rinzin who said that his organization and the NDPT shares a mother and son relationship as NDPT was born on September 2, 1994 as result of a TYC's Annual Working Committee meeting. Rinzin said that every Tibetan must work towards fulfilling the wishes of the Dalai Lama to democratize the Tibetan communities.
NDPT is the first Tibetan political party but is yet to fight election as multi-party system does not exist in the Tibetan community. The Tibetan parliament in exile comprises of 46 seats, 10 each from the three traditional provinces, 2 each from 5 religious traditions, 1 from North America, 2 from Europe, and 3 directly appointed by the Dalai Lama. However, the current Parliament has 43 members as the Dalai Lama did not appoint anyone for the 14th Parliament.