By Phurbu Thinley
Copy of the Election Commission's letter
Dharamsala August 10: The office of the Tibetan Election Commission on Tuesday sent a letter to the South Zone Office in the Indian city of Bangalore asking the regional office to keep the voter registration process open until the official deadline of August 18.
The letter was sent in the wake of a report
carried by Phayul
that brought to public attention the untimely wrap up of voter registration process by the regional office.
The South Zone Office of Bangalore, in the Indian state of Karnataka, stopped registering potential Tibetan voters last week after it set its own scheduled deadline of August 7. This was after further extending an initially set deadline of August 5.
In the letter, a copy of which was received by Phayul
, the Chief Election Commissioner Mr Jamphel Chosang has now instructed the regional office to continue registering voters till August 18, and to ensure that the list of registered voters reaches the EC office by August 25.
Chief Representative of the South Zone Office, Mr Tashi Phuntsok, says his office had done so after issuing a notice well in advance, informing Tibetans in the city as well as settlements under its purview about its scheduled deadlines.
Addressing a press conference in Dharamsala on June 10
, the Tibetan Election Commission had announced that the registration of Tibetan exile voters would start on June 18 and will close on August 18, 2010. At the time Mr Chosang did not specify if the registration deadlines would differ for different regions.
Earlier this week, when contacted by Phayul
for clarification, Mr Chosang said same rules and deadlines applied for different regions, irrespective of geographies.
However, in the letter, the EC has stopped short of admitting that the South Zone Office had, by setting an early deadline, departed from the prescribed official rule.
In the letter, Mr Chosang has in fact commended the "good work" done by the regional office thus far. He also said his office had already made needed "clarifications" that the South Zone Office had "made no mistake" in handling the voter registration process.
Mr Chosang has further expressed "acknowledgment" in the letter, saying "lack of sufficient attention" on the part of Tibetans themselves were to be blamed for failing to register by the scheduled deadlines announced by the regional office.