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Tibetan Parliament to discuss proposed amendments to Dalai Lama’s power
Phayul[Wednesday, March 23, 2011 23:47]
By Phurbu Thinley

Dharamsala, March 23: Tibet’s Parliament in exile will hold far-reaching discussion to make all necessary amendments to The Charter of Tibetans in Exile that will formally legalise the Dalai Lama’s decision to pass on his political power to an elected leadership.

The Parliament on Monday constituted a high-level special committee headed by the Prime Minister Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche with the task to find ways to amend the Tibetan constitution to facilitate the smooth transition of Dalai Lama's political power to an elected leadership. Deputy Speaker Gyari Dolma and member of the parliament Mr Lhamo Kyab were the other members of the committee.

The committee was instructed by the parliament to submit a report on the matter by Wednesday.

Accordingly, the committee this afternoon tabled a comprehensive report in the parliament detailing all necessary amendments to several provisions in The charter of the Tibetans in Exile, which serves as the Constitution or the supreme law governing the functions of the exile Tibetan government, regarding the executive powers of the Dalai Lama.

The decision was made after the Dalai Lama, who is revered by Tibetans as their undisputed spiritual and temporal leader, rejected parliament’s plea to continue with his political role in the Tibetan Government-in-Exile. The Tibetan leader also made a public appeal on Saturday asking Tibetans both inside and outside of Tibet to accept his decision, insisting it was the best way forward for the Tibetan people to overcome fundamental challenges in the long run.

The Charter of the Tibetans-in-Exile adopted on June 14, 1991, portrays the exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama as both the head of the Tibetan nation and of the Central Tibetan Administration in exile.

Accordingly, in the charter the Dalai Lama is empowered with special executive powers, which among others, include authority to approve and promulgate bills and regulations, dissolve or suspend the Tibetan Assembly, dissolve the Kashag or remove a Kalon or Kalons, summon emergency and special meetings of major significance and authorize referendums in cases involving major issues in accordance with the Charter.

The report by the special committee includes suggestions, if accepted, would remove or amend several provisions in the charter which relates to the executive power of the Dalai Lama.

The report also, according to the direction of the Dalai Lama, suggested formally changing the "Ganden Phodrang" title of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile to “Central Tibetan Administration in Exile”, a move that will bring an end to the political role of the Institution of the Dalai Lama that dates back to 1642, when the Great 5th Dalai Lama assumed Tibet’s political leadership role.

In doing so, the report further suggests devolving much of the Dalai Lama’s powers to an elected prime minister (Kalon Tripa) of the exile government or, redistributing them among the prime minister, parliament's speaker and deputy speaker.

Addressing the parliament at the end of today's session, the speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile Mr Penpa Tsering announced that the last two remaining days of the ongoing session of the 14th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile would be devoted to discussing the matter and urged members of both the parliament and the cabinet to treat it with "utmost importance"

The Speaker also urged the members of the parliament to make earnest efforts to take the discussions on the matter to its logical conclusion before the session finally ends on Friday.
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