By Kalsang Rinchen
Dharamsala, May 24 – The second Tibetan General Meeting concluded today with the participants reaching a consensus to appeal the Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama to assume a role of “ceremonial head of the state”.
The meeting also reached a consensus to formally request the Tibetan Nobel Laureate to endorse an amended Preamble and Article 1 of the Tibetan Charter if he turns down the request to hold a position of ceremonial head of state.
A 4-day meeting that was attended by 418 Tibetans from various parts of the world divided the participants into 10 committees that discussed the draft amendments to the Tibetan Charter concerning mainly with the political and administrative powers of the Dalai Lama who in March announced his decision to devolve his powers to an elected leadership.
Speaking at a press conference after the meeting that began Saturday, the Speaker of the Tibetan Assembly Penpa Tsering said that the Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama will be approached tomorrow with the proposed draft amendment to the charter and the proposed amended Preamble and Article 1 of the Tibetan Charter.
A final compiled report from the recommendations by the 10 committees will be presented to His Holiness the Dalai Lama during an audience tomorrow. The Tibetan leader is expected to address the delegates about his reactions to the meeting’s outcome.
“If His Holiness refuses to accept the appeal of the second Tibetan General Meeting then we will have to sit down and discuss ways to devolve the powers in Article 19 of the Charter to the three organs of democracy,” said Penpa.
The Tibetan legislators will meet for two days starting May 26 for a special session to discuss and evaluate the proposed amendments.
The Speaker also welcomed the next Tibetan Prime Minister and MPs elect of the 15th Tibetan Parliament and wished them well for the years ahead.
Meanwhile, the incumbent Tibetan Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche, who also headed the Charter Amendment Drafting Committee, said speaking in front of representatives from almost every part of the world where Tibetans live might be his last before he is succeeded by Harvard educated Lobsang Sangay. “I have travelled to almost every Tibetan settlement to express my gratitude to them for entrusting me with the responsibilities of a Kalon Tripa. And this might be my last presence as a Kalon Tripa at such a gathering, I take this opportunity to thank all the Tibetans on Kashag’s behalf.”
The meeting also was unanimous on not changing the name of the Tibetan government to "Tsenjol Bod Mei Zhung Gi Drik Tsuk (lit. Institution/Organization of the Government of Tibetan People in Exile)" as is suggested by the proposed amendments.