Washington, D.C 11th November 2011
I am sending this circular concerning the changes in the Tibetan political governance and how these affect me and my work.
As you are aware, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, in his far-sighted wisdom, has undertaken yet another step in empowering the Tibetan people by his devolution of his political authority to the elected Tibetan leadership. This process is now complete with the relevant amendment of the Charter of Tibetans in Exile in May 2011, coming into session of a newly empowered Tibetan Parliament in June 2011, and the assumption of office by a newly empowered Kalon Tripa in August 2011.
In 1990 His Holiness the Dalai Lama had appointed me as Special Envoy to be based in Washington, D.C for broader international relations. Following the enactment of the Charter of the Tibetans in Exile in 1991 and my retirement from the civil service of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), I continued serving as the Special Envoy of H.H. the Dalai Lama. Since His Holiness was also the head of the Central Tibetan Administration until the recent changes, there was no conflict in my assisting in the work of the CTA or other concerned officials and organizations. In this regard, I have also worked with successive heads of the Office of Tibet in New York, whether it was taking up CTA issues with the United States Government or other work.
With the changes in the CTA’s structure, the Kashag informed me in May 2011 of its intention to appoint me to a position under it, as per the amended Charter’s provisions. I responded by reminding the Kashag that I had retired from the CTA civil service long time back and so the Charter provision did not apply to my position. It has been extraordinary privilege to have the opportunity to serve the Gaden Phodrang until the last moment of His Holiness’ direct political leadership.
Following the recent changes in the governance system, I have ceased any involvement with issues relating to the Central Tibetan Administration; be it at the broader level of taking them up with the U.S. or other governments, or minor issues like issuing letters of introduction. All such issues are being handled by the Office of Tibet in New York.
This, however, does not imply that I do not have any desire to assist in the work of the new Administration or that the new Kashag does not have any confidence in me. It is merely a reflection of the part of the process of clarifying the structure under the new system in place now. It goes without saying that I am fully committed to extend whatever support and counsel I can offer to the new Tibetan leadership. I have also had the opportunity to discuss this matter with the new Kalon Tripa, Dr. Lobsang Sangay.
I will be continuing in my present capacity as Special Envoy of H.H the Dalai Lama for some time for the dialogue process, including in leading our efforts in our talks with the Chinese leadership, with Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen. In this capacity, I will continue to be involved with governments, other organizations and individuals to help with the dialogue process.
The present tragic situation in Tibet and the most repressive policies of the Chinese authorities makes one wonder if it is even worth making any efforts for the dialogue. On the other hand the prevailing situation confronts every sensible person that the only way is through dialogue.