Tibetan parliamentarians and ministers observe a minute's silence in honour of Tibetans who have sacrificed their lives for the cause of Tibet on the first day of the fifth session of the 15th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile in Dharamshala on March 18, 2013.
DHARAMSHALA, March 18: The annual budget session of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile is underway in the Tibetan exile headquarters of Dharamshala.
On the first day of the session, Tibetan parliamentarians deliberated on the ongoing crisis inside Tibet and passed a resolution expressing solidarity with Tibetans who have self-immolated for the cause of Tibet.
In his opening speech, Speaker Penpa Tsering noted that Tibet continues to remain critical and blamed China for exacerbating the situation there.
“Since the last Parliamentary meeting in September 2012, 59 more Tibetans have set themselves on fire out of which 49 have passed away. In November alone, 28 Tibetans self-immolated,” Speaker Tsering said.
“Instead of reviewing their wrong policies and investigating the true causes of the crisis inside Tibet, the Chinese government has deployed more numbers of armed forces and security personnel and placed more restrictions in Tibet.”
While stressing on the exile Tibetan leadership’s successful attempts at convincing the international community on the root causes of the self-immolations being China’s repressive policies, the Speaker said much more international outreach is desired.
“We carry the sufferings and sacrifices of Tibetans inside Tibet in our hearts and we vow to amplify our efforts in urging the international community to take action,” he said.
The Speaker took note of the statements and resolutions expressing concern over the situation in Tibet and urging China to begin genuine negotiations with Tibetan representatives, passed by multiple governments and parliaments from around the world. He further acknowledged the support and hardwork put in by all the Tibet Support Groups over the years.
Speaker Tsering, while expressing deep concern over China’s lack of willingness to review their failed policies in Tibet, noted that the ongoing wave of self-immolations show no signs of easing unless the Chinese leadership brings positive changes in Tibet.
He further expressed hope that China under its new leader President Xi Jinping will desist from ignoring the real situation in Tibet and respond positively to the sincere overtures made by the Tibetan leadership towards resolving the issue of Tibet through dialogue.
On the first day, the House also expressed condolences over the passing away of former officials of the Central Tibetan Administration, including Kalon Trisur Juchen Thubten Namgyal, Kalon Trisur Sonam Topgyal, Kasur Alak Jigme Rinpoche, Jampa Kalden, former Secretary of Security Department and Ven. Tarha Tenzin Choenyi, former Secretary to His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
During the 11-day session, the 15th Tibetan Parliament in its 5th sitting will review and approve the annual budget of CTA for the fiscal year 2013-14.