By Tenzin Monlam
DHARAMSHALA, March 23: A Tibetan living in Switzerland has been elected a member of Cantonal Council from Wil, St. Gallen, Zurich. St. Gallen is one of the 20 Cantons of the Swiss Confederation with each Canton having its own local parliament.
Jigme Shitsetsang, 45, told Phayul that he feels proud to be the only member representing Tibet this time in the local parliament of a Canton, which has had a Tibetan member only twice so far in over 50 years since the Tibetans migrated to Switzerland.
“It shows that Tibetans wherever we live, we have the potential and we are able to reach such a position, from which we will be able open different doors to raise the issue of Tibet. Now, it will be easier to bring up the issue of Tibet without much hassle,” Jigme answered when asked what message his appointment as member of Cantonal Council sends to China.
Born in 1964 to a Tibetan family settled in Switzerland, he feels that it is equally important to take the responsibility of the society he lives in and learn how democracy of that country works. He stated that the experience could be brought into the Tibetan society when working for the Tibetan cause.
“Being a member itself brings the topic of Tibet in the house. Moreover, I have another stage and platform to talk about Tibet in many ways and also once you know the people, we can work with better conditions,” said Jigme.
Despite being away from the Tibetan politics, the former Company Commander in the Swiss military mentioned that he has taken a keen interest in the recently concluded Tibetan elections. He said that he participated in the elections by voting for the next Prime Minister (Sikyong) and the MPs (Chithue).
“It has improved a lot comparatively and it is really interesting to see how the candidates were campaigning. In my opinion, it was really good and I was excited when I went to cast my vote and I am now eager to see who is elected as the Sikyong and the Chithue,” said Jigme.
Jigme Shitsetsang, President of FDP political party, has also worked in major banks like UBS and Credit Suisse and is a board member on different welfare and city council.
As the news of his appointment as a member of Cantonal Council came out, Tibetans allover the world have been pouring their well wishes and congratulations on his achievement.