By Tenzin Dharpo
16th Tibetan parliament's Budget session underway. March 14, 2107. Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
DHARAMSHALA, MAR. 15: The legislative body of the Tibetan exile government (officially known as the Central Tibetan Administration), the Tibetan Parliament in Exile yesterday began its budgetary session to draft a financial plan for the new fiscal year due to begin next month here.
The third session of the 16th Tibetan Parliament which was elected last year passed the recurring resolution to express solidarity with the sufferings of the Tibetans inside Tibet while mourning the death of Tibetan self-immolator Tashi Rabten who set himself on fire on December 8 in Machu County in eastern Tibet, calling for ‘Tibet’s Freedom’, return of the exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the release of 11th Panchen Lama.
Also the resolution to mourn the demise of two former members of Tibetan parliament Namgyal Wangdu and Mr Rigzin as well former Secretary Ngawang Dhondup Narkyid was unanimously passed.
The Speaker of the TPiE Khenpo Sonam Tenphel in his opening remarks said, “Tensions inside Tibet are at their highest in years after a spate of protests and self-immolations by Tibetans, which have further resulted in an intensified security crackdown in Tibet. Arbitrary detentions, torture in custody, hate speech against the Dalai Lama and Tibetan representatives, restrictions on freedom of expression and assembly are just a few examples of the abuses that the Tibetans inside Tibet are subjected to on a regular basis.”
While expressing hope at the recent mention of Tibet at the fifth session of China’s 12th National People’s Congress by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, he opined, “This could a favorable sign that China may be willing to reverse its policies on Tibet and with Xi Jinping’s assuming presidency for the second term, I hope it will usher in a realistic and more open approach to Tibet.”
Among the notable observers for yesterday’s opening day session were a high level delegation including Senator Lisa Singh from Australia, Senators Annick Billon and Andre Gattolin from France, Mr Michel Raison, President of Tibet Group in the French senate and former Senator Consiglio Di Nino from Canada and a eight-member delegation from Rainbow for Children, Japan.
The ongoing session that will go on until March 25 will “discuss and approve the budget of the Central Tibetan Administration for the year 2017-18,” the exile government run Tibet.net reported.