Tibetan Parliament hesitant on Dalai Lama’s proposals
Phayul[Wednesday, March 16, 2011 16:51]
By Phurbu Thinley

Dharamsala, March 16: Even as the Dalai Lama informed Tibet’s parliament in exile of his firm decision to formally devolve his political authority, the parliament on Tuesday found itself not in a position to come to a final conclusion.

Speaking to a group of media persons on the second day of the ongoing March session, the speaker of the Tibetan parliament-in-Exile Mr Penpa Tsering said he would not be in a position to say what would be the final outcome of the session.

“Today we had a full day discussion, but it is difficult to say what kind of conclusion we will come into,” the speaker Penpa Tsering told reporters outside the parliament house after a day-long session.

During the session, a vast majority of the Tibetan lawmakers, however, sounded views that required urging the Dalai Lama to reconsider his decision and to continue with his political leadership.

Some even expressed concerns about the legitimacy of the Tibetan government in exile without Dalai Lama’s role in it and the kind of implication it will have on Tibetans inside Tibet.

“A large majority of the parliament members - may be up to 90% of those attending the session - feel there is no way that the Tibetan cause and Dalai Lama can be separated,” Mr Penpa said.

“There were also views among parliamentarians that Tibetan exiles form only 3% of the total Tibetan community and that they alone cannot take a decision on behalf of 97% of Tibetans still living inside Tibet,” he added.

However, in the parliament, there were others who agreed with the Dalai Lama’s decision, saying time has come to introduce changes as per the wishes of the Tibetan leader.

The speaker of the house said there would be more discussion and debates in the parliament in the coming days, but he did not specify if a final conclusion would be drawn during this session, which will go on till March 25.

The speaker had earlier said the parliament has three possible options before it in deciding the matter - to request the Dalai Lama to reconsider his decision or, to accept his proposals and make changes accordingly or, to find a middle-way solution wherein the elected representatives can take responsibility for executive affairs with the Dalai Lama in charge of the political leadership.

Apprising the parliamentarians about the position of Kashag (Cabinet), Tibetan Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche said his administration has repeatedly urged the Dalai Lama not to give up his political role.

“We have been urging His Holiness not to give up the political leadership. With heavy heart, the Kashag is left with no other alternative but to follow His Holiness’ directions,” Rinpoche said in the parliament.

Rinpoche, however, reportedly said that the decisions may not be accepted by the Tibetan parliament.

Meanwhile, the Proceedings Committee of seven members, headed by Speaker Penpa Tsering, was reportedly constituted on Tuesday. The committee is expected to go through the deliberations made by all the MPs to decide the course of action.