By Tenzin Dharpo
The 16th Tibetan Parliament's 6th session in progress in Gangchen Kyishong, Dharamshala on Sep. 18, 2018. Phayul photo- Kunsang Gashon
DHARAMSHALA, Sep. 18: The seat of the exile Tibetan polity here saw the start of the 6th session of the 16th Tibetan parliament in exile on Tuesday. The 10-day session that will go on till 28 September will see the various departments under the Central Tibetan Administration present their annual reports to the legislators.
The Speaker of the house, Khenpo Sonam Tenphel whose tenure concludes after the ongoing session said in his opening remarks that the parliamentarians must do justice to their positions and take responsibility in representing the aspirations of six million Tibetans living inside Tibet and in exile. He also expressed hopes that the members will conduct themselves in a manner at par with Tibetan values during the proceedings.
“As there will be opposing arguments while debating on various topics, I urge each parliamentarian to refrain from untoward expressions, harsh language as well as relaying threats during the session and instead present arguments that are backed by facts,” the Speaker said.
The Speaker also expressed alarm over the deteriorating situation inside Tibet under China’s repressive policies and especially raised concern over the ever diminishing religious freedom inside Tibet citing the findings from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) annual report.
The inaugural session of the parliament unanimously proposed three official resolutions to mourn the passing of former Deputy Speaker of Tibetan Parliament Drashi Gyapon Kelsang Dadul; former Indian PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and US Senator John McCain, in addition to proposing an official resolution of solidarity with the sufferings of Tibetans inside Tibet.
The latter of the two sessions of the year, the parliament earlier in the summer held the budgetary session where the legislator sanctioned budget for departments under the exile Tibetan government, known officially as the CTA.
Many say that the reform in the election system of the exile government may be one of the key issues that will be brought to the floor in the ongoing session.