News and Views on Tibet

New parliamentarians fail to appoint speaker after divided oath-taking ceremonies

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Pro-tem Speaker Dawa Tsering attending the oath ceremony at Gankyi on Tuesday (Phayul photo/Kunsang Gashon)

By Choekyi Lhamo

DHARAMSHALA, June 8: The maiden engagement of the new Tibetan Parliament in Exile was mired in controversy as the house stood divided during the oath taking ceremony held on Tuesday. 21 MPs took oath of office from the Pro-tem Speaker Dawa Tsering, the longest-serving candidate in the parliament, who was sworn in by the Chief Justice Commissioner Sonam Norbu Dagpo. The other 22 MPs in attendance took the oath in front of the Charter and a portrait of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, in an apparent show of their non-recognition of the Pro-tem Speaker and the judges of the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission. Australasia representative Tenzin Phuntsok Doring was unable to attend the ceremony due to Covid-19 restrictions in Australia.

The Pro-tem Speaker Dawa Tsering said that they had to halt the scheduled parliamentary session to choose the new Speaker and Deputy Speaker as per the orders of the Election Commission (EC), noting the absence of 2/3rd quorum during the official ceremony.

Europe MP Thupten Wangchen spoke to the press after he took oath from the Pro-tem Speaker, “To avoid any unnecessary conflict in our community and since the Chinese government is closely observing what is going on over here, I accept both the swearing-in ceremonies.” North American MP Thondup Tsering also said that the acceptance of both the ceremonies need consideration, “Even though the MPs took oath in two different ways today, I think it is imperative to accept that everyone have been able to take the necessary oaths for the respective offices.”

North America MP Thondup Tsering speaking to the media on Tuesday (Phayul Photo/Kunsang Gashon)

MP Dorjee Tseten, former Standing Committee member who was among those who took their oath in front of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s portrait told the press, “I think, personally, we could have gone ahead with the process to elect the new speaker and deputy speaker as 44 members of the parliament took oath of office. But where in the Charter is it mentioned that the Pro-tem Speaker could go to the EC for intervention?”

The impasse, many say, may yet bring more road blocks for the 17th TPiE which is without a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker. The house that is deeply divided, observers say, can impede the very purpose that they were elected for in the first place, which is to serve the people. A Tibetan living in the United States who spoke to Phayul on the condition of anonymity said, “The beginning could not have been more tragic for the new parliament and the concerned authorities. If they keep squabbling among themselves, then when will they do their jobs? As a common middle class person, living pay check to pay check, it is concerning and disheartening at the same time that the people we elected are not up to the task, yet again.”

5 Responses

  1. I wish everyone had taken oath from the pro-tem speaker as per the rule and just move ahead. Why let the conflict between 16th Chithue and TSJC ruin the 17th Chithue? It is a new Chithue. Let them have a fresh start and bygones be bygones. Else it will never end.

  2. I stopped reading when i saw the pinyin script of the Tibetan language. You can fool some people some time, but you can’t fool everyone all the time you keyboard two cent Chinese infiltrator creating disruption.

  3. When I heard Mr. Dawa Tsering speaking to the media, I thought other Chithues who would take oath from His Holiness Portrait never show up. However, according to Chithues Dorjee Tseten, they have taken oath from Portrait earlier than 21 Chithues. In fact, what has prompted Mr. Dawa Tsering to approach, the Chief Election Commissioner and misinformed about the attendance of Chithues to elect Speakers. Who are real trouble makers and who stand behind them and what is their motivation? Unity cannot be built if elite groups do not stop divide and rule, the out dated British mentality. You guys have played enough games so far. Some people can be deceived but not all. Let me sum up all yours games accordingly :-
    1. After receiving the notice of impeachment, the TSJC announced in front of public through the media, as Dhakpo said, ” We do not accept any wrong doing, but with the respect to the Charter, we will stop working from today’. { acha’ khrimas la brtsi bkur zhu nas, las dhon phyi shol dhang de ring nas nga tso las tsam bzha gi yin}. It was a clear message of leaving the duty and office completely.
    2. It had triggered many elite groups to support them to get their jobs back. Hence to restore their jobs, they used the term reinstatement {bskyar gso} meaning to offer back the position that one has lost.
    3. Three prominent Non-government associations residing in Dharamsala sent a protest letter to Standing Committee of Chithue asking for reinstatement of the Three TSJC who were removed through the resolution passed in the parliament session held in March-April 2021. Copies sent to Ghadhan Phodang.
    4. A letter of three unnamed exile government employees, read by the instigator Thupten Thokmed who also acted as representative of those who wanted Dr. Lobsang Sangye should leave his job.
    5. VOA. RFA. and Norvey media were busy interviewing same person who was former TSJC in support of the removed Judges.
    6. Meanwhile, Kashag and Chithue office had already appointed a committee who would select nominees for new judges. The assumed former TSJC judges did not said a word about ‘Recuse’.
    7.On April 8, 2021 Norvey media released an interview taken with Prof. S. Rinpoche that had triggered all unrest and assuring that the removal did not follow Article 54.
    8. On April 13, 2021, a letter to the Standing Committee was sent by 15 or 16 former TSJC asking for reinstatement of the judges who were deemed already removed.
    9. After that two other elite groups, Kalon Zhurpa and Zhurpas from TYC appealed for reinstatement in the same way.
    10. Last but not least former CTA staff about 160 sent a letter of appealing for TSJC reinstatement.
    11. Syikong Lobsang Sangye appealed to all Tibetans to stop chatting and writing about impeachment rather corporate to complete the remaining task of appointing new judges. No one from elite groups had shown any due respect to the President of the CTA.
    12. The vedio was viral all over in numerous communication channel as talking in the former CTA chat group that we will try to make May 21, special parliament session unsuccessful at any cost.
    13. On May 24, 2021 (one day after the 17 point agreement) Three Judges declares that they would resume their job after two months as everyone assumed they left and copies of request letter forwarded to Gadhan Podang all were about restoration of their seats.
    14. According to TSJC, they were in recuse for two months, and were requested by the elite groups and 21 Chithues to resume their jobs.
    15. The Standing Committee had announced in public with two reasons: i) The TSJC were already impeached and stopped working. ii) The Standing Committee were still in the process of completing the guideline 39 but former TSJC deceived the institution of democracy.
    16. Ironically, all those who responded to the Chithue’s resolution have asked or insisted former TSJC to resume work making the excuse of the term ‘recuse’. No Tibetan can be fooled but supporters must have guilty feeling of breaching the law.
    17. Who dare to invite His Holiness on oath ceremony as if nothing was happened beneath his residence. I am sure, it was not Penpa Tsering’s idea.
    18. Is there any sincere person remain beneath His Holiness residence, who feel ashamed of seeing all these dirty politics but don’t dare to open his/her mouth.
    19. All those 21 Chithues, who took oath from Dawa Tsering, do they have independent thought or followed regionalism loyalty while complaining others.
    20. As S. Ripoche said removing all judges together is sort of constitutional breakdown because there is no one in the Justice Department to take care of the court proceeding. If that is the case, where is the history of any country, where all judges unanimously stopped working too long using the the term ‘recuse’. There is no conflict of interest against the impeachment because parliament decision allows debate during motion introduce and it is not a court proceeding. The term recuse is not applicable to the impeachment proceeding that was already concluded and became resolution.
    I might have still miss lots of information but at least these are something for general citizen to understand who are the real actors destroying the unity, breaching the law and misusing His Holiness to gain public support for (my goal) to defeat others. I used to think that Choluk Chithues and Dotoe are trouble maker but now I have learnt that they are nothing when there are people who could misuse His Holiness to take all advantage and befool innocents by their service longevity.

    1. Let them carry on this charade of fake indignation and this sham of a democracy. Those brave Chithues did the right thing. They follow their heart and not their calculating mind.

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