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Tibetan NGOs appeal for urgent resolution to parliament deadlock

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Tibetan NGO heads on Wednesday appealed to exile leadership to end the parliamentary impasse (Phayul photo/ Kunsang Gashon)

By Choekyi Lhamo

DHARAMSHALA, Aug 4: Four Tibetan NGOs based in Dharamshala on Wednesday appealed to all the stakeholders to resolve the ongoing parliamentary deadlock. The Tibetan Youth Congress, Tibetan Women’s Association, National Democratic Party of Tibet, and Students for a Free Tibet – India issued a three-point appeal letter for the immediate resolution of the ongoing impasse and for the proceedings of the 17th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile to commence.

TYC President Gonpo Dhondup speaking on the behalf of the group urged the consideration of all the new MPs who have taken their oath of office either from the interim speaker or in front of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s portrait, so that the proceedings of the new house can begin from the September session.

 Gonpo said that he is extremely concerned with the ongoing stalemate, “Disagreement in a community shows the strength of a democracy as practiced by governments across the world, however, ours is a unique form of exile government without a country, which has been bestowed on us by the Dalai Lama.” The spokesperson also voiced his concern about the dividing factions in the community due to ideological, regional and religious affiliations.

“If this ongoing row remains unresolved due to the ambiguities in the Charter of the Tibetan parliament, the CTA faces the unfortunate prospect of shutting down next year in March,” the joint statement read.

In addition, the NGOs also appealed for the formation of an independent committee to amend any ambiguities in the Charter, which many say is one of the key factor for the crisis. The joint statement by the groups, however, said that if the impasse is resolved, the lawmakers should then refrain from discussing any matter involving the 16th TPiE, resolution no. 39, Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission, and as well as the oath taking ceremony of the new MPs and the Sikyong, so that the issue is not dragged further.

The appointment of the new Speaker of the house as well as the Cabinet (Kashag) of the newly elected Sikyong has since been stalled due to the ongoing parliamentary crisis since June. The heads of the organizations said that they would reach out to the Tibetan Election Commission and the Kashag Secretariat today, and have also planned to individually meet with the elected members of the 17th TPiE.

The group said it will reveal to the press, the responses of the stakeholders including the newly elected MPs to their appeals shortly. The representatives also urged all Tibetans to shoulder responsibility for the unity of the community rather than creating discord by threatening the three pillars of the Tibetan democracy.

9 Responses

  1. The Tibetan NGOs appeal does not make much sense. The main point is the so-called impeachment of the three justice commissioners was illegal and this is why many chitues later admitted their mistake and took oath from the pro-tem speaker. Those chitues who refuse to follow the Charter in taking oath from the pro-tem speaker are apparently not working in the Tibetan national interest. Otherwise why would they go to Bir to meet with Ugyen Topgyal who has spoken critically about His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

    But in the first place the current Tibetan chitue mess could have been prevented if ex-Sikyong Lobsang Sangay had not failed in his duty to show good leadership. The irony is instead of fulfilling his election promise to restore His Holiness in the Potala Palace in Tibet, he ended his term destroying the very Democracy that His Holiness had given to the Tibetan people. What a shame.

    The time has come for the Tibetans to focus on our common enemy – CCP of China, and demand honest chitues who will follow the law and Charter to truthfully serve the Tibetan people and lead the Tibetan freedom struggle against the totalitarian Chinese regime.

  2. It’s not about who’s RIGHT and who’s WRONG.
    The Human rights situation in Tibet is deteriorating as we speak. Monks and nuns are being kicked out, monasteries are being closed, Tibetans are being arbitrarily detained, tortured, and killed. Industrial-scale detentions are being reported from Driru and various parts of Tibet.

    It’s not about who’s right and who’s wrong! The situation in Tibet demands reconciliation of political fractions and immediately resume the functioning of the Central Tibetan Administration\Tibetan parliament so that grievances of Tibetan people inside Tibet can be addressed as soon as possible.

  3. The proposal by the four NGOs is a workable solution for this debacle. 22 chitues represent the will and voice of the people who voted for them, they are not going anywhere. If vested interest in our community tries to rob them of their democratic rights guaranteed to them by the Tibetan charter, then there will be consequences for that as well. Specially when they represent almost half of the legislative body of CTA. There should be concessions from both sides. The supreme justice commissioner should put the interest and harmony of the community before his own personal agenda. In any other political situations, his game could be respected but as a Tibetan he has to ultimately face the guilt of letting down his holiness the Dalai Lama by creating so much disharmony in our community. This is beyond selfish at this point.

  4. Nobody expected such a ruckus would erupt in the Tibetan diaspora. HH The Dalai Lama worked hard to unite the three provinces after coming into exile. His work includes the censuring of Shugden followers whom he believed were causing sectarian division among the four traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. This was a very difficult choice because he had to cross swords with many eminent Lamas who were also devout followers of himself as well. However, the unity of the Tibetan people trumped everything and he went ahead with it. The rest is history.
    Today the unity HIs Holiness built is hanging in the balance. There is no reason for the present predicament to divide the community but the dregs of our community and vested interest groups can’t help themselves the temptation to smear the 22 elected law makers in order to push their agenda. It has also been a Tibetan habit to tarnish their enemies in order to cast them as evil and ridden with vices. Today, one of the popular brush to tarnish a person or group is accuse them of being cahoots with communist China.
    This is what some unscrupulous people are attempting to paint the Chitues who are standing by their conviction to uphold the Tibetan charter. Let us get a clear picture in order to dispel such unfounded notions so that our unity is not torn apart completely.
    During imperial times, Tibet was a great Asian power and not only the three cholkas were under one single jurisdiction of the great Tibetan empire but surrounding nations including parts of China (Xian, the ancient capital of China) were part of Tibet. However, after the Empire disintegrated in the 9th century, Tibet gradually descended into chaos and small principalities or kingdoms appeared until the great Fifth ascended to the throne and once again United Tibet. During the Gaden Phodrang rule from the time of The Great fifth Ngawang Losang Gyatso till the Chinese occupation of Tibet, a lot of water ran under the bridge and a lot happened during four hundred years of glorious Gaden Phodrang rule. However, the Lhasa Government was not able to exert its influence in many parts of far flung Tibetan territories like Eastern Tibet. They therefore remained under the rule of local kings or chieftains. The people of the far flung eastern region of Kham got divided into བོད་སྡེ་ and རྒྱ་སྡེ་Those who lived east of Drichu river and ruled by the Lhasa Government was known as བོད་སྡེ་ while beyond Drichu came to be known as རྒྱ་སྡེ་ because of Kunmintang influence. The Kham people have always tried to avoid the embrace of both the Lhasa Government and the Kunmintang.
    In other words they have always been fiercely independent.
    This is an important background story that existed before total occupation of Tibet by communist China. By the grace of His Holiness The Dalai Lama and the circumstances that we found ourselves in after losing our country, we once again got United as never before. Therefore, those who are exploiting historical prejudices and acrimony are now breaking the unity that was forged by the Dalai Lama by trying to slander the Khampa community because most of the 22 chitues happens to be from Dotoe cholkha. This will only create more rancour between the two and will only serve the agenda of the enemy. It will be a present for the CCP’s hundredth birthday!!!
    For those who are bent upon to spread lies and innuendoes, let us look at current history of the exiles. Ever since the Middle Way was proposed, the CTA policy was to embrace the CCP. A certain Kalon Tripa announced that “we don’t regard China as our enemy”. Owing to such policies, most Tibetans have reined in their anger against communist China and instead there came to be cheer leaders who condemn Tibetans protesting against the CCP!!! They have become more prominent with official sanction and they have been riding roughshod over Rangzen advocates. They have demonised and smeared every Independence advocate in their attempt to silence them for good. This is how anti-China sentiment and Tibetan nationalism was deliberately snuffed out in the last twenty five years.
    The people who advocate Rangzen are anti-China and they call them དགྲ་བོ་རྒྱ་དམར་ and recognise the Chinese communist Government and its supporters as enemies. On the other hand, the Middle Way followers have been in the forefront of embracing the CCP and have openly rejected the notion of looking at the CCP as enemy in parliament. They have condemned those who protest against the CCP and they carried the blood soaked Red Flag as their badge of honour!!! Such individuals have been issued visa to visit Tibet when other Tibetans could only hope. So, the mischief mongers attempt to slander them of CCP connection is entirely driven by hate and prejudice and has no basis whatsoever. This group is entirely rabid-anti China (because of their Rangzen stand) and it may not be out of place if one accuses the supporters of the 21 chitues of doing the handi-work of the CCP to eliminate the other 22 chitues!!! It is no secret that the CCP is after the blood of Tibetan, Hong Kong and Taiwan Independence advocates! Could there be in fact a conspiracy to get rid of all the 22 chitues because most of them are independence advocates? The chorus to eliminate the choelug chitues sounds very much like the campaign by the CCP to eliminate Tibetan Buddhism in Tibet. Until now, Buddhism was sacrosanct in Tibetan religious discourse but no more. The people who are pro-China and advocates of the Middle Way have been in the forefront of denouncing, abbots of the great monasteries of Sera, Drepung, Ganden and other religious heads of the four traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. They have blasphemed the monks by ridiculing and belittling them by calling them names such as “gas cylinders”! These sacrilegious admonishments demonstrate that perhaps the people who are hand in glove with the devil is the pro-China elements who have now gained prominence with official support and acquiescence!
    The authorities in Dharamsala must know history in order to prevent history repeating itself. The past is our guide to the future. If the exile movement seeks to flourish and fulfil the wishes of the six million Tibetans, Unity is the bed rock for such a movement. Whatever may be the outcome, it must make sure that the hard earned unity forged by the Fourteenth Dalai Lama is not torn asunder feckless bigots.

  5. There are certain elements within our community, including the elected representatives (Chithues) doing a great disservice to the Tibetan cause by indulging in sectarian and regional politics. What harm is there in reinstating the three members of TSJC? They did nothing wrong in the past, and also these three gentlemen are persons of high moral integrity who deserves this position.

    Unfortunately, there is a real conspiracy by hostile forces to destabilize the CTA and make the tenure of Sikyong PT difficult and problematic. Some of the Chithues became a mere tool in the hands of these people who are pulling strings behind the curtain and continues to make things unmanageable for us. They do not want the CTA to function effectively under the newly elected Sikyong.
    I am really surprised to see the degree of arrogance and the egocentric mindset of a handful of Chithues who continues to create more and more hurdles today in the exile community. They should resign and seek a fresh mandate from the people.

    We need electoral reforms and amendments to prevent recurrence of similar situation from happening again in future. This is just nothing, but a dirty politics unseen before in Dharamasala.

  6. Well, Tibetan brethren, constitution is the backbone of every democratic countries. We are not communists who can bend constitution to help one’s taste. Sorry folks, there is only one way to save our democracy either to act as per the constitution of Exile government in letter and spirit or make way to other people. Bigotry will not work here. If you bend our constitution this time, can anyone guarantee that this will not repeat in the coming days. Trying to bend our constitution must be stopped from the beginning. If not, our democracy will not survive to return back to Tibet.

  7. The present predicament of the CTA is very distressing. All Tibetan exiles are depressed with the development. The Election was communalised by vested interests and the result was a highly polarised community that we have never seen before. Certain people have played the communal card for the last ten years and especially during the elections. The result is here for all to see. To rub salt to the wound, instead of respecting the two thirds majority resolution 39, the communal elements played their card and torpedoed the previous administration’s plan for a special sessions meeting of parliament slated for 20th of May 2021 to elect new Chief Justice Commissioners and also deal with Resolution 39. However, U-Tsang bigots like Ngodup Dorje, Tsering Wangyal, Phenpo Gyaltsen, an old hag from Kathmandu have been in the forefront of skirting the special session in order to keep their men on the pedestal even if it was illegal. This is how the whole debacle unfolded. The responsibility is with these bigots and all those chitues who refused to attend the proposed session. It was a deliberate exercise in communal politics that has now come to such a pass that there is no meeting point between the two.
    It has disrupted and diminished the CTA’s standing in the eyes of the Tibetans both within and without Tibet.
    In order to salvage the reputation of the CTA, there is no other way than accept the swearing in ceremony as per the status quo. There is irreconcilable differences between the perception of the dissenting twenty-two chitues and Election Commissioner Pesur Wangdu Tsering and Dawa Tsering. There is no meeting point! So, for the good of Tibet, Tibetans and the legitimacy of the CTA, the way the two groups of chitues have taken their oath must be respected!
    The talk of not abiding by the article 47 is a tall talk from those who themselves have totally disregarded the constitution by parachuting the impeached Justice Commissioners to their former portfolio against resolution 39. You can’t be selective. Either you respect all or you don’t. Under what law and rules enacted by parliament they are reinstated? May we know? If this is not Good Raj, what is goonda Raj? The people who hatched this plot is not Democrats but Demo-rats!
    After accepting the status quo swearing in ceremony, the 17th parliament can deal with resolution 39 and new Justice Commissioners, House Speaker and Deputy House Speaker can be elected. The three impeached Justice Commissioners can run as candidates in order to absolve themes of the stigma of their dismissal and become bonafide Justice Commissioners which every one will accept universally if they are elected.
    As far as Sikyong Elect is concerned the status quo should be accepted so there is give and take for both parties. As the four NGO organisations have suggested, no one should hence forth question the legitimacy of the Sikyong Elect. This will not bode well for Tibet, democracy and the existence of the CTA.

  8. How much is the CCP paying those who threaten , and try to annul the Tibetan Government. This situation has to be resolved quickly before any more credibility is lost. It is imperative that the CTA join the growing worlwide voices that are trying to push the CCP back into the darkness from where it emerged.

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