By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, Aug. 24: The United State’s Department of State has advised urgency to members of the newly elected Tibetan Parliament in Exile (TPiE) to resolve the ongoing parliamentary deadlock that has ensued since June this year.
The letter addressed to TPiE Secretary Tsewang Ngodup, the US Department of State’s Acting Secretary of State Lisa Peterson wrote, “We note there has been a long delay in swearing in the new members of the Parliament. The September session is eminent and there is much to do in very little time.
“Disputes over parliamentary procedures which are not resolved in timely manner and in accordance with the rule of law risk undermining the confidence placed by the Tibetan diaspora and the international community in the CTA and TPiE. We urge the elected members to move past their differences and turn to the pressing matters that need their attention”.
The letter also said that Washington DC is “encouraged” to see Tibetans elect their new Sikyong and members of parliament despite the pandemic earlier this year, and that the international community is looking at CTA and TPiE for leadership in renewing dialogue with China and achieving meaningful autonomy for Tibetans.
The parliamentary stalemate over the two oath taking ceremony has meant that the house is unable to achieve necessary quorum to elect a new Speaker and the standing Committee, rendering the CTA to operate on a limp. If the house is not able to conduct the September session (one of the two annual sessions), the CTA will shut down at the end of the financial year in March next year, due to the absence of the Parliament to approve the budget for the next fiscal year.
Grassroots appeal and public outcry has failed to budge the deadlock with seemingly no sign of meaningful talks between the two sides to resolve the issue. The President (Sikyong) of the exile Tibetan government, known officially as the Central Tibetan Administration Penpa Tsering told Phayul earlier, “We are looking forward to see now, how to move forward. So the issue here is whether the members (of parliament) will agree to take their oath as per the charter (and) join the parliament”.