By Choekyi Lhamo
DHARAMSHALA, Oct. 8: The 45 elected members of the 17th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile (TPiE) on Friday finally took oath from the Interim Speaker Dawa Tsering, appointed by the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commissioner Sonam Norbu Dagpo, after a four-month hiatus. The 17th TPiE also elected its Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel and Deputy Speaker Dolma Tsering through voting.
The response letter from His Holiness the Dalai Lama received on Thursday directed members of parliament to take oath as per the provisions prescribed in the Charter of the Tibetan government-in-exile, or recommended the Election Commission to exercise its authority as per the charter to secure a majority in the parliament to move things forward.
“There is no reason to discuss the past disagreements, today all the elected members have successfully secured their seats in the parliament. I want to congratulate all the Chithues (MPs) for this step forward. Now for the next five years, the Kashag (Cabinet) looks forward to working together with the TPiE for the cause of Tibet,” Sikyong Penpa Tsering told the press following the successful oath-taking ceremony.
The European MP Thupten Wangchen expressed joy over the development, “Today is a day of celebration for the 6 million Tibetans around the world. We have been able to convene the first meeting of the 17th TPiE. The Central Tibetan Administration has finally succeeded in conducting its first parliament proceedings with the oath-taking ceremony of all the 45 members.” Thupten Wangchen is one of the five MPs from abroad who initiated the 2-day internal meeting that resulted in the current resolution that sought His Holiness’s intervention.
Sources say that the next session to appoint the cabinet members under Sikyong Penpa Tsering will take place on Monday. The appointment of the 17th standing committee is also set to take place in the coming days. The 17th TPiE has not convened two of its mandated ten sessions due to the crisis.