News and Views on Tibet

Sikyong expresses disappointment as bill seeking amendment to charter fails floor test

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The fifth session of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile underway in Dharamshala (Photo/

By Tenzin Dharpo

DHARAMSHALA, MAR. 23: Two important bills seeking amendments in the charter were dropped after failing to secure the necessary two thirds majority from the parliament during the eighth day of the ongoing parliamentary session of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile on Thursday.

A bill tabled by the Kashag (Cabinet) seeking amendment to the charter regarding the eligibility of the Chief Justice Commissioner of the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission (TSJC) was dropped after failing to secure the necessary two thirds majority from the parliament. The bill essentially broadens the pool of possible candidates for the post of the Chief Justice Commissioner by relaxing the eligibility criteria, in view of shortage of candidates with the existing eligibility criteria of SJC in the charter.

The bill is especially crucial as the incumbent acting-Chief Justice Commissioner is due to retire by the middle of the year and the uncertainty surrounding his replacement will give rise to a political and protocol vacuum where top leaderships including new ministers, MPs and heads of autonomous bodies of the Central Tibetan Administration have no legally prescribed authority to legitimise their oath of office.

The Kashag which is led by Sikyong Penpa Tsering expressed disappointment over the parliament’s disproval of the bill and said that the legislative body has the duty to pass laws that enable the smooth functioning of the administration. Almost two years into his tenure, Tsering, the executive head of the CTA is still unable to appoint ministers for four departments out of the total seven.

Another bill tabled by the parliament seeking amendment to the charter regarding the oath-taking protocol also failed to secure the necessary two thirds majority from the parliament. The bill seeks to legalise the provision to take oath of office in front of a portrait of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and ‘Mani Kabum’ a scripture in the absence of the Chief Justice Commissioner.

The Sikyong said that the Kashag finds it difficult to support the bill as it may pose a threat of delegitimising the judiciary in the future. However, the Speaker of the TPiE Khenpo Sonam Tenphel rebutted that the bill tabled by the parliament has no ulterior motive, other than to provide a way forward.

5 Responses

  1. There is saying in Tibetan ཆུ་མོ་སྒོ་ནས་རྙོག་ན་རྙོག་གཅིག་ཡིན་ which means, if you muddy the waters from the top, it will be muddied all the way to the end. This is what happened to the trials and tribulations of the present parliamentary sessions that is suffering from severe paralysis in failing to pass any resolution to effect change in the constitution. It is the fault of the present incumbent who failed to start afresh when he came in as the leader instead of dragging the train wreck of the impeached Supreme Justice Commission members!!! No matter on what side of political affiliation one is on, it is THE DUTY OF EVERY MEMBER OF THE THREE PILLARS TO RESPECT THE LAWS ENACTED BY PARLIAMENT!!! There is NO EXCUSE WHATSOEVER TO DISREGARD THE LAW AND INSTEAD FOLLOW BLINDLY AN UNELECTED PERSON’S INTERPRETATION FOR WHICH HE HAS NO JURISDICTION!!! The incumbent and his gullible and undemocratic followers supplanted the parliamentary rule to the whims of ONE INDIVIDUAL! It’s very clear that the incumbent and his mentor are no Democrats because for them an individual judgement is more “relevant”than the judgement of the parliament!!! It shows their utter lack of democratic credentials by DISREGARDING DEMOCRATIC CONVENTIONS! There is little chance that any leeway will be made in future to rectify the present crises until and unless resolution 39 is respected and validated. Unfortunately, this is also most unlikely to happen as long as the present incumbent remains in power. Therefore, in order to reinstitute the status quo prior to the present logjam, a new Sikyong is the only way to pave the way for a new beginning! It’s up to the Tibetan public whether they want the same situation to linger on without any progress insight or they want a new development with a fresh start. What has happened is that the animosity between LS and PT has completely poisoned the Tibetan political landscape and what we see today is a slug-fest between LS supporters and PT supporters. Meanwhile, the issue of Tibet for which they are supposed to be fighting for has become the biggest casualty! This is a terrible predicament in the eyes of those who are concerned about Tibet. However, the Tibetan public is obsessed with these two individuals and a mini-civil war is being waged among the diaspora. The battle lines are drawn. Each side demonizes the other by disinformation, deception, lies, fabrications and mud slinging endlessly. It’s a total waste of time and terrible distraction from the real Tibet issue. There is no other way to end this suicidal exercise other than elect a new Sikyong who is not tainted by the foul stench of LS and PT cesspool of vendetta politics. The need of the hour is a unifying leader who has the trust of all three cholkhas. Unless there is unity, the Tibetan struggle will collapse after the Dalai Lama is no more on the scene. Owing to the bloodletting of the two camps, there is clear divisions which is dangerous that will only widen if prudent action is not taken. Therefore, everyone should keep the issue of Tibet as the foremost topic to discuss, talk, debate and contest instead of those individuals.
    Even though the present incumbent has gone as far as spouting CCP propaganda by lying, “at the moment, Tibet is part of China” drivel, nothing has come and nothing is likely to come in the future either. Therefore, we have to strategize our approach by electing an Tibetan independence candidate! This will make the CCP nervous and will start paying more attention to the Tibet issue at large and start considering their support for the more palatable one. We can see this being played out in Taiwan. In the year 2000, Chen Shui-bian ended 55 years of Nationalist Kuomintang rule in Taiwan. The Kuomintang (KMT) lost the civil war and escaped to Taiwan. This party accepts the notion of “one China” and has been roundly rejected by the people of Taiwan for two consecutive terms from 2000-2008 and from 2016 to date and has only a slim chance to win in the future too. The Taiwan independence forces like Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has been growing in popularity for the last twenty three years. The CCP is very concerned about the trajectory of Taiwan and fear that Taiwan will gradually become a de jure independent nation with the support from western democratic nations notably the US. The DPP doesn’t accept Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan. It asserts Taiwan is independent already.
    The CCP is therefore courting the Kumintang Party members vigorously to China for talks with them! In 2015, just before the election of DPP candidate Tsai Ing-wen as the president of Taiwan, CCP dictator Xi Jinping met KMT leader Ma Yinjoung in Singapore in order prevent Tsai Ing-win’s victory! But they didn’t succeed!!! From March 27th to April 7th this year, the former Kumintang leader Ma Yinjoung is visiting China allegedly to pay respects to his ancestors but there is much more to it than meets the eye! This is unprecedented for an ex-president of Taiwan to visit communist China but it is owing to the heightened tension in the Taiwan strait which is at the root of this trip! In February this year, a KMT delegation led by Andrew Hsia visited China for ten days at the behest of the CCP to mend fences in the ever deteriorating situation in the Taiwan strait. All these developments were necessitated by the strident moves by President Tsai-Ing-wen’s independence leaning DPP Government such as receiving US House speaker Nancy Pelosi and a plethora of international parliamentarians to the island nation. As it were, if Tibetans elect an independence candidate as the next Sikyong of the CTA, it will make the CCP lose some of its sleep and will seek to nurture and even cultivate the present CTA goal of genuine autonomy. As the independence call becomes more and more loud in exile, that will force the CCP to start talks with the more China friendly forces such as the CTA for a resolution on Tibet. It is therefore incumbent upon the people of Tibet to play strategic political game in order to cox the CCP to change its policies in occupied Tibet and its attitude to the exile Government. We must serve the same medicine the CCP likes to serve to its opponents!

  2. Utterly disappointed with the recently concluded Parliamentary session. The conduct, the language, the decorum of the people’s representatives are despicable. I don’t think they are the voice of the masses. The people just want a smooth functioning administration so resources and focus can be on TIBET but politicians refuse to rise above their ego and personal agendas. We are not a free nation, we don’t have the luxury to bicker and act like the opposition party like the free countries. We need to be united so we can face the Chinese government, not each other. I don’t see any hope for the September session or the one after. In fact I don’t see any hope for the next three years of this Kashag. Might as well just give up, all hope is lost for the future of the exiled Tibetans.

    1. Like me and many others, you too share your deep concern for what is happening in our Assembly which is becoming a common feature in every sessions.
      However even though I confess that I don’t know too much about Tibetan politics, I feel we have a duty to wholly support whoever Sikyong gets elected. I, for one didn’t support the former Sikyong during his first election due to many factors. After LS La was elected, I supported him whole heartedly till the end of his tenure. I felt it is our duty to support our leader whether I elected him or not. If we Tibetans do not support our leader, who will ? Similarly, I never supported PT La during his last campaign due to many reasons. However, now that he is our Sikyong, I am supporting him whole heartedly like I would do for any leaders who would come in future whether he is my candidate or not. I feel sad and amazed that many of our fellow brothers and sisters make it their mission to not to support the person who was not of their choice. This attitude needs to be changed in our community. We need to be more broad minded and give opportunity to the person in a particular seat. Yes, also have the courage to appreciate when that person does good things and be critical whenever he makes mistakes which he is likely after all he is also a human being like you and me.
      Please do not take this as a lecture, just sharing my inner thoughts to a brother or sister as I truly practice what are in my thoughts which has helped to be more mature and face the many challenges ahead. Bhod Gyalo !

  3. Very sad to see the proceedings of just completed Assembly session. I thought I was watching the Lok Sabha proceedings but our elected members are no better. Indian politicians can afford to do what they like as they have the luxury of a free country but sadly our representatives behaving just like their Indian counterparts.
    The reason was failing to pass the two bills is nothing but due to the big egos our representatives carry. Very sad indeed. Sarcasm and trying to score points is the key motives in many of these immature representative’s speeches.
    Hope and pray that realization of their immatureness is donned on them soon so that gift of democratic process by His Holiness will be implemented in its true spirit,

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