By Tsering Dhundup
DHARAMSHALA, September 19: A mass gathering of close to 500 Tibetans under the banner of “Advocacy of the general public appeal to the 17th Tibetan Parliament in exile” convened a press conference at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) hall on September 18, and urged parliamentarians to pass a concrete resolution for amendments in the Charter that will allow the appointment of the chief justice commissioner of the Chief Justice Commission, the apex judiciary body of the exile Tibetan government.
The group also called for other amendments to the charter to address the ongoing parliamentary deadlock ahead of the parliament session that is scheduled from September 19 to 29.
The event featured former Kalon Rinchen Khando as the chief guest as well as former Tibetan lawmakers. Approximately 500 individuals attended the gathering, representing 25 Tibetan settlements in India and seven different locations, including abroad and Nepal, according to the organisers. The attendees spanned a wide age range, with some participants as old as 90.
In her speech, President of the advocacy group, Teyang expressed her frustration over the deadlock that has failed to appoint the Chief Justice Commissioner. She emphasized that the protest aims to reinstate the judiciary of Tibetan democracy and appealed to the lawmakers to prevent further deterioration of Tibetan democracy.
A member of the executive committee of the advocacy group Tsetan Phuntsok said, “We appeal to the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker, and the parliamentarians to pass a resolution for amendments in the Charter that will allow the appointment of the Chief Justice Commissioner. We are determined to hold our demonstration for as long as it requires while abiding by local rules non-violently until the issue is resolved”.
Multiple pushes for an amendment in the Charter to appoint the vacant position of the Chief Justice Commissioner has failed in the parliament. The stagnation, if not resolved, may lead to further deterioration concerning future leaderships of the exile Tibetan government who cannot be legally sworn into their respective positions.