Articles

  • An Open Letter from Tibetan National Congress (TNC) in Response to the Tibetan Election Commission [Editors' note: the EC's August 26 reply is below, in Tibetan] 1 September 2015  Dear Mr. Chief Election Commissioner Sonam Choephel Shosur la: Thank you for your August 26 ...
    Posted Sep 1, 2015, 4:26 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • EC Rules--Code of Conduct for 2016 exile Tibetan elections By the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy In the run-up to the 2016 elections among the Tibetan community in exile, the Election Commission (EC) of the Central ...
    Posted Sep 1, 2015, 4:29 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • Shenpenn Khymsar/N. America Chitue [Editors' Note: all candidates for Sikyong and Chitue are invited to send their campaign literature to TPR for publication.]   Email to a friend or share on Facebook, Twitter, etc.:  
    Posted Sep 1, 2015, 4:22 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • Speaker Penpa Tsering Gave a Filthy Speech   By Songtsen Translated by Tashi Norbu Tsewang Original Tibetan link: http://www.khabdha.org/?p=74718#more-74718  A few days back, Penpa Tsering gave a speech at Sera Monastery ...
    Posted Aug 31, 2015, 6:44 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • Why Dr. Lobsang Sangay Again?   By Pasang Tsering  Earlier this summer, I was in Washington, DC, attending a weeklong Tibetan Youth Leadership Program organized by International Campaign for Tibet. One of the important political institutions ...
    Posted Aug 31, 2015, 6:39 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • Tashi Wangdu/Sikyong campaign materials [Editors' Note: all candidates for Sikyong and Chitue are invited to send their campaign literature to TPR for publication.] Click image to enlarge.   Email to a friend or share on ...
    Posted Aug 28, 2015, 5:53 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • Lukar Jam: Why I am standing for Sikyong 2016 [Editors' Note: all candidates for Sikyong and Chitue are invited to send their campaign literature to TPR for publication.] Press Statementby Lukar Jam. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .The glorious history of Tibetan empire ...
    Posted Aug 28, 2015, 4:00 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • My six questions to all our Chithue and Sikyong candidates By Sonam Paljor  Dulwich Hill, Sydney, Australia    We Can Shape our Tibetan Election Debate #TibetanElection2016 Tired of seeing the Dalai Lama’s name used as a crutch during these Chithue ...
    Posted Aug 27, 2015, 6:28 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • Open Letter to Election Commission from Tibetan National Congress 21 August 2015  Dear Mr. Chief Election Commissioner Mr. Sonam Choephel Shosur la:  I write on behalf of the Tibetan National Congress (TNC), a democratic, non- sectarian, non-regional, pan ...
    Posted Aug 26, 2015, 7:11 AM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • 10 Outstanding Accomplishments of Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay’s Administration   By "People's Group for Dr. Lobsang Sangay" www.lobsangsangay.wordpress.com www.facebook.com/fan.page.of.dr.lobsangsangay On 8 August 2011, Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay became the ...
    Posted Aug 20, 2015, 6:56 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • Tibetan National Congress Endorses Lukar Jam Atsock for Sikyong 2016 Click image to enlarge.   Contacts: Tibetan: Ganzey Tsering (781).502.8423 English: Jigme Ugen (612).812.5846 The Tibetan National Congress is pleased and proud to support the candidacy of ...
    Posted Aug 19, 2015, 4:52 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • Lobsang Sangay/Sikyong [Editors' Note: all candidates for Sikyong and Chitue are invited to send their campaign literature to TPR for publication.] Click image to enlarge.   Email to a friend or share on ...
    Posted Aug 19, 2015, 4:45 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • Lukar Jam/Sikyong - "No More Running" [Editors' Note: all candidates for Sikyong and Chitue are invited to send their campaign literature to TPR for publication.]   Email to a friend or share on Facebook, Twitter, etc.:    
    Posted Aug 17, 2015, 3:26 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • Dorjee Tsetan/Dotoe Chitue [Editors' Note: all candidates for Sikyong and Chitue are invited to send their campaign literature to TPR for publication.] Click image to enlarge.   Email to a friend or share on ...
    Posted Aug 16, 2015, 6:13 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • Lhagyari Namgyal Dolkar/Chitue [Editors' Note: all candidates for Sikyong and Chitue are invited to send their campaign literature to TPR for publication.] Click image to enlarge.   Email to a friend or share on ...
    Posted Aug 16, 2015, 6:11 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • NDPT nominations for Sikyong and Chitue [Editors' Note: all candidates for Sikyong and Chitue are invited to send their campaign literature to TPR for publication.] Click image to enlarge.   Email to a friend or share on ...
    Posted Aug 16, 2015, 6:08 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • Penpa Tsering/Sikyong [Editors' Note: all candidates for Sikyong and Chitue are invited to send their campaign literature to TPR for publication.] Click image to enlarge.   Email to a friend or share on ...
    Posted Aug 16, 2015, 6:07 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • Tenzin Rangdol/N. America Chitue [Editors' Note: all candidates for Sikyong and Chitue are invited to send their campaign literature to TPR for publication.] Click image to enlarge.   Email to a friend or share on ...
    Posted Aug 16, 2015, 6:05 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • Tashi Wangdu/Sikyong [Editors' Note: all candidates for Sikyong and Chitue are invited to send their campaign literature to TPR for publication.]Click image to enlarge.   Email to a friend or share on ...
    Posted Aug 16, 2015, 6:03 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • A Maturity in Tibetan Democratic Process   By Sonam Dorjee (Toronto, Canada) Allegations and counter allegations are apparently a norm of conventional politics throughout the world during election seasons. In that context, the recent allegations and rebuttals ...
    Posted Aug 14, 2015, 7:07 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • The truth about Surkhang Wangchen Gelek - Part 2   By Jampa Yangchen Surkhang In their recent rebuttal on The Tibetan Political Review (http://www.tibetanpoliticalreview.org/articles/thetruthaboutsurkhangwangchengelek) on July 20, 2015, my brother J. T. Surkhang and cousin ...
    Posted Aug 6, 2015, 5:35 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • M.Moynihan reply to Office of Tibet on "Tibet & China at the Same Washington Lobbyist"   [Editors' note: this letter replies to a letter by the Office of Tibet, which was previously posted to TPR] To: The Editors of the Washington Times From: Maura MoynihanAugust ...
    Posted Aug 5, 2015, 6:44 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • Another Noodle Maker of Kalimpong By Chewang Ngokhang (a.k.a. Ajo Che) We, too, were noodle makers in the '60s in the beautiful town of Kalimpong, nestled in the hills overlooking the majestic mount ...
    Posted Aug 5, 2015, 5:47 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • Office of Tibet response to "Tibet & China at the Same Washington Lobbyist"   From the Office of Tibet, Washington DC August 3, 2015 Letters to the Editor Washington Times 3600 New York Ave NE Washington, DC 20002 Re: Tibet & China at the Same ...
    Posted Aug 4, 2015, 6:59 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • CTA Health Department’s Clarification Regarding Tashi Wangdu’s Allegation   By Staff Writer, Tibet.net (the official website of the Central Tibetan Administration) Health Kalon, Dr. Tsering Wangchuck Mr. Tashi Wangdu, aspiring Sikyong candidacy, has made a false allegation during ...
    Posted Aug 4, 2015, 1:52 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • Election Commission Announces Decorum to be Followed for Upcoming Election By Tibet.net (the official website of the Central Tibetan Administration) DHARAMSHALA: The Election Commission of the Central Tibetan Administration held a press conference at DIIR hall on 15 July ...
    Posted Jul 29, 2015, 5:22 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • Tibetans are Victim of China's Pseudo-Rule of Law By Tenzin NamgyalFrom Mao to Xi,   leaders of PRC are good in using catchphrase heralds to  impose its hard lines ideologues on dissident of Tibetans and other alike. PRC ...
    Posted Jul 20, 2015, 6:10 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • The Truth about Surkhang Wangchen Gelek By Chunden Dolkar and J. T. Surkhang The Tibet Album. "Wangchen Geleg Surkhang, Phuntsog Rabgye Ragashar" The Pitt Rivers Museum. <http://tibet.prm.ox.ac.uk/photo_2001.59.7 ...
    Posted Jul 29, 2015, 4:35 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • Cartoon: "The Noodle Maker" (Click to enlarge) By Tendor Email to a friend or share on Facebook, Twitter, etc
    Posted Jun 30, 2015, 6:08 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • MWA, Rangzen, and the Future By Jeffrey S. Inglis This article follows up on the Final Declaration of Rangzen Conference conducted in May 23 and 24 of 2015 in New Delhi. I wish to congratulate ...
    Posted Jul 2, 2015, 8:32 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
Showing posts 1 - 30 of 771. View more »

An Open Letter from Tibetan National Congress (TNC) in Response to the Tibetan Election Commission

posted Sep 1, 2015, 4:16 PM by The Tibetan Political Review   [ updated Sep 1, 2015, 4:26 PM ]


[Editors' note: the EC's August 26 reply is below, in Tibetan]


1 September 2015 

Dear Mr. Chief Election Commissioner Sonam Choephel Shosur la:

Thank you for your August 26 reply to the Tibetan National Congress’s (TNC) letter to the Election Commission (EC) dated August 21.  Although we sincerely appreciate your reply, unfortunately your letter did not fully respond to our inquiry.

In our letter, we requested official recognition for TNC, a new Tibetan political party.  We noted that under the EC’s new rule, only officially-recognized organizations now have an unrestricted right to free speech in Tibetan elections.  The rule conditions the right to free speech on official recognition, and sets up a two-tier system that treats organizations differently.

In your reply, you stated that the EC has no jurisdiction over recognition.  You suggested that, per the Tibetan Charter, we should write to the Kashag for recognition.

Our original letter asked: “If the power to recognize an organization rests with a different CTA body entirely, please advise on the steps the EC will take to ensure that the effects of this this new rule are fair, impartial, and depoliticized.”  We respectfully await your response to this vital question.

While the Kashag apparently has the power to recognize groups, it is the EC that has issued the rule that treats organizations differently depending on whether they have this recognition by a political body.  The EC’s rule has effectively given the Kashag the power to grant (or withhold) free speech rights to Tibetan organizations.  Until now, the Kashag did not have this power over Tibetan civil society.  This could be viewed as problematic for the EC’s mandate as a non-politicized protector of Tibetan democracy.  This is merely to recognize that it is unfair to burden any political body with a decision that should be nonpolitical.

The unintended effects of the EC’s rule also risks harming the image of Tibetan democracy, considering that at least two of the “recognized” groups are actively supporting the Sikyong candidacies of the current Sikyong and Speaker.  These two groups are free to speak and spend without restriction, which benefits the campaigns of these incumbents.  Will the world see it as fair that those two groups have preferential treatment, while other groups like TNC are constrained? <1>    

We are asking the Kashag for recognition.  However, in case there are undue delays, we ask the EC for a temporary exemption from your recognition rule.  We ask this for several reasons:

  • We believe that under any impartial decision-making process, there is no reason we should not be officially recognized.  Therefore there is a strong likelihood of eventual success on the merits of our request for recognition. 

  • The election dates are fast-approaching, and any further delay would substantially and irreparably harm our right to participate fully and freely in Tibetan elections. 

  • Leaving the matter in the hands of the Kashag abdicates the EC’s responsibility to ensure the fairness and de-politicization of the Tibetan democratic process; it also unfair to the Kashag to insert it into a process that should be nonpolitical.  This is a matter of public interest far beyond the rights of one organization. 

Therefore, we respectfully suggest that for the sake of the legitimacy and fairness of Tibetan democracy, the EC has a responsibility to ensure that the effects of its rule are fair and non-politicized.  We ask for a temporary exemption to the EC’s rule on official recognition until such time as (i) the Kashag grants us recognition, or (ii) if the Kashag refuses us recognition, the Supreme Justice Commission rules on our appeal of such decision.

Again, given the fast-approaching election dates, we respectfully ask that you please inform us of your decision within two weeks.

Thank you for your assistance and your continued guardianship of the Tibetan democratic process.

Yours sincerely,

Jigme Ugen

President, Tibetan National Congress 

--

Footnote 1: This unequal treatment, and any unreasonable violation of the right to free speech, might not be consistent with the Tibetan Charter.  As you know, the Charter states that all regulations, etc. of the CTA shall conform to the generally accepted principles of international law, which includes the internationally-recognized rights to free speech and free association.   





 




Email to a friend or share on Facebook, Twitter, etc.:

Email Facebook Twitter Google+ Addthis

 


EC Rules--Code of Conduct for 2016 exile Tibetan elections

posted Sep 1, 2015, 4:07 PM by The Tibetan Political Review   [ updated Sep 1, 2015, 4:29 PM ]


By the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy


In the run-up to the 2016 elections among the Tibetan community in exile, the Election Commission (EC) of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) has issued a code of conduct that must be observed during the elections to the post of Sikyong (Tibetan political leader) and the Tibetan Parliament in-exile (TPiE).

The 2016 elections assume enormous significance for the current Kashag (Tibetan cabinet) headed by Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, considered the first political leader of the Tibetan people after the Dalai Lama devolved his political power to an elected leader or Sikyong during the 2011 elections.

The EC is the autonomous apex body of the CTA with a permanent office headed by the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) along with regular staff members in Dharamsala, India. The appointment of a CEC is approved by the TPiE. The code of conduct issued by the EC on 15 July 2015 expands on and supplements provisions of an already existing Rules and Regulations of the EC. The Code mostly concerns any cases of the violation of the provisions under article 24 of the Rules and the penalty imposed under article 25.

At a press conference on 15 July 2015 in Dharamsala, the CEC Sonam Chophel Shosur said: Under article 25 of the Rules and Regulations of the Election Commission, which is in reference to the punishment that shall be given to any people who put obstacles to the [successful carrying out of the Tibetan elections], any candidates, any person, any officials of the Election Commission, political parties, organizations, any one who violates any provision in article 24 of the Rules and Regulations of the EC, should be thoroughly 
investigated by the CEC and punished accordingly.” 


 


----------------------


The provisions in Article 25 of the EC Rules and Regulations include:

1. Any candidate, opposing candidate, or any person who attempts to give or take bribe such as real cash and other material benefits or by agreeing to take or give such bribes [an through such bribes if they]:

1(a) Make attempts to pressurize some one to stand as a candidate, not to stand as a candidate or forces him/her to withdraw his or her candidacy, or not to withdraw his or her candidacy

1(b) Any attempts to pressurize [some one] to vote and not to vote; if such violations are found, they shall be considered serious violations [of the code of conduct] and the punishment shall be that votes of such persons shall be declared null and void, and the offender shall be stripped off the right to [stand] as a candidate and the right to vote.

2. Any one who attempts to forcefully threaten a candidate or a voter, threatens to withdraw his or her candidacy, or intervenes in or obstructs a voter’s right to and right not to vote; if such violations are found, the person who commits such violations shall be stripped off the right to vote for ten years.

3. Any candidate or an opposing candidate or any person—prompted by the intention that [the opposing candidate] does not win the elections—indulges in ad hominem attacks, makes baseless allegations, criticism or subject [him or her] to humiliation, indulges in provincialism, sectarianism, creates conditions that would lead to conflicts within the society through sowing dissension, such violations [of the code of conduct] shall be considered serious cases; and as such, all the votes of the candidate [responsible for such violations] shall be declared null and void, and the opposing candidate, and any person [committing such violations?] shall be stripped off their right to vote in any official elections.

4. Any candidate, an opposing candidate, or any person who appeals for support [needed] to benefit or harm the activities/campaigns of the elections; to such a seeker of support [in benefit of such person?] if any government official in general, and particularly if any official of the election commission uses their position/power, if such violations are found, the punishment shall be: for the moment the official shall be recommended to transfer [to another place] and dismissed from election responsibilities.

5. If any candidate, by assembling huge public for the purpose of election activities [campaigns] and spreading wrong information or campaign literatures, if such violations are found all the votes received by [the offending] candidate shall be declared null and void.

6. All the staffs of central Election Commission, and the local election commissions, if any secrets regarding elections are required to be kept, they must keep it by not revealing them to the public; they must show ways to keep the secrets, rather than revealing them to their relatives, friends or fellow Tibetans from the same province or religious sects; they must ensure that no information/literatures should be exposed outside; if such things occur, he or she shall be dismissed from his or her official positions.

7. However, in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Election Commission—that is without contradicting them—at the public gatherings if the candidate takes a particular political ideology, if any announcement made to the public with regard to accepting responsibilities, distributing literatures, the candidates’ province, religious sects, organization, any declaration of support by individual or organization; if any person is declared, through suggestions made both verbally and in writing, worthy of being elected as an MP, all issues that are related to these aforementioned points shall not be considered as violation of the laws and regulations. However, within two days before the day of the election until the end of elections, all declarations of support must cease. If such violations are found, the punishment shall be that all the votes that a candidate received from that particular area shall be declared null and void; the particular head of the organization or the particular individual shall be stripped off his or her right to vote for five years in any official elections.

8. From the day of the announcement of the elections, any candidate desiring to fight the elections for the post of Sikyong, Kalon or MP, if they participate in election debates organized by the CTA or other NGOs, they must do so in their own personal capacities rather than as representing the CTA; moreover, they can’t seek services of any CTA officials nor can they use the finance and other materials of the CTA; even while they are on official visits, they are not allowed to make any campaigning speeches; if any candidate is found doing such a thing in any place, the punishment shall be that votes received for the candidate in that place shall all be declared null and void.

9. Rules on Expenditure and Nature of Election Campaign of Sikyong and MP candidates of 2016 Election: The Central Election Commission has outlined eight punishments to Sikyong and parliamentarian candidates who violate the eight guidelines on expenditure and nature of campaign. The eight guidelines and punishments are:

a) Regarding campaign expenses of Sikyong and MPs, all the candidates should abide by the rules of the Election Commission. The maximum expenditure allowance for each Sikyong candidate is eight lakh Indian rupees (Rs. 800,000) whereas the maximum expenditure allowance for each MP candidate is three lakhs Indian rupees (300,000). All the funds incurred on any campaign should be legal. The campaigns include publishing one’s opinions in the new papers in exile, making different posters, distribution of pamphlets and CDs, addressing one’s opinions on public gatherings, announcements and advertisements in websites and social networks. If there is any evidence of spending beyond the expenditure limit set by the Central Election Commission, 25 votes for each 10,000 rupees extra spent used shall be declared null and void. If there is any proof that the fund spent is illegal, all votes secured by the respective candidates shall be declared null and void.

a (1) Excluding organizations and institutions recognized by CTA, no independent organization or individual is allowed to carry out any announcement or spent on campaign activities. The expenses incurred in any permitted campaign should be included in the account statement of the concerned candidate. If there is any evidence that any individual violates this guideline, he/ she shall not be allowed to vote for any of the CTA elections for a term of five years. However, any campaign without any expenditure shall not be included here.

a (2) Each candidate should submit all the statements of receipt and expenditure related to election campaigns to the Regional Election Commission before the official declaration of the election. If any Sikyong/parliamentarian candidate does not submit all the statements of receipt with attestation before the official declaration of the actual election, 10% of the votes received by the respective candidate shall be deducted.

a (3) All the campaigning literatures, pamphlets and posters of each candidate of Sikyong and MP should contain the name and address of publishers and distributers. If there is any evidence that any candidate violates this guideline, he/ she shall not be allowed to vote for any of the CTA organizations for a term of five years.

a (4) None of the Sikyong and MP candidate is allowed to use any portrait of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and emblem of CTA on their campaigning literature. Using Tibetan national flag and Tibet map is also prohibited. If there is any evidence that any candidate violates the fifth guideline, 5% of the votes received by the respective candidate shall be declared null and void.

a (5) Each Sikyong and MP candidate and their supporters can participate in election campaigns for preliminary election as well as for the final general election, but these should be done in accordance with article 24 of the Election Rules and Regulations. Moreover, they should abide by the article 24 (7) of the Rules and Regulations of the Election commission, states that: “All the campaigns should cease two days before the election dates.” Any direct, indirect or incidental act of distributing campaign literatures to voters on voting dates shall not be allowed.

If there is any evidence that any candidate violates this guideline, he/she shall be given the punishment elucidated article 24 (7) of the rules and regulations of the election commission. In addition to that, he/she shall not be allowed to vote for any of the CTA elections for five years.

a (6) All the campaign programs and activities at any place should be abided by the laws of the concerned country. Distribution or pasting of photos of the candidates in politically sensitive areas is not allowed. If there is any evidence of violating this guideline, the candidate shall not be allowed to stand for the election for the same post for five years and other individuals shall not be allowed to vote for any of the CTA elections for five years.

a (7) All the information related to election campaigns including publication of announcements, press conferences, and distribution of documents by the candidates or their supporters should be sent to the concerned Regional Election Commission for their awareness. If any candidate or his/her supporter violates this guideline, the concerned Regional Election Commission will halt the campaign activities of the respective candidate.
----------------------

The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) will launch a series of awareness-raising advocacy campaigns aimed at increasing actual voter turnouts particularly among the Tibetan youth during 2016 elections, and to give due prominence to the unique practice of the stateless and borderless democracy created and practiced by Tibetans in exile. A multi-media presentation on 2016 elections featuring roundtable discussions and spot-on interviews with Tibetan university students; a 30-minute documentary film on Tibetan democracy; and organizing visits by international observers to at least three constituencies in and around Dharamsala.

DISCLAIMER: Translation of provisions of the Rules and Regulations of the EC included in this briefing has not been approved of by the EC. If any discrepancies are found, consider the Tibetan version as authoritative and final.



Originally published at https://m.facebook.com/tchrd/posts/10153459017401678:0





Email to a friend or share on Facebook, Twitter, etc.: Bookmark and Share 




 


Shenpenn Khymsar/N. America Chitue

posted Aug 31, 2015, 6:50 PM by The Tibetan Political Review   [ updated Sep 1, 2015, 4:22 PM ]


[Editors' Note: all candidates for Sikyong and Chitue are invited to send their campaign literature to TPR for publication.]



 









Email to a friend or share on Facebook, Twitter, etc.:

Email Facebook Twitter Google+ Addthis




 


Speaker Penpa Tsering Gave a Filthy Speech

posted Aug 31, 2015, 6:44 PM by The Tibetan Political Review

 
By Songtsen

Translated by Tashi Norbu Tsewang

Original Tibetan link: http://www.khabdha.org/?p=74718#more-74718 


A few days back, Penpa Tsering gave a speech at Sera Monastery. There weren't many new faces in the audience. He said something that would frighten you even just to hear it. While the monks were staring at his face with doubts and were not sure whether they should trust their ears or not, he stressed again that "I will never sit and debate with the Sikyong candidate who is critical of His Holiness. It is very upstanding that Gyuto monastery prohibited any Sikyong candidates who criticize His Holiness. Recently, a Tibetan media invited me to debate with someone that I mentioned above, but I refused because I will never sit and debate with those people."

In general, Tibetans consider Speaker Penpa Tsering as someone who is an experienced and eloquent speaker. Plus, he is someone who holds a high position in the Tibetan government to serve Tibetan people. He is also someone who would beg Red China to resume the Sino-Tibet relations, but I could barely eat and sleep when I saw that Speaker Penpa Tsering is someone who doesn't has the courage and willingness to debate other Sikyong candidates with different perspectives about the Tibetan issue in our community.

Speaker Penpa Tsering was talking indirectly about Sikyong candidate Lukar Jam. Why is it that he can dialogue and debate with our enemy China but not Lukar Jam? Is Lukar Jam worse than Red China? Is Lukar Jam more substandard than Red China? When I saw that Speaker Penpa Tsering is lacking sincerity and the open heart to debate Tibetan issue with Sikyong candidate Lukar Jam, who has endured years of suffering and torture under Red China, I couldn't keep silence. I knew that Speaker Penpa Tsering pledged that he wouldn't give a hand to those Dorjee Shugden followers. Are all Tibetan Rangzen activists also included in his pledge? Or just Lukar Jam alone? It seems that Speaker Penpa Tsering won't be satisfied even if he kills Lukar Jam. Where did he get all this hatred and anger? If what Speaker Penpa Tsering thinks about Lukar Jam is what he said, then this is really scary.

We can have different perspectives on Tibetan issue. You can say you don't seek Rangzen. You can support Middle Way Approach and follow His Holiness, but you should also have an open mind where you have a little space for Rangzen activists rather than trying to expel them from your community. How could it possible that you are willing to stay with Red China, but not engage with Sikyong candidate Lukar Jam? For me, this is quite odd that Speaker Penpa Tsering is open minded towards Red China, but not with Sikyong candidate Lukar Jam.

These days, many Tibetans are spreading words that Speaker Penpa Tsering destroyed the unity of Tibetan Youth Congress, but I personally considered these as rumors. However, this time when I heard Speaker Penpa Tsering's speech and saw his narrow mind, I understood that Tibetan Rangzen activists are just like a thorn in his eyes. I also think that those rumors might be true as well.

Maybe he was trying to show that he is a sincere and true follower of His Holiness. He also thought that he might get more support from Sera monks, but in reality, monks at Sera are not narrow-minded people who don't have any space in their hearts for Lukar Jam when it comes to Tibetan issue. We don't consider Rangzen activists to be our enemy like Red China. I think Speaker Penpa Tsering didn't understand our mind and the open hearts that we have. I think that this time Speaker Penpa Tsering did the wrong maths, the wrong divination. What a mistake.





Email to a friend or share on Facebook, Twitter, etc.: Bookmark and Share 




 


Why Dr. Lobsang Sangay Again?

posted Aug 31, 2015, 6:39 PM by The Tibetan Political Review

 
By Pasang Tsering 


Earlier this summer, I was in Washington, DC, attending a weeklong Tibetan Youth Leadership Program organized by International Campaign for Tibet. One of the important political institutions we visited was the United States Department of State. In a closed-door meeting, we sat down with one of the top-most United States diplomats. Toward the end of the meeting, a fellow student expressed her concern about the plight of Tibetans in the absence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. To my great surprise, the high-ranking diplomat effused, “What is Lobsang Sangay? What about other elected Tibetan leaders? Don’t they represent the Tibetan people?”

This story above is a testimony of how significant the upcoming elections are for Tibet and Tibetan people. We are electing our leaders not only to run Dharamsala, but also to represent us and shoulder the solemn duty of realizing the aspirations of six million Tibetans. They are the standard bearers of our Tibetan freedom movement. Now if they were to be recognized as our representatives, it first begins with our votes. Every Tibetan in exile must exercise our voting right and thereby delegate our power to our leaders.

Nonetheless, the fundamental flaw of our democracy is votes are counted, but not weighed. Our leaders are chosen based on number of votes they earned, but not quality of leadership they bring to the table. The only way we can bring competent leaders at the top is by thoroughly examining each and every candidate and supporting only those with demonstrated track record of outstanding accomplishments, well thought-out present and future plans, and their ability to deliver what they promise. Therefore, it is imperative that we understand all the candidates who are running for the Sikyong (prime minister) and Chitue (parliamentarians) elections.

When it comes to the Sikyong election, we have five candidates, namely Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, Speaker Penpa Tsering, Tashi Wangdu, head of the Federation of Tibetan Cooperatives, Lukar Jam, a researcher and ex vice president of GuChuSum former political prisoners' movement, and Tashi Topgyal, a former member of Special Frontier Force. Among all the present candidates, Sikyong Lobsang is arguably the strongest candidate.

Why Dr. Lobsang Sangay Again?


Being an incumbent is a double-edged sword. The past record could either be in favor or against the incumbent. However, public is at the advantage because we could evaluate the overall performance of the incumbent on the job. In 2011, Sikyong Lobsang Sangay defeated veteran politicians Tenzin Tethong and Tashi Wangdi by winning 55% of the votes and rose to the highest office of the Tibetan diaspora. His signature election campaign slogan was ‘Unity, Innovation and Self-reliance’ and that was the mandate of the general public. So, nothing could better address the aforementioned question than by examining whether he has produced any concrete deliverables as mandated.

Unity

Democratic leaders earn public support by serving their constituents and thereby bring unity between the government and citizens. As such, Sikyong Lobsang Sangay has placed tremendous significance on stabilizing Tibetan settlements in India, home to over 80,000 Tibetans in exile. Besides, he has also made unprecedented efforts to integrate newly arrived Tibetans from Tibet into the exile community. Compared to the past, the newly arrived young adult Tibetans are receiving better educational facility and political prisoners are provided with the best possible amenities. Moreover, he has made an earnest attempt to connect everywhere from the East to the West through Tibet Corps and Sister Shichak.

Innovation

Ever since Sikyong Lobsang Sangay assumed the political leadership, there has been a series of positive changes in the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) and its functionality in style and substance. Among many, one that a lot of us have not taken heed is a new reach of the Tibetan diplomacy round the globe. For India to the United States, Sikyong Lobsang Sangay has established our presence in the eyes of both the leaders and people of those countries. He has won friends, influenced people, and accomplished our collective goals.

Self-Reliance

Sikyong Lobsang Sangay has made a remarkable effort in bringing socio-economic growth and development in our exile community. The CTA’s budget has doubled under his administration compared to the previous administration and so is its investment in education, public health, small businesses and many other community development programs. Hence, the fiscal health of our exile government has gained a new momentum and many of his new policies and programs are taking shape in building a strong, stable and sustainable exile community.

Sino-Tibet Dialogue: An Achilles Heel of All

Among all the issues, the peaceful resolution of Tibet is the top most priority because this is the core reason for the very existence of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile. Ending the sufferings of our Tibetan brothers and sisters in Tibet is our ultimate cause.

When Sikyong Lobsang Sangay came to office, the Tibetan public placed their hopes in him. He came as a Harvard-trained legal expert with a demonstrated track record of leading dialogues between Chinese and Tibetan scholars on Tibet-China issue. However, odds were and still are stacked against him and there is little to no room for him to move in or move out at the moment.

If Sikyong Lobsang Sangay has one Achilles heel, it is undoubtedly the stalemate of Sino-Tibet dialogue. This is where a lot of constituents are unsatisfied, if not unhappy, including many of his staunch supporters. While his administration has formed a new task force team and met multiple times within their bubble, there has not been even a single meeting between his representatives and their Chinese counterparts till date.

Sikyong Lobsang Sangay alternatively used both tough rhetoric and conciliatory tones presumably in an attempt to bring China to a dialogue table, but we have not seen any tangible progress, except for garnering international sympathy and support and some Chinese friendship. Materializing Sino-Tibet dialogue in the resolving the Tibetan issue will be a challenge for all the candidates and we need their solid answer.

Return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet

Born and raised in a modest family in the far-flung hill station of Darjeeling, Sikyong Lobsang Sangay has come a long way. He is a believer and he is an achiever.

When Sikyong Lobsang Sangay said we would escort His Holiness the Great 14th Dalai Lama back to a free Tibet, he meant it. As a leader, he raised hope in the hearts and minds of every Tibetan. His aspiration is our aspiration. It is an aspiration of all our Tibetan brothers and sisters in Tibet. Even His Holiness firmly believes the day of His return to Tibet will come soon within His lifetime. So, we shall continue to strive for our collective dream of a free Tibet and return of His Holiness the Great 14th Dalai Lama to Potala Palace.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama is and always will be our supreme leader. His Holiness is the symbol of our Tibet and Tibetan people and His Holiness is our guiding force. However, when it comes to leading the Tibetan freedom movement, His Holiness has completely transferred over 400 years old political authority to our democratically elected prime minister or Sikyong and it is therefore critical that we elect the strongest possible leader to lead our Tibetan freedom movement.

To that end, all the four other candidates pale in comparison to what Sikyong Lobsang Sangay has accomplished and will accomplish as our leader. It is for this reason, we must re-elect Sikyong Lobsang Sangay. Let us give him five more years to finish all the unfinished works and bolster the Tibetan freedom movement. We have come a long way together and let us now continue our journey towards unity, innovation and self-reliance.

Yes, let us vote for Dr. Lobsang Sangay again!

__________________________________________ 

The author is a Juris Doctor candidate at CUNY School of Law, New York. He completed his Bachelor’s in Law from M.S. Ramaiah College of Law, India, and Master’s in Public Policy and Administration from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York.




Email to a friend or share on Facebook, Twitter, etc.: Bookmark and Share 




 


Tashi Wangdu/Sikyong campaign materials

posted Aug 28, 2015, 5:46 PM by The Tibetan Political Review   [ updated Aug 28, 2015, 5:53 PM ]


[Editors' Note: all candidates for Sikyong and Chitue are invited to send their campaign literature to TPR for publication.]

Click image to enlarge.





 




































Email to a friend or share on Facebook, Twitter, etc.: Bookmark and Share 




 


Lukar Jam: Why I am standing for Sikyong 2016

posted Aug 28, 2015, 4:00 PM by The Tibetan Political Review


[Editors' Note: all candidates for Sikyong and Chitue are invited to send their campaign literature to TPR for publication.]


Press Statement
by Lukar Jam
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The glorious history of Tibetan empire had sustained and nurtured the Tibetan people. During the height of its power, the Tibetan empire extended nearly the half of Asia – from the then Chinese capital city of Chang’an in the east to the Gangetic plains of India in the South, and to the Oxus River in the west. The hoofs of cavalry from the high plateau have left an indelible imprint over these territories. Tibet even controlled the Silk Route, emerging as a bridge between the Eastern and Western worlds and a major hub of trade and civilization.

Tibetan people possess the spirit of rebellion. During the imperial time, when the masses suffered atrocities due to unjust rule and heavy taxation, they, in alliance with the military, revolted against Tibetan kings. They even ransacked the royal tombs at Chongye, distributing the treasures buried therein among themselves.

Tibetan people have the willpower to revive the glory of Tibetan civilization. After the political disintegration of Tibet, the fire of Tibetan Buddhism kept burning in eastern Tibet. The learned Panditas and Lotsawas travelled to India, China and other countries to bring in their cultures, thus reviving the Tibetan civilization. These efforts enabled great advances in Tibet’s political, economic and cultural fields.

The Tibetan people have the ability to seize opportunity for political changes. The one who can seize such an opportunity in accordance with changing times is a true leader. In the recent history of Tibet, there were several proud events such as the expulsion of Chinese invaders from Tibet. His Holiness the Great Thirteenth Dalai Lama, taking advantage of the downfall of Manchu dynasty in China, not only expelled all the Chinese from Central Tibet but also reiterated the independence of Tibet in 1913, thereby rendering unimaginable service to the Tibetan people.

Tibetans are the first to revolt against Mao’s China. In the 1950s, Tibetans from Dotoe, Domey and Utsang launched both peaceful and armed struggle against the invading PLA forces. Although the Chinese eliminated leaders of the Tibetan government, including those that attempted to cooperate with them, Tibetans continued to revolt, culminating in the Tibetan National Uprising on 10 March 1959.

Tibetans have never surrendered to the occupying Chinese. In early 1980s, a new generation of Tibetans rose up against the Chinese colonizers in Tibet’s capital Lhasa. In 2008, a new chapter was opened in the Tibetan freedom movement as Tibetans from across the entire Tibetan Plateau rose up against the Chinese. Nearly 150 Tibetans who have self-immolated so far are at the forefront of this new movement.

Tibetans are fiercely independent in nature and self-sufficient. Tibetans in exile are doing quite well because of the hard work of the older generations. Refugee settlements in India, Nepal and Bhutan are functioning well and young Tibetans, who are decently educated, are able to face the challenges of the modern world and walk shoulder to shoulder with other people.

Lack of long-term vision has obstructed political reforms. We need to change the political status quo and to wake up from this inferior attitude of having lost our nation and having to face existential uncertainty in exile. I don’t believe that change will emerge out of the coffers of a rich merchant. I don’t believe that change will come from the prayer of a hermit meditating in a cave. I don’t believe that change will be ushered-in by anyone just because he or she has a degree from a western university.

Political reform can only be achieved when we imbibe the wisdom and fortitude of our forefathers and the spirit of the Great Emperors of Tibet. However, if we forfeit our collective wisdom and espouse the knowledge of others while aping the western culture in all our works, we will never be able to rise up for freedom. Even if we do manage to rise up, we will not be able to build a Tibet that is the true spirit of Tibet or one that is truly suitable for Tibetans.

As human beings, exile Tibetans have had instances of disagreements between various groups. Ideally, CTA should have been able to maintain a fair and balanced stand on minor issues and conflicts within our community. However, occasionally we have made mountains out of molehills. Cases in point are the dissension between the old and the new Chushi Gangdruk, the issue regarding propitiation of Dolgyal and the recent fiasco in New York where a few so-called supporters of the Middle Way Approach warned other Tibetans chanting pro-independent slogans that they would be handed over to the police. In such instances the exile administration should have shown visionary and non-partisan leadership.

We must eliminate our servitude mindset. Chinese propaganda alleges that the barbaric and backward Tibetans will never make progress without the leadership of the Chinese Communists. In exile some of us, as if to augment this Chinese narrative, preach that Rangzen is unrealistic and that Tibet will profit if we remain under China. This is tantamount to reinforcing our servitude mindset.

The other form of servitude mindset prevalent in exile is the failure to identify those people who talk about honesty and integrity yet engage in corrupt acts. Although we know those unscrupulous people yet we look the other way. If we fail to overcome these forms of servitude mindset, we will never be able to rise up.

The perversion of faith has sown seeds of discord in our exile society. With the progress of civilization, we hoped that the discords between different religious traditions would subside. However, as elsewhere around the world, tensions within our exile society seems to have risen. There have been cases of murder due to contention in propitiation of deities or demons. In the past few years, many of those who practice Dolgyal and those who allegedly oppose them have unabashedly washed their dirty linens in the public, creating a sad spectacle. The harmful repercussions of such actions have gradually emerged in Tibet as well. As of now, it is not the exile administration’s role to interfere in the dispute between deities or demons. Instead it must take steady and careful steps in restricting the perversion of faith, which is destroying the foundations of peace and unity within our society.

In the history of Tibetan democracy, His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s decision to devolve his political responsibilities was historic. However, those who inherited the precious gifts of democracy from His Holiness, seem to have forgotten their responsibility to restore Tibet’s freedom as soon as they entered the gates of Gangchen Kyishong. They forget that Gangchen Kyishong is not Lhasa. Due to their ignorance about ground-shifting changes taking place in Tibet, the exile leaders fail to respond actively when protests take place inside Tibet.

I am standing for the Sikyong elections not because it is about winning or losing. Rather it is about its significance. I have to enter this election. This is not just an act of protest but because we need concrete reforms and a new vision.

Long Live Tibetan Independence! Long Live Tibetan courage! Long Live Tibet!

Lukar Jam
Sikyong Candidate 2016
3 August 2015


Vision for Political and Cultural Renaissance
Vision for Non-partisan Governance

Resist the Servitude Mindset
Resist the Abuse of Faith





Email to a friend or share on Facebook, Twitter, etc.: Bookmark and Share 




 


My six questions to all our Chithue and Sikyong candidates

posted Aug 27, 2015, 6:25 PM by The Tibetan Political Review   [ updated Aug 27, 2015, 6:28 PM ]




By Sonam Paljor 
Dulwich Hill, Sydney, Australia 

 

We Can Shape our Tibetan Election Debate #TibetanElection2016

Tired of seeing the Dalai Lama’s name used as a crutch during these Chithue (Members of Parliament) and Sikyong (Prime Minister) elections? Tired of hearing the same old "doktsa-chigdril" slogans without any tangible plans to show how it may be achieved? Then, asking the right questions will encourage our candidates to take stands on the really important issues and help shape our discussion. 

#TibetanElection2016 should be about informed discussion, not continuing with the same old thread based on narrow personal considerations.

About the Dalai Lama

The institution of the Dalai Lama has great historical legitimacy. Because of his tireless work for Tibet, the 14th Dalai Lama is today universally synonymous with Tibet. However the issue of Tibet is also the issue of 6 million Tibetans and many more. How will you progress the issue of Tibet independent of the Dalai Lama? What structures and systems will you put in to progress this reality at the state, national and international level?

About U-may lam or Rangzen

There are two main views on how we might advocate for our cause: The official U-may lam (Middle Way) of the past several decades and the other “minority” Rangzen (Complete independence). Considering U-may lam has been our government policy for many decades, do you think it needs to be reviewed like any other policy? Do you view Rangzen people as “against the Dalai Lama”? Which policy do you support? How would you propose that you will work with people you don’t agree with and unite this diversity into a coherent voice at the state, national and international level?

About religious harmony and unity

Minority religious groups such as Shugden propitiator have been in the news for various reasons. How has it affected our cause and what secular democratic structures and systems will you propose or put in to include such minority groups and work with them?

About Non-Government bodies

Do you see a role for non-government Tibetan or non-Tibetan organisations in furthering our cause? E.g. Tibetan Youth Congress, Tibetan Women’s Association, Students for Free Tibet, Tibet Support groups, etc. If so, what’s your plan to work with them at the state, national and international level?

About increasing representation of Tibetan voices from inside Tibet

There appears to be no letup in Chinese control over our people in Tibet. How do you propose we find ways to increase representation of Tibetan voices from inside Tibet in forging a common future path with our exile set up?

About equal gender representation

This election appears to follow previous election trends and seem to offer little or no representation from women and other genders. How will you create space to increase gender diversity in leadership roles in our community?

If you are a candidate, please do share your responses here. And if you are not, then, please help forward these questions to our candidates so we know where they stand.

I want to declare that this is a personal initiative with no organisation or business involved behind it.


[TPR editors' note: any Sikyong or Chitue candidates are invited to send responses to TPR for publication]


-------------------------------------------

   Email to a friend or share on Facebook, Twitter, etc.:

Facebook Twitter Google+ Addthis






  


 


Open Letter to Election Commission from Tibetan National Congress

posted Aug 26, 2015, 7:08 AM by The Tibetan Political Review   [ updated Aug 26, 2015, 7:11 AM ]




21 August 2015 

Dear Mr. Chief Election Commissioner Mr. Sonam Choephel Shosur la: 

I write on behalf of the Tibetan National Congress (TNC), a democratic, non- sectarian, non-regional, pan-Tibetan political party formed in March 2012 with members in India, Europe, and North America. Since its founding, TNC has contributed to the Tibetan cause, for example taking the lead in the campaign to move the Nobel Summit from Cape Town to Rome so His Holiness the Dalai Lama could attend. In light of the upcoming elections, I respectfully request that TNC be included without delay in the list of officially-recognized Tibetan organizations and institutions. 

According to the rules that the Election Commission (EC) recently released, Tibetan organizations now have different rights depending on whether or not they are officially recognized. Only officially-recognized organizations now have an unrestricted right to free speech in Tibetan elections. Non-recognized organizations are not allowed to make any statements of support whatsoever for any candidate, without express written consent of the individual candidate, if their activity involves any financial expenditure whatsoever. The penalty for violating this rule is the loss of the right to vote for five years. 

This new rule is highly unusual, since it conditions the right to free speech on official permission, and sets up a two-tier system that treats organizations differently. A TNC member recently asked the EC for clarification, and was informed by the EC that the list of officially-recognized organizations is currently limited to: the tsokpas for the three Tibetan provinces, TWA, TYC, NDPT, Gu-chu-sum, Ngari Welfare Association, Tibetan National unity organization, Welfare Association of Pokhra, Nepal. 

The EC has not released any guidelines on how an organization becomes officially recognized, or what criteria are used to decide. In light of the EC’s mandate as the guardian of Tibetan democracy, I can assume that the criteria are neutral and aimed at ensuring maximum democratic participation. 

I therefore respectfully request that TNC be included without delay in the list of officially recognized organizations. We wish to participate fully in the Tibetan democratic process, and under the new rules we cannot do so without official recognition. 

We trust that the EC will have no problem recognizing us so that we can participate in the Tibetan democratic process. If you would like any additional information about our organization, please do not hesitate to contact us. If you decide not to recognize us, we ask that you please provide us with the specific reasons and criteria that you used to make your decision. If the power to recognize an organization rests with a different CTA body entirely, please advise on the steps the EC will take to ensure that the effects of this this new rule are fair, impartial, and depoliticized. 

Given the fast-approaching election dates, we respectfully ask that you please inform us of your decision within two weeks. 

Thank you for your assistance and your continued guardianship of the Tibetan democratic process. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jigme Ugen 
President, Tibetan National Congress



Email to a friend or share on Facebook, Twitter, etc.:

Email Facebook Twitter Google+ Addthis


  



 


10 Outstanding Accomplishments of Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay’s Administration

posted Aug 20, 2015, 6:48 PM by The Tibetan Political Review   [ updated Aug 20, 2015, 6:56 PM ]

 
By "People's Group for Dr. Lobsang Sangay"

www.lobsangsangay.wordpress.com

www.facebook.com/fan.page.of.dr.lobsangsangay



On 8 August 2011, Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay became the first democratically-elected political leader of the Tibetan people in their history. Grounded in his fundamental guiding principles of Unity, Innovation and Self-Reliance, the exile administration has achieved outstanding results in the political, economic, education and social spheres. Sangay has ushered in a new political awareness by successfully raising the Central Tibetan Administration’s (CTA) visibility and the status of Sikyong in global politics.

 

When His Holiness the Dalai Lama devolved his political and administrative powers to the elected leadership, a cloud of doubt and anxiety shrouded the hearts and minds of Tibetans inside and outside Tibet. However, following the footsteps of former Kalon Tripa Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche, and the dedication of his fellow Kalons and civil servants, Sangay has performed his responsibilities exceptionally well and achieved great progress in almost every field these last four years. Consequently, he has inspired confidence among Tibetans in the exile administration.

 

Following are Ten Outstanding Accomplishments achieved under his leadership:

 

ONE: Praise from His Holiness and Recognition from the Tibetan people

In his address at the swearing-in ceremony of Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, His Holiness the Dalai Lama stated that with the devolution of his political and administrative powers, one of His Holiness’s long-cherished aspirations was fulfilled. In March 2014, while inaugurating the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile’s new building, His Holiness expressed his confidence in the Sikyong’s administration, and stated that now everything should not be dependent on a single person. During a visit to Germany on 27 August 2014, His Holiness said that he had handed over all his political responsibilities to an outstanding young leader Lobsang Sangay. Similarly, on 23 March 2015, in his address at a conference to mark the legacy of the former Indian Defence Minister George Fernandes, His Holiness reiterated that the Sikyong has been fulfilling his responsibilities with full competence.

Although the devolution of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s political authority marked a time of great transformation and anxiety, Sikyong Lobsang Sangay successfully champions the cause of the Tibetan people. Under his leadership, there has been a blossoming of a high level of awareness about, and trust in the Central Tibetan Administration, especially among people inside Tibet. This is evident from the abundant songs, letters and prayers offered by Tibetans from all walks of life from Tibet. This outpouring of faith is largely due to His Holiness’ guidance and his kind introduction of the Sikyong at various internal and international platforms.

 

TWO: Creation of Awareness and Mobilization of International Support for the Critical Situation in Tibet

 

In light of the critical situation in Tibet as highlighted by ongoing self-immolation protests, Sikyong is leading a strong global campaign to raise awareness about the ground reality in Tibet by meeting, appealing to, and garnering support from world leaders and parliamentarians.

In four years, he has visited over twenty countries and discussed the urgency of the Tibet issue with influential global leaders, including ministers, speakers and parliamentarians, Nobel Laureates and Tibet Support Groups. Sangay has appeared in major international news media, such as CNN, BBC, The New York Times, Globe Mail, Time magazine, the Wall Street Journal, Economic Times and the Washington Post. In addition to articles on his work and life, they have published articles authored by the Sikyong. These have greatly contributed in generating discussions and gathering support for Tibet.

Due to Tibet’s critical situation, a Special Tibetan General Meeting and Tibet Support Groups meeting were organized in Dharamsala in 2012. This was followed by a major event jointly-initiated by the Kashag and the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile in Delhi. This year the Paris Rally for Tibet, which was attended by Sikyong, attracted over 7,000 supporters. Similar events were organized in Austria, Japan and Australia.

 

 

THREE:  A Greater Level of Awareness and Support for the Middle-Way Approach

The Middle-Way Approach was democratically-adopted by the Central Tibetan Administration to resolve the Tibet issue under His Holiness the Dalai Lama. When the Sikyong took his oath of office, he pledged his commitment to this policy and to carry forward the works done during the administration of the former Kalon Tripa Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche. As soon as the Sikyong took over the reins of the administration, he created a think tank, the Tibet Policy Institute (TPI). The TPI, in close partnership with many reputed scholars and international think tanks, has organized conferences on the Middle-Way Approach, as well as many other issues related to Tibet.

In 2014, the Sikyong, his fellow Kalons as well as secretaries of the departments visited all Tibetan settlements, schools and monasteries to speak and to raise awareness on the Middle-Way Approach. In June 2014, the Middle-Way Approach Campaign was launched, during which His Holiness released the campaign documents and the video. The launch included the opening of a website, dissemination of an eight-minute video and various print materials on the Middle-Way Approach in Tibetan, English, Chinese languages. The campaign was covered in 30 major international news media. Latest addition is an hour long video in Tibetan language featuring head lamas of various sects, Bon tradition and former political prisoners from Tibet endorsing the Middle Way Approach. Today many major world leaders unequivocally praise and support the Middle-Way Approach in resolving the issue of Tibet.

FOUR: Efforts to Promote Sino-Tibetan Talks Through Various Means

Believing that the best way to resolve the Sino-Tibetan conflict is through dialogue, the current administration under the Sikyong increased the members of the Task Force on Sino-Tibetan Negotiation with Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche as its special adviser. Efforts were made with the special envoy, and presently, efforts are being made without a special envoy. Prof. Jin Wei of the Central Party School in Beijing has on various occasions underlined the need for Sino-Tibetan dialogue. Her comments have been published in various Chinese news websites. On 29 January 2015, the BBC aired the story about a former high-ranking Chinese official, Xiao Wunan, visiting Dharamsala to meet His Holiness and Tibetan leaders. Xiao commented on the changing scenario of the Sino-Tibetan situation.

On 25 August 2014, the Indian daily newspaper, The Hindu, quoted Wu Yingjie, the deputy party secretary of Tibet Autonomous Region, as saying that the Chinese government is already in talks with the people of the HH Dalai Lama. EU President Donald Tusk publicly urged the visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang for China to restart meaningful dialogue on Tibet. Major global leaders, including the foreign ministries of the US and Europe, have issued statements and passed over seventeen resolutions in support of a Sino-Tibetan dialogue.

 

The Sikyong continues to reiterate that he attaches more importance to the substance than the process of the dialogue and that there should be dialogue between the envoys of the Dalai Lama and Chinese counterparts. Hence, there will likely be some progress in this field in the near future.

 

FIVE: Excellent Relations with Indian Leaders

The Government of India’s support is crucial to the Tibet issue, and the importance of the Tibetan Administration’s relationship with India can never be exaggerated. Since the Sikyong took office, his strong personal relationship with many Indian leaders has resulted in the successful implementation of several new innovative projects.

 

The official celebration of His Holiness’ 80th birthday this year was attended by two Union Ministers representing the Indian Government. The ministers visited Dharamsala – the first time in 55 years – to attend His Holiness’ birthday.

 

Similarly, the Sikyong’s appearance at the swearing-in ceremony of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has signaled a powerful political message. The Sikyong has also personally met with chief ministers of many Indian states, including Karnataka, Orissa, Uttrakhand, Arunachal Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh to discuss and resolve a range of problems and challenges faced by local Tibetan communities. Furthermore, the formalization of the Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy 2014 by the Government of India, the renewal of RC for five years and invitations for the Sikyong to deliver lectures at various Indian universities show a high level of support for the incumbent Kashag under the leadership of Sikyong Lobsang Sangay.

At the request of the Sikyong, the road running from McLeod Gunj to Lower Dharamsala via the exile Tibetan headquarters at Gangchen Kyishong was renamed the Potala Road and is now being extensively renovated. Perhaps, this is an auspicious sign for His Holiness to return to the Potala Palace in Tibet one day.

 

SIX: Accomplishments in the Field of Education

The Sikyong has consistently said that education is the top priority for his administration. Significant investments include: initiatives to take over the administration of Tibetan schools from the CTSA; the distribution of an unprecedented amount of funds to fully implement the Basic Education Policy; the establishment of a special teacher training center to train holistic Tibetan teachers; visits to every Tibetan school and first-hand assessments of their situation; and organizing parent-teacher meetings to gain valuable feedbacks. All these initiatives have yielded outstanding results.

 

In 2010, the Department of Education provided scholarship of over nine million rupees [Ninety Lakhs] to 130 students. The Department today spends forty million [Four Crores] in scholarship awards to 600 students, including 300 scholarships to those pursuing specialized professional courses and special scholarships for poverty affected children. As a result, the number of students who attained distinction — scoring over 75% — in the 12th standard has increased from 127 in 2010 to over 321 in 2014. The same figure for 2015 was 443 students. There is a growing body of students securing over 95% to win the prestigious Sikyong Scholarship.

 

As a result in June 2015, while delivering introductory talks on Buddhism at TCV in upper Dharamsala, His Holiness said, “Despite years of deterioration in education, things are improving today. The staff of Education Department must continue to work hard.” Since there is no end to progress, the opportunity to further increase the standards of Tibetan education must be seized with both hands.

SEVEN: Two-fold Increase in the Administration’s Income

No works can be implemented without a sound financial base. For about fifteen years since 1999 the annual budget of the exile administration has been around one thousand million rupees. However, the annual budget for this year stands at two thousand million rupees. This increase shows that the CTA’s income has doubled. The exile administration used to receive US$ two million in aid from the United States towards welfare programs for Tibetans in India, Nepal and Bhutan. The amount of aid Tibetans receive from them today is about US$ seven million. The CTA also receives US$ one million in aid each from two western countries. These funds, along with the funding aids extended by various other countries, are extremely significant from a political point of view. These funds are now being invested in education, sustenance of settlements, promotion of political knowledge, promotion and preservation of Tibetan religion, culture and language, promotion of Tibetan businesses, including sweater sellers, salaries of Tibetan teachers, raise (recently) in pensions, renovation and expansion of CTA offices, upgrades in CTA office equipment, building of recreational facilities, etc.

 

Furthermore, after the US Office of Tibet was moved to Washington D.C., a new office building was purchased at US$ 2.7 million. The Office of Tibet in Japan also purchased a new building at US$ one million. These new innovative projects are possible because of the Administration’s healthy financial status. Since mobilization of funds also requires developing strong interpersonal relationships, the CTA must therefore take into consideration the importance of further improving the present Administration’s robust financial health.

 

EIGHT: Projects to Sustain Tibetan Settlements

The Sikyong has time and again reiterated that in order to ensure the long-term sustenance of Tibetan settlements, we must sustain the ownership of settlement land. The Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy 2014 formalized by the Government of India, which will soon be implemented by the states, has already opened a way to legalize Tibetan ownership of settlement land, including those grouped under scattered communities. Provision of loans to those who undertake both organic or modern agriculture methods, the Sikyong Entrepreneur of the Year Award and low-interest loans to young new entrepreneurs are provided to ensure economic freedom and the long-term sustenance of Tibetan settlements.

The fear of eviction that once prevailed over the residents of the Tibetan colony at Majnu-Ka-Tilla, Delhi, has now been resolved. Similar problems faced by around 210 families in Dharamshala, along with many families in Shimla and Rewalsar or Tso-pema were likewise successfully resolved. The state government of Himachal Pradesh has already formulated a new policy based on the Government of India’s Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy 2014.

Over the last four years, Sikyong visited every Tibetan school and settlement and assessed at first-hand the actual situation on the ground, especially in the far-flung settlements with acute problems as in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh.

In order to build a lasting relation between Tibetans residing outside India, Nepal and Bhutan and Tibetans in the West, the current administration has introduced Sister Shichak project. Provisions were also made for Tibetan professionals and scholars around the world to serve as volunteers in the CTA under Tibet Corps. Concrete measures were taken to simplify the process of making corrections in the Green Book. The Tibet Online TV and website of the CTA has been completely overhauled in order to enable Tibetans across the world to be better acquainted with the policies and works of the CTA. Today, a Tibetan residing in any part of the world can remain connected to and actively involved in the works initiated by the CTA. This new development has benefitted the Tibetan peoples, both individually and collectively. This is also politically very significant.

Public health constitutes a major factor in the overall development of a community. The Tibetan Medicare System has spent significant funds providing proper medical care to those in need of urgent medical attention, particularly the poor and the vulnerable. There are over 21,000 Tibetans who have enrolled in the Medicare System. The number of enrollment is expected to rise up to 50,000 in the next five years, hence covering not only the poor but a significant portion of middle-income families as well.

 

The current Administration has already announced new welfare schemes for all families with more than three children. Other health programs like those promoting mother and child health, prevention of communicable diseases and drug addiction rehabilitation programs were also carried out extensively. The number of doctors serving in Tibetan hospitals has increased from seven in 2012 to sixteen at present. There are also over 100 nurses presently serving in Tibetan hospitals. In 2014 Sikyong successfully obtained over US$ three million dollars in aid for the Department of Health, funding a variety of health projects.

 

NINE: Fresh Policy for Proper Rehabilitation of New Refugees

A large number of new Tibetan refugees have been successfully rehabilitated in major Tibetan settlements today. A new land was purchased in Bir/Chauntra to rehabilitate 73 families of recent refugees from Tibet. Similar initiatives to rehabilitate new refugees are also being implemented in Bylakuppe and Mundgod in the South. The monthly stipend for former Tibetan political prisoners (or their immediate relatives) was doubled and new projects are initiated to build residential quarters for them.

 

Similarly, a large number of families of former Tibetan political prisoners have been successfully rehabilitated in Australia. The number of years that a recent refugee from Tibet can study at the Sherab Gatsel Lobling School has been increased from five to eight years. The school today offers a number of vocational training programs such as tailoring and computer education. At least four students have successfully completed the All India Senior Secondary School Examination and provided scholarships to attend colleges. Ten students, expected to complete their class 12th exam next year, will be provided scholarship to pursue college.

 

As a result of a new policy, students who are unable to be in monasteries or study in Bir or Suja due to health issues are being offered alternate opportunities to continue their studies. In brief, the scale and scope of welfare programs for a comprehensive rehabilitation of recent Tibetan refugees has seen a tremendous improvement in the last four years.

 

TEN: Personal Security of His Holiness and Religious and Cultural Projects

The personal security of His Holiness is of paramount importance to the current administration under the Sikyong. In close association with the Government of India, the security detail of His Holiness was upgraded both in terms of personnel and high-tech equipment. Given the nature of works undertaken by the Department of Security, most of their major endeavors cannot be discussed in the public domain. The current administration has strongly dealt with the handful of Dhogyal followers who disrupt events and protest against His Holiness during his foreign visits.

 

The current 14th Kashag has dedicated 2014 as the Year of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and organized various events to express deep gratitude toward His Holiness. Major conferences of all traditions of Tibetan Buddhism were held. Tibetans nuns today can receive the Geshema degree. In addition, large-scale prayers and rituals for the long life of His Holiness were organized. Projects promoting scholarships and the specialization in major Buddhist texts were introduced. The traditional Tibetan performing arts, including the regional opera associations were promoted and supported with additional resources. The Tibetan people inside Tibet as well as those around the world were ecstatic with joy when His Holiness restated that he would live over 100 years during the grand official celebration of his 80th birthday. In fact, His Holiness asked Tibetans to begin preparing for the celebration of his 90th birthday.

 

In brief, despite the fact that the Tibetan administration is based in exile and has to depend on others, Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay, his fellow Kalons and civil servants, has accomplished a great deal in the last four years. There is much more he can deliver in the coming years. In fact, the next five years will reveal the rewards of his far-sighted policies. A continuation of a consistent and stable social and political environment will ensure the achievement of the core aspirations of the Tibetan people and to serve the fundamental cause of Tibet. The need of the hour, therefore, is for Dr. Lobsang Sangay to continue to serve as Sikyong for a second term.

 

Thus, on behalf of the Tibetan people inside and outside Tibet, the People’s Group for Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay, urge him to serve as Sikyong. The Group requests the Tibetan people across the globe to re-elect Dr. Lobsang Sangay, outstanding leader, eminent scholar, and dedicated Tibetan.

Author's Note: The facts cited above have been compiled from various websites, including the official website of the Central Tibetan Administration, Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Phayul news portal, and Tibetan newspapers, radio news services and major international news media.  







Email to a friend or share on Facebook, Twitter, etc.: Bookmark and Share 




 


1-10 of 771

Comments