By Tashi Namgyal and Norbu Tsering
Members of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile for North America
1. We are back home after attending the 3rd Session of the 15th Tibetan Parliament in Exile from March 14 to 24, 2012. The first day of Session was specifically devoted to the current situation in Tibet. The discussion went on from 9:30 am to 9:00 PM and adopted an 8-point unanimous resolution, among others calling on the Chinese leadership to remove all the restrictions in Tibet. Another half day was devoted to the three more self-immolation that took place while the house was in session and adopted another 8-point supplemental resolution. The last day of the session on March 24 devoted considerable amount of time to debate on the situation in Tibet. Over 40 members of house took part in these deliberations. It is our good understanding that over 18 hours were spent on discussing the current situation in Tibet. The debate in the house reverberated with a strong sense of emotional feelings on the continued self-immolations and celebrated the unity of the Tibetan people in our struggle.
2. A bill to change the name from "Bodme Drigzug" to "Bodmi Shung" was tabled in the House on March 22, 2012. However, this bill did not muster the required 2/3 majority of the House. Many of the members were of view that if word "Shung" needed to be added, then they would very much like to have "Tsenjol Bodshung". Whenever, there is strong public opinion, any rules and regulations could be amended.
3. As this Session is the "Budget Session", the House passed a budget of Rs. 1041.39 million for the Central Tibetan Administration for the fiscal year 2012-2013. A very good number of members took part in a lively discussion on the budget allocations and issue related with it.
4. Your North American Chithues presented a 'Private Member's Resolution' calling on the CTA to revisit the draft citizenship rules presented by the citizenship committee or set up new committee to look into the whole aspect of citizenship rules and make new necessary recommendations. This "private member resolution" was necessitated to reinstate the Green Book contribution of non-Tibetan spouses, which was discontinued for sometime. The resolution was adopted by majority vote asking the speaker to constitute a committee and come up with appropriate recommendations. We are hoping to have something concrete at the 4th Session in September 2012.
5. We also made a 'Calling Attention Motion' to Kalon Tripa urging him to take appropriate steps to see that the proposed cut in the budget for radio program of Voice of America Tibetan services. The Kalon Tripa has already approached the concerned folks in Washington DC. We (North America Chithue) also have written to the Chairman, House Committee on Appropriations, and we have received acknowledgement of our communication.
6. We raised the issue of formalizing the relationship between the Central Tibetan Administration and the Tibetan Associations in North America within the framework of the Tibetan Charter in Exile, in an effort to strengthen relationship between the two. Such a relationship was necessary in view of the sizable number of people assuming citizenships in the United States and Canada, thus making them Tibetan Americans and Tibetan Canadians.
7. We also raised the issue of standardization of Tibetan text book for Tibetan students in foreign countries with the Sherig Kalon and even though we did not receive any specific response as yet but we are hoping that Sherig is very aware of the need.
As always, your feedback is very important to us and we are always waiting to hear from you. Please contact us: Tashi Namgyal: firstname.lastname@example.org & Norbu Tsering: Norbu_Tsering@sony.ca
Lastly we are very saddened to learnt the tragic shooting at Oikos University in Oakland on Monday and the loss of so many lives including Ms. Sonam Chodon. We would like to express our deep sense of saddness and sent heartfelt condolences to Sonam's near and dear ones and all others who were killed in this tragedy. We are also glad to hear that Dechen Yangzom's quick thinking saved more lives lost in that madness. We commend her act of bravery.
Again our deepest and heartfelt condolences to near and dear ones of Sonam Chodon la and all those who lost their lives. May their soul rest in peace with prayers to Triple Gem.
In the United States, the Tibetan-Americans are in the state of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachussets, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, D.C, and Washington state.
In Canada, Canadian-Tibetans are located in the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Quebec, and Ontario.