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.: