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Tibetans At Crossroads of History

posted Apr 4, 2011, 7:35 PM by The Tibetan Political Review   [ updated Apr 5, 2011, 8:11 PM ]
By Jigme Yugay (Palo Alto, CA)
Now that we have finished voting after successfully participating in our democratic process, we shall patiently wait for the results of the election of our Kalon Tripa and Chitues. In the meantime, it is time to thank all the candidates who came forward willingly to serve the people of Tibet. They have traveled far and wide, debated earnestly, given talks to exiles all over the world in person or via the world wide net. We have listened intently, pondered over what they had to say, looked into each candidate’s qualifications, weighed each individually and against each other and finally decided on our choices based on what we believe would best serve the interest of people of Tibet as whole.
When the results come out, it will be the mandate of a free and fair election and in accordance to the wishes of Tibetan people. We regret the decisions of Nepalese government to prevent the resident Tibetans from voting. It is a shame that they allowed the Chinese imperialist policies interfere in Nepalese internal affaires. The Tibetans in exile have the duty to vote not only for themselves but on behalf of our countrymen and women inside Tibet who do not have the same privilege as they are the victims of brutal Chinese occupation with utter disregard for the rights or the feelings of the Tibetan people.
Whatever the result of the election is, the Tibetan people, will stand behind our elected representatives. We must remember that we have tremendous challenges ahead of us. The fatal self immolation by 20-year old Phuntsog in Amdho Kirti on March 16th in his protest against Chinese occupation is the most recent reminder of how dire the situation is in Tibet. But more significantly, His Holiness’s statement to the Assembly of Tibetan Peoples Deputies (ATPD) on March 14th made it clear that He wants to devolve His political authority to the elected Kalon Tripa. His Holiness has reiterated His stand to the ATPD’s request to reconsider on March 19th. We have come to a cross road in Tibetan history.
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet is putting in great trust in the hands of the elected leaders of the people. His Holiness has been the moving force behind the Tibetan people’s aspiration for and instrumental in ushering in democracy into the exiled Tibetan’s political system. His Holiness has been pursuing this outcome ever since He was awarded the great seal of Ganden Phodrang, as the supreme spiritual and temporal head of Tibet, more then half a century ago. It is now the responsibilities of our elected leaders and every individual Tibetan to embrace these changes and accept the reality.
Of course, it will never be the same without His Holiness at the helm of our political administration but His Holiness has helped us set up an institution of democracy in the form of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) that includes Legislature, Judiciary and Executive branches. This institution with checks and balance of power is the foundation of Tibetan political infra-structure henceforth. We must see the CTA as the great source of Tibetan political stability as our predecessors saw our monasteries as the great source of spiritual learning. Further more, His Holiness sees the uniqueness of our culture and philosophy but the time has come now to separate the functions of the religious affairs and the State.
As dire as our political situation is, we Tibetans are indeed very fortunate to be graced with such leadership and wisdom as His Holiness. What other ruler in the world past or present do we know that spent his or her entire life in nurturing his or her people, empowering them to rule themselves? Now that His Holiness feels the Tibetan people are ready for this moment of change - who among us can refute Him?
To You Holiness, we the Tibetan people, humbly fold our hands in Namaaskara as a mark of our respect and homage to Your wisdom and compassion. Words cannot express how much the Tibetan people are indebted to You, our beloved Yeshin-Norbu.
To CTA and the leaders in all 3 branches we Salute you with our pledge of allegiance and unity. Forward, we move, with the blessings of the 3 Jewels in our hearts and 3 Provinces in our minds.
Bhod Gyalo!