Response to " If Not Deficit Then What Do You Call This Year's Budget?"

posted May 24, 2013, 12:07 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
Dear Editors,

I appreciate the earlier piece titled If Not Deficit Then What Do You Call This Year's Budget? by Sangye Kunchok. The concerns raised by Sangye la are heartfelt. However, I do not agree with his statement that privatization of CTA’s businesses was a wrong path.

The problem with CTA owning businesses is that they will compete with Tibetan private sector development. History has shown many times that government owned businesses are more inefficient. This was one of the reasons why CTA businesses was privatized in the first place.

The real hope for CTA's economic security is when Tibetans become successful financially. When the structure changes where Tibetans are the ones supporting CTA rather than looking to CTA for financially support this will greatly relieve CTA's financial pressure.

Instead of getting into business, I believe CTA should continue to focus on their efforts to provide support to the private sector. This can be done by encouraging our foreign supporters to form joint ventures with Tibetan entrepreneurs in order to transfer expertise, provide access to capital and arrange training programs. As much as possible, CTA and our NGOs should constantly review to make sure that they are not an obstacle to the growth of our private sector but a catalyst.

I am aware that our Sikyong, Kashag and many within our community are greatly concerned about CTA's financial viability. From a pure financial standpoint the task is daunting.

Many of the current efforts of CTA like publicizing the gross human rights violation in Tibet, providing a home to the refugees fleeing Tibet and other administrative work are all non-incoming generating work. CTA by itself will never be able to generate enough income to support itself. Nor should they try as they would lose focus from their core mission.

Here I would give much credit to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Ms. Jetsun Pema and many of our elders for not focusing on purchasing assets to secure Tibet's future but investing the maximum amount towards our education. The fruits of their investments can be seen by the promising current leadership with our community.

If we assume that since 1959 CTA received financial assistance from the Indian and United States government in the amount of $5 million per year, this would be approximately around $265 million for the last 53 years. If the aid currently gets cut, CTA will likely become like a car without gas.

Even if Tibetans in exile do not depend on CTA for financial support, it maybe still challenging for us to support all the expenses of CTA. Therefore it is critical that we continue to align our interest with both the United States and the Indian government. As long as our interests are aligned, there is a high probability that CTA will continue to receive the current amount of financial aid.

Finally for CTA to achieve her goal to bring freedom to Tibet I agree by the current efforts by our leadership to align our interests with the Chinese people. Unless we are able to bring greater understanding and support from the Chinese people it will be extremely difficult to achieve our goal whether genuine autonomy within China or independence.

Thank you,

Tsewang Namgyal

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