Re: Tibetan Democracy Takes a Step Backwards

posted Nov 13, 2013, 5:54 PM by The Tibetan Political Review   [ updated Nov 13, 2013, 5:54 PM ]
Dear Editors:

I am not a hard core follower of Rangzen or the middle path but hard core believer in two things, vision of His Holiness for Tibet and that the Dharamsala administration or TPIE is our legitimate representative and supporting it and not ridiculing it is in our best interest.

Looking at the exile Parliament’s actions against Karma Chophel is one thing but stretching it thus far by TPR in the above note, including invoking Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights guarantees freedom of expression and opinion, is another matter. For all practical purpose, Tibetans are in India as stateless and Dharamsala is not the capital of Independent Tibet.

Especially when TPR writes “The TPiE’s actions are a step backwards for Tibetan democracy in exile and free speech.” Or that it ”caused some Tibetans in the exile community to be extremely reticent in expressing any criticism of the CTA’s policies for fear that others will paint them as anti-Dalai Lama”, it is misleading. Criticizing CTA’s policy logically cannot be construed as anti-Dalai Lama but criticizing the Dalai Lama himself by quoting his own composition is anti-Dalai Lama.

We all know that thirty nine years ago we all followed Rangzen. But keeping in view various political, social, religion and international conditions, TGIE, by a referendum and resolution of the TPIE adopted the middle path policy. There is no dispute in that.

I think, the problems arises when Karma Choephel tried to interpret His Holiness’s mind by quoting his prayer composition written way back in 1960s and justifying his stand for Rangzen , which is wrong. Even otherwise also, unless one’s wisdom is at the level of Manjushree, it is not easy for ordinary beings like us, no matter whatever degree or post on held, to interpret the heart of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Karma Choephel, with whom I studied together, is a hard core disciple of His Holiness and his letter of apology speaks his heart. I am sure, he must have tendered his apology, to His Holiness, realizing his mistake and not under fear or pressure. The Chairman of TPIE, has done a commendable job by bringing the matter to an amicable situation in the exile parliament and deserves my full appreciation. The matter should have ended there. It will not help our cause either by demonizing Karma Choephel or ridiculing the TPIE further.

I agree with TPR’s statement “It is unacceptable that the TPiE used His Holiness’ name to attack Karma Chophel, particularly without a thorough investigation into the facts” but I equally believe that it is unacceptable to use or misuse the name of His Holiness for the promotion of idea of Rangzen.

I normally admire TPR’s balanced review on various issues and hope this believe will continue. We have many more urgent things that needs attention. Let us move further.

Jamyang Dorjee



We appreciate Jamyang Dorjee la's well-informed views.  However our editorial was not about the propriety of interpreting what His Holiness has said (in fact we previously discussed Chitue Jamyang Soepa doing the same thing in a similar context). 

Our editorial was squarely about the propriety of our Tibetan parliament spending an entire day engaging in an embarrassing spectacle against a sitting Chitue, simply for expressing his views (whether one agrees with them or not).  We did not, and we do not, believe this was a helpful development for the young Tibetan democracy that we all care about.

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