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Supporters of Tenzin Namgyal Tethong Launch Campaign Website

posted Sep 18, 2010, 8:11 AM by The Tibetan Political Review
Phayul [Saturday, September 18, 2010]
By Tenzin Tsering 

Dharamsala, September 17: Supporters of Tenzin Namgyal Tethong, comprising mainly of young Tibetans, on Friday officially launched a global campaign supporting Tethong’s candidacy for the position of Kalon Tripa (Tibetan Prime Minister) in 2011, through the launch of an election website

“At this critical time in our nation's history, we are confident that he (Tethong) is the best person, with a record of over 40 years of dedicated and visionary service to the Tibetan government and to the Tibetan people, for the office of Kalon Tripa,” said the group at a press conference for the launch.

Mr. Sonam Topgyal, former Prime Minister of the Tibetan government in exile, inaugurated the website - www.kalontripa2011.org - at the press conference, and was accompanied by a committee of Tethong’s supporters.
Topgyal formally endorsed Tethong as the next Kalon Tripa, saying that in order to assume the responsibilities that come with holding the highest position of office in the Tibetan exile government, one must be a seasoned personality with integrity and experience in both the Tibetan administration as well as in the international system. 

Tethong is equipped with three decades of service to the Tibetan government in exile, coupled with two decades of dedicated and continuous efforts for the Tibetan cause through his work in multiple non-government organizations, he added.

The campaign website, which is not officially affiliated with Tethong, features sections where one can read Tethong’s biography including an outline of his service and roles in the Tibetan government and his priorities if he became Kalon Tripa. Visitors to the website can also watch his videos, download campaign materials, read endorsements from other organizations and individuals, or leave one’s opinions, among others.

“This is a critical time for Tibet, and there is no room for error and learning on the job,” the support group wrote in a statement posted on the website. “The Tibetan people need a tried and true leader,” the group said, while citing Tethong’s long list of accomplishments.

Tethong began his political career in 1967 and ever since, his service to the Tibetan cause has never ceased, even after his days as a civil servant in the 90’s, the group said.

Topgyal too recalled his early days of association with Tethong, dating back to 1968 when they founded Sheja magazine to working together in Dharamsala in the exile government. “I have known him as an honest and competent leader who can also comfortably engage with any personality from different walks of life,” he said.

Topgyal, however, said it was unfortunate that many Tibetans are unaware of his service to the Tibetan community, and reasoned that this was partly due to Tethong’s humility and restraints in making claims of his achievements.

Speaking of a report that appeared in Mangtso newspaper (not in publication now) in April 1995, Topgyal said the paper “wrongly” created rumours of Tethong’s involvement in embezzlement of funds after his presentation of the Tibetan exile government’s budget earlier that same year. “Tethong did not feel compelled to clarify this rumour at the time as he understood it as the work of a few who had a different agenda against him,” said Topgyal, who was then the Kalon Tripa while Tethong served as the Minister of Finance.

“I know him as an honest and a dedicated Tibetan leader who will shoulder the Kalon Tripa office most efficiently” Topgyal said of Tethong, who has served as Kalon Tripa, in addition to that of the Minister of Finance, of Home and of Information and International Relations.

“The best way to judge a political leader is to look at their past achievements and we see him as a visionary pioneer who has demonstrated his ability to anticipate the long-term political needs of the Tibetan struggle” the support group said.

The Tibetan exile diaspora will go to vote their next Kalon Tripa in two phases, with the preliminary election due in October 2010 and the final elections in March 2011.

Prof. Samdong Rinpoche who is currently running his second consecutive term as the Prime Minister will complete his tenure in August next year, and the Tibetan exile community will witness the first democratic transfer of the executive power in the history of Tibetan nation.


Originally published at Phayul.com