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Parliament begins its session yesterday

March 7, 2008

5 March 2008

Speaker Karma Chophel (centre) delivering the opening address of the
5th session of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, which began Tuesday, 4
March 2008 (Photos: Sangjey Kep)
Dharamshala: The 14th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile (TPIE) began its
fifth session yesterday afternoon.

In his opening address, Karma Chophel, speaker of the TPIE, gave an
account of events that happened in Tibet in past six months.

He expressed concern over the deplorable human rights situation in
Tibet, including denunciation campaign conducted by the Chinese
authorities at Gaden Rabgyeling monastery against His Holiness the
Dalai Lama, suppression of traditional Tibetan festival at Rebkong
monastery and arrest of Rungye Adrak.

He spoke on the lack of positive approach from the Chinese government
despite Tibetan leaderships best effort in creating conducive
atmosphere during six rounds of dialogue. The speaker called on the
Chinese government to respect the fundamental human rights and
religious freedom in Tibet.

He lauded the bold initiative of Tibetan monastic communities in their
resolve to end the Dolgyal (Shugden) worship, following the long life
offering to His Holiness the Dalai Lama held at Drepung monastery in
south India in February.

This session will present motions to strengthen the present resolution
adopted by the TPiE against the propitiation of Shugden, he added.

The house passed resolutions to mourn the passing away of three
outstanding figures -Kyabje Minling Trichen Rinpoche, head of Nyingma
school of Tibetan Buddhism, Congressman Tom Lantos, a champion of
human rights and long time friend of Tibet and Mr. Gonpo Dhondup, a
former Member of Parliament. As a mark of respect, the house observed
three-minute silence.

The members welcomed Kalon Ngodup Donchung, Kalon Tsering Dhondup and
Kalon Chope Paljor Tsering as they made their first attendance at the
parliament session since their appointment.

Kalon Tsering Dhodup, the kalon for the Department of Finance will
table budget proposal for the year 2008-09 during this session.
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