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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Tibetan Parliament begins monsoon session

September 9, 2010

By Phurbu Thinley
September 7, 2010

Dharamsala, Sept 7 -- The 10th session of the
14th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile opened here this morning.

The general session will last for ten days, from August 7 to 17.

The September session is usually called the
Monsoon Session of the Tibetan Parliament, the
highest legislative organ of the exile polity,
during which, among other things, the Tibetan
legislators will hear the annual reports of the
various departments of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile.

A host of other issues, including the ones that
could not be either discussed or approved during
the last session held in March, are also to be discussed during the session.

One significant motion to be discussed is on the
proposed amendment to the Tibetan parliamentary
election, the Speaker of the parliament Mr Penpa Tsering told Phayul.

Our effort is to increase the number of lawmakers
by two -- one additional representative from
North America and one representing other regions
other than North America, Europe, India, Nepal and Bhutan, Penpa said.

This motion has come up number of times. It was
also put into motion during the last session but
did not make through. I am quite confident that
the house will approve it during this session, Penpa said.

In fact, Penpa said, it was desirable to even
have two more representatives from North American
region, where Tibetan population has increased significantly over the years.

The Tibetan Parliament is a one-house Parliament,
which meets twice a year for about a fortnight
each with an interval of six months.

The 14th Tibetan Parliament has 43 members, who
are elected representing the three traditional
provinces of Tibet (U-Tsang, Do-toe and Do-med)
and five major religious sects, including the
traditional Bon, of Tibet. Three members are
elected by Tibetans in the West - one from North America and two from Europe.

The members are directly elected by Tibetan
exiles above the age of 18 from their respective constituencies.

Tibetan exiles will go to preliminary polls next
month to nominate candidates for the next general
elections to be held next year, when the 15th
Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile will be formed.

An estimated 150,000 Tibetans live in exile, the
majority of them in India and Nepal.

The exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai
Lama set up Tibet’s Government exile in
Dharamsala after he and his followers fled to
India in 1959, nine years after China occupied
Tibet. The Dalai Lama declared democracy for
Tibetans in 1960 and promulgated a constitution
for a future Tibet, based on the principles of
modern democracy. On 2nd September 1960 members
of the first Tibetan parliament were sworn in,
marking the first concrete step toward the
democratization of the Tibetan polity.

Tibetan people, both inside and outside Tibet,
consider the government-in-exile to be the sole legitimate government of Tibet.

The Dalai Lama and the government in exile have
in recent years been campaigning for greater autonomy for Tibet.
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