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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Tibetan Parliament approves bill to increase MPs from North America

September 11, 2010

By Phurbu Thinley
September 10, 2010

Dharamsala, Sept. 10 -- The Tibetan Parliamentary
during its on-going session has unanimously
approved a bill to increase the number of
parliament members representing North America by one.

Under the new amendment, the number of Tibetan
MPs from America and Canada has been increased to two from the existing one.

The bill was approved on the second day of a
10-day session which began Tuesday.

While the bill to increase number of MPs was
unanimously approved, the amendment proposed by
the North American lawmaker Mr Tenzin Choeden
seeking to divide the North America into two
separate constituencies – one for East Coast and
another combined constituency for West Coast and Canada – failed to make it.

His proposal failed to get the required two-third
majority as only 24 out of the 42 lawmakers voted in favour of the reform.

The Parliament also failed to approve another
proposed amendment in the Tibetan Charter to have
a legislator from regions other than Europe,
North America, Nepal, Bhutan and India, after
legislator Tenzin Gonpo of Domed Province opposed the motion.

The bill, if approved by the session, will secure
a seat for an MP representing Tibetans in
Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Japan, South Africa, and South America.

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.
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