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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?"

Opinion: The Politicization of Samshog

September 16, 2010

By Tenzin Nyinjey
September 16, 2010

This morning I heard a breaking news of sorts.
Some Chitues (MPs) have sponsored a motion in
drotsog (Tibetan Parliament in Exile), seeking a
change in the clause of Chatrim (Tibetan Charter)
that would allow Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche to contest for the third term.

If I am not mistaken or misunderstood, the reason
why Chitues sponsor this motion is because they
have received many samshogs (signed petitions)
from Tibetans in Tibet, urging Rinpoche to
continue as the Kalon Tripa of Tibetan government in exile.

According to what I have heard, Tibetans from
Tibet who signed this petition are of the opinion
that the Chinese leadership is eagerly waiting
for Rinpoche to disappear from the scene of exile
Tibetan leadership. The implication behind it is
that Rinpoche is indispensable to the Tibetan
movement. In other words, without him the
movement will die its 'natural death!'

Sadly, I can't help but see a 'personality cult'
being developed around Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche.
Perhaps, honorable Katri himself must be cringing
in embarrassment, since he himself has said many
times that the Tibetan Charter is not a child's
play that can be tampered with for the sake of a particular individual.

We all claim to make a better future. However,
there's nothing in future. What matters
ultimately is the past. Only by controlling the
past can we control our future. So, history
matters, according to Milan Kundera!

Therefore, if we were not suffering from a
collective amnesia, we would take care to
remember that similar samshogs from Tibetans
living in Tibet were also received by the Tibetan
government in exile many years ago, endorsing His
Holiness' decision to change the course of our
struggle from Rangzen to Rangkyong.

However, these samshogs or signed petitions have
never been made public by the Tibetan government
in exile, thus falling short on one of the most
important principles of democracy: transparency and accountability!

Now that the spectre of samshog is back to
'haunt' us again, this time seeking a change in
the clause of the charter, we have no choice but
to ask ourselves some serious, depressing and even conspiracy-theory questions.

Firstly, are the concerned Chitues willing to go
public with the samshogs? If not how can we
convince ourselves fully that they have indeed
received some samshogs from Tibetans in Tibet?

Secondly, If indeed they have received samshogs
(my gut feeling is that this must be true,
although in politics gut feelings and motivations
are the most dangerous things one should avoid),
how many people have signed it?

And lastly, how can the people (they might not be
numbering more than 300 I think) who have signed
the Samshog represent the wishes of the entire six million Tibetans?
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