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Significance and Challenges to Tibetan Democracy Today

October 1, 2011

The International Campaign for Tibet
 
presents
 
Significance and Challenges to Tibetan Democracy Today
 

The exile Tibetan community, under the leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama has been diligently pursuing steps towards becoming a fully democratic society.  Since coming into exile in 1959, the Dalai Lama introduced gradual democratic processes within the governmental system. Earlier this year, the Dalai Lama formally announced his intention to devolve his political authority to the democratically elected Kalon Tripa (Chairman of the Cabinet). Subsequently, the Tibetan Parliament amended the Tibetan Charter in exile in May to reflect this devolution of power. In August 2011, Dr. Lobsang Sangay took oath of office, as the newly elected Kalon Tripa, under the new system. The incumbent Kalon Tripa, Professor Samdhong Rinpoche, symbolically handed over to Dr. Lobsang Sangay, the nearly 400 year old seal of the Kashag (Tibetan Cabinet) that has been passed down since the establishment of the Ganden Phodrang Government in 1642 by the Great Fifth Dalai Lama. So now, in all respects, Dr. Sangay is the legitimate democratically elected leader of the Central Tibetan Administration.
But even as Tibetan democracy continues to develop with increasing individual awareness and participation in democratic rights guaranteed by the Charter of the Tibetans in exile, it has its challenges. The Chinese government does not accept the exile Tibetan leadership, and continues to press that there is no Tibet issue to discuss except for the issue about the personal future of the Dalai Lama. They continue to insist that the Dalai Lama must renounce calls for Tibetan independence and his “splittist” activities.
In our lecture today, our two speakers will discuss the impact, significance and challenges for Tibetan Democracy today from Chinese and Tibetan perspectives.
6:00PM, Thursday, September 29, 2011
Please RSVP to rsvp@savetibet.org or 202-785-8591
 
NOTE: This lecture will be webcast LIVE at www.savetibet.org / Please visit the ICT home page for the webcast link starting 5:45PM EDT.
Questions and comments can be emailed to comments@savetibet.org
 
Location: The International Campaign for Tibet
1825 Jefferson Place, NW, Washington, DC 20036
 
Event is free and open to the public. Venue is not handicapped accessible.
 
 
Biographies:
 
Mr. Yifu Ding, an ethnic Chinese, was born in Shanghai, and lived in China for 40 years before coming to the United States. He currently works at the University of Georgia as an analyst of Database Management. He is also a freelance writer, having written numerous articles in Chinese on the issue of Tibet, and has visited Tibetan Diaspora communities in India and Nepal twice, in 2008 and 2010.
 
Mr. Tenzin Dorjee (Tendor) is a writer, activist and the executive director of Students for a Free Tibet. Born and raised in India, he graduated from the Tibetan Children's Village and moved to the U.S. where he received a Bachelor's degree in International Relations from Brown University. He worked at the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington, DC, before moving to New York to join the staff of Students for a Free Tibet. His writings have appeared on the Huffington Post, Global Post, Tibetan Review and other forums.

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