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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 NGOs raise awareness on Kalon Tripa's election in 2011

June 22, 2009


Sunday, 21 June 2009


Dharamshala: The upcoming election of Kalon Tripa in 2011 will test the progress made by the Tibetan people in strengthening the democratic process introduced by His Holiness the Dalai Lama since coming into exile, speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile told hundreds of Tibetans during a panel discussion on Saturday.


The other panelist was Kalon Tripa Prof Samdhong Rinpoche.


The discussion forum was set up by four Tibetan non-governmental organisations based in Dharamshala in their efforts to educate Tibetans in choosing a right democratic leadership in exile.


In April 2001, the Tibetan Parliament, on the advice of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, amended the Charter of Tibetans in exile to provide for the direct election of the Kalon Tripa by the exile populace.


Expressing concern over low voter turnout in the earlier elections, Speaker Penpa Tsering emphasised the need for an active participation by Tibetans, particularly the youths in the upcoming democratic election.


He said besides fulfilling the conditions stipulated in the charter to become a Kalon Tripa, the elected leadership should be sincere in his/her commitment in the peaceful resolution of the Tibetan issue and fulfilling the aspirations of the Tibetan people living both in Tibet and exile.


The speaker said the parliament has received a number of letters which appeal for an amendment in the Tibetan charter to have the present Kalon Tripa Prof Samdhong Rinpoche to serve another term. “As representatives of the Tibetan people, it is our duty to present the public opinion in the parliament,” he added.


Kalon Tripa Prof Samdhong Rinpoche, who is serving his second consecutive term, said there is little possibility of amending the charter, as doing so for an individual will go against the democratic principles.


There were many questions and opinions from the audience over whether the future Kalon Tripa will go against the policy of the Central Tibetan Administration, including the Middle-Way Approach in resolving the Tibetan issue with China..


“Whoever is elected as Kalon Tripa, he or she would work within the confines of the charter, but should hold accountable to the Tibetan Parliament and keep allegiance to His Holiness the Dalai Lama,” Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche said in response to public sentiments.


Kalon Tripa also spoke on the Chinese government's intentional or unintentional means to exterminate the Tibetan cultural heritage and repression imposed on Tibetans living inside Tibet.

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