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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

The TWA Tutors Tibetan Exiles on Their Democratic Responsibility

July 15, 2010

Ben Dunant
The Tibet Post International
July 12, 2010

Dharamshala -- Spread across 40 regions in 6
countries - India, Nepal, Switzerland, England,
USA and Canada - the Tibetan Women's Association
(TWA) held its first Prime Ministerial (Kalon
Tripa) Mass Mock Election on July 6th, His
Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama's 75th birthday, to
train the Tibetan exile community in exercising
their franchise for the third direct election of
the Kalon Tripa, to be completed in 9 months time.

This initiative was spurred by dismal turnouts in
the previous direct elections of the Kalon Tripa,
with TWA's vice president Samten Chodon stating
that, "TWA is determined to prepare the Tibetan
voters [...] the mock election is a wakeup call".
"We have deliberately made the ‘Green Book' as
mandatory for voter identification," said Tenzin
Dolma, TWA's Joint Secretary. "To ensure a
non-partisan process, TWA did not endorse any
candidates nor reproduce any nomination list
presently being circulated. The voters voted for
the candidate of their choice," said Dadon
Sharling, TWA's Research and Media officer.

08july201016With the election successfully
undertaken, the executive members of regional
chapters are to take the ballots to the 10th
Working Committee Meeting of the TWA, to be held
in Manali (Himachal Pradesh) from July 16th to
22nd, for an aggregate and transparent counting.
The TWA will analyse voter turnout and produce a
report to be launched on September 10th, on the
occasion of the 26th anniversary of TWA's
refounding in exile. After the primary election
of Kalon Tripa on October 3 this year, TWA will
convene a televised debate among the endorsed candidates.

In the year 2000, the 40th year of Tibetan
democracy in exile, His Holiness called for the
Kalon Tripa to be elected directly by the Tibetan
people, to further the goal that secular Tibetan
democratic institutions lead in the democratic
governance of Tibetans in exile. Although turnout
for the mock election was only 20%, the TWA's
report will provide the Electoral Commission with
a ‘needs assessment' of Tibetan voters, and in so
doing pave the way for a more effective, and
inclusive, primary and final election.
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