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In exile, Tibetans to celebrate '50 years of democracy'

August 9, 2010

Sify (India)
August 8, 2010

Dharamsala (Himachal Pradesh): Tibetans living in
exile in India for over five decades will
celebrate 50 years of democratic tradition in their adopted land next month.

The celebration will take place on September 1-2
in Bylakuppe, Karnataka, making this the first
time the Tibetans hold a big event outside
Dharamsala - the abode of the Dalai Lama and the
headquarters of the Tibetan government-in-exile.

It will be preceded by a meeting of the Tibetan
leadership on Aug 26-31 to review the work done
in the last five decades and to discuss the
future and welfare of exiled Tibetans in settlements across India and globally.

There are over 50 settlements of Tibetans living
in exile in India, Nepal, Bhutan and a few
Western countries. India is home to over 100,000 Tibetan settlers.

The meeting of Tibetan leaders, including
ministers, MPs, representatives from various
Tibetan NGOs like the Tibetan Youth Congress
(TYC) and from settlements, will focus on welfare
measures like education, health and development
of the exiles. Nearly 400 delegates will attend.

Tibetan delegates from other countries like the
US, Britain, Canada, Europe and other places will
also attend the meeting. Nearly 50 MPs from the
US, European Union and other countries will be coming too.

Bylakuppe near Mysore is the biggest Tibetan
settlement in India. This is the first time a
major event of the Tibetans is being held in one of the settlements.

The 50 years of Tibetan democracy celebrations
are being held by the Assembly of Tibetan
Peoples' Deputies (ATPD), the Tibetan parliament
in exile. The parliament will award the Dalai
Lama Sep 2 with a gold medal for leading Tibetans
and setting up the Tibetan democracy.

'His Holiness (the Dalai Lama) will be honoured
at the function in Bylakuppe by the Tibetan
parliament in exile. This is the first time a big
event is taking place in one of the settlements,'
Tibetan MP-in-exile Karma Yeshi told IANS.

The event takes place at a time when the process
of election of the new exiled parliament and the
election of the Kalon Tripa (prime minister)
starts in October. The preliminary election for
parliament's 43 seats and the post of Kalon Tripa will be held Oct 3.

The final round of election for MPs and the Kalon
Tripa - if there is more than one candidate for
this - will be held in March 2011.

The Tibetan democratic system in exile does not
have a party system. Even though the National
Democratic Party of Tibet (NDPT) is a registered
body, it is not allowed to field candidates under its banner.

'The Tibetan Parliament is holding the event to
mark the 50 years of democratic tradition. Top
functionaries of the Tibetan government have been
invited for this,' Thupten Samphel, secretary for
information, Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), said.

(Jaideep Sarin can be contacted at jaideep.s@ians.in)
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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