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"For a happier, more stable and civilized future, each of us must develop a sincere, warm-hearted feeling of brotherhood and sisterhood."

Time to Walk the Talk

March 23, 2009

By Thubten Samdup
March 22, 2009

Dharamsala, March 22 -- Four months ago a website
launched to facilitate the nomination process for
the next Kalon Tripa generated considerable
excitement through out the Tibetan
diaspora.  Despite this initial enthusiasm,
Tibetans have taken little to no concrete action
with regards to the actual nomination process; no
contributors have stepped forward, no candidate names have been submitted.

It begs the question: why?

For the first time in our history we have a
parliamentary system and an evolving democratic
structure intended to grant representation and
freedoms. A representative political system is a
tremendous achievement, but it also implies a
responsibility to choose our leaders.

Tibetans in diaspora now have a precious
opportunity to participate more directly in the
democratic process: to choose worthy candidates
from among our people to stand for the highest
office in the Tibetan government-in-exile - the Office of the Kalon Tripa.

The announcement of the website
met with a profusion of phone calls and email
messages, all declaring an overwhelming support
for the project, yet, to date, not a single
nomination paper has been submitted. What are we
to make of such a discrepancy between the initial
verbal support expressed and the inertia that
followed?  Is it that there are no qualified
individuals to stand as candidates in our
communities, or are we just being lax, and passive?

As Tibetans in diaspora, we have 'talked the
talk' of the perfecting the democratic process,
and building our government-in-exile. We must also, now, 'walk the walk'.

The incumbent Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche?s
term ends in August 2011. Why do we fail to
exhibit the appropriate motivation or concern to find his successor?

In the last 3 years, we have been sufficiently
motivated to hold 14 'long life' prayer services
for His Holiness. We all want His Holiness to
live long.  For this, we must also sensibly see
to it that his workload is lightened; affording
him some much deserved rest in his later
years.  The next Kalon Tripa's term in office is
likely to prove a crucial transitional period.
During this 5-year span, His Holiness will be
between 76 and 81 years of age. Mindful of this,
let us in addition to offering our most earnest
and sincere prayers also apply ourselves to the
necessary task that will produce the optimal candidate.

We cannot afford to be lax; nor can we entertain
fuzzy beliefs that would leave our democratic
development to 'some ill-founded notions of
'fate' intervening for us: hoping unrealistically
that ?something good? is going to happen. The
next step is clearly that of working as a
community to find the Kalon Tripa's successor.

Please treat this matter seriously and discuss it
among your friends and in your community
meetings. Let us all work together. With some
effort we will surely find great candidates to
run for the next office of Kalon Tripa; someone
to lead us forward after Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche leaves office in 2011.

Nothing good is going to happen unless we make it happen.

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