First session of 15th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile Begins

DHARAMSHALA: The first session of the 15th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile opened today, opening a new chapter in the history of Tibetan democracy.

In his opening remarks, Mr Penpa Tsering, the speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile, said “the opening of a new chapter at this landmark turning point in democracy necessitates the members of the 15th Tibetan Parliament to take greater responsibility than ever before.” 

He said the Parliament would reinvigorate its efforts on the preservation of Tibet's culture and religion, strengthen and improve administrative and education standards in exile.

He called on the members of Parliament to study the political developments taking in China and other parts of the world with their impacts on the issue of Tibet.

“As His Holiness the Dalai Lama devolved his formal authority to the elected Tibetan leadership, we should be able to become self-reliant and set the Parliament as a standard institute,” he said.

He also stressed that efforts should be made to garner support from India and other countries on the issue of Tibet.

“Its been 50 years that the Tibetans have followed the path of democracy. The members in this parliament are able, educated and experienced. I hope that the parliamentarians would take the standard of Tibetan Parliament to a higher level.”

He said the members of the Tibetan Parliament would undertake visits to the Tibetan communities in India, Nepal and Bhutan to assess the conditions of Tibetans.

Kashag Greets members of 15th Parliament in Exile

Kalon Tripa greeted the members of the 15th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, which has begun its first session today.

While greeting the parliamentarians in the House, Kalon Tripa said “the combination of equal number of new and members from the preceding parliament augurs well for both innovation and continuation of tradition.”

“Moreover, the greater representation of women members in the parliament also signifies that the Tibetan culture is progressive and not backward,” he said.

“Equally significant is the the presence of members ranging from scholars, academicians, writers, social activists. Even though there are around 40 something parliament members, but they represent the entire spectrum of the Tibetan society,” he said.

“So there is a renewed hope that the standard of parliament and its proceedings will undoubtedly reach a higher level,” he added.

Kalon Tripa said there is a growing trend towards instituting a secular polity in the charter in place of the present dispensation with the hope that a resolution on this would be passed in the future.  These, conspicuously or inconspicuously, signifies an overall social transformation, advancement in democracy and progress in education standard. 

“Moreover, it is a matter of great pride that these changes are the realisation of continuous efforts made by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in advancing democracy in the last 50 years,” he added.

“We hope the members of the 15th Tibetan Parliament will live up to the hope and confidence which on them by the Tibetan people,” Kalon Tripa said.

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