Kalon Tripa Clarifies Tibetan Parliament Name Change Decision

Dharamshala: - Kalon Tripa Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche, the current chairman of the Tibetan Administration at the 1st session of the 15th Tibetan Parliament in Exile repudiated any doubt or criticism of the Tibetan Government's recent name change which happened in conjunction with the charter-ammendment regarding His Holiness the Dalai Lama's devolvement of political power.

The Tibetan Women's Association (TWA) has made available the English Translation of the explanations and clarifications on the name change: ‘Government to Administration'. "Please note that this translation is not of academic standard. Should there be any discrepancies, please refer to the Tibetan version as the authoritative document,' said the TWA report.

In an address to first session of the 15th Tibetan Parliament during its first session, the Kalon Tripa said he was shocked to wittness claims of the Government having withdrawn and that he felt compelled to question such claims; "in this Parliament, there is only progress and no signs of change and self-withdrawing or self-censorship" said Samdhong Rinpoche.

In May, the 14th Tibetan Parliament in exile approved that the title of "Tibetan Government-in-Exile" be changed to "Tibetan Administration". The title of "Bod Shung Gaden Phodrang Chogle Namgyal" or "Gaden Phodrang Government of Tibet" in the emblem was also changed to "Denpanyi Nampar Gyalgyur Chig" (translated as Truth will Prevail).

Recently the Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) has expressed its criticism of the parliament's decision to implement the above mentioned changes, claiming that during the 2nd Tibetan National General Meeting "a significant majority of the subcommittees voted against changing the Tibetan name of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile".

In their press release the TYC indicated that the decision had been rushed saying they were "apprehensive that within such a short period of time such fundamental and critical changes were made, and even more so viewing the proceedings of the parliament-in-exile which was conducted haphazardly".

Explaining that the name "Central Tibetan Administration" (CTA) consistently has been translated by the CTA to "Tibetan Government in Exile" - despite the correct translation being the former - the Kalon Tripa said that, while no longer under the protection of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's reputed title, the CTA must consider the risk of potential future legal problems as a result of operating with the name of "Tibetan-Government-in-Exile".

Pointing to the fact that funding from the Friedrich Naumann Foundation to the Tibetan Parliamentary Policy Research Center has dropped by nearly 100%, Samdhong Rinpoche said it was "noteworthy to consider the reasons and causes".

He also said that in a time when the Himachal Pradesh High Court has issued notices to the CTA and South Indian newspapers are, almost daily, writing articles against the CTA, Tibetans should "consider the meaning and overtures and not the terminology or the connotation".

As for accusations that the name change had been imposed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama as result of foreign pressure the Kalon Tripa said, "I am saddened and disheartened to know that there are people who consider and recognize the magnanimous and knowledgeable 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet as someone who would sway under pressure, external or internal", and added, "there is not an iota of truth in this".

Conclusively, Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche also relayed that His Holiness had mentioned that since the name change concerned him and the delegation of His political role and authority, he had reserved the right to have a say and that this did not violate the canons of democracy.

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