Tibetan Democracy in Action at the Parliament Session

For some time now, the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile has been telecasting (to people in Dharamsala) live its proceedings when it is in session. Currently the Parliament is meeting in Dharamsala. It has also been webcasting the same on www.tibetonline.tv.

Howver, except for a brief time when I happened to be in Dharamsala when it was in session, I have not been able to watch the past proceedings on account of the time difference. The session hours are such that it is night here in the United States when they begin and even though I am somewhat of a morning person by the time I am up the next day the session is over.

But this morning I got up rather early as I wanted to get a taste of the proceedings. When I logged on, Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche was there giving his response to some of the issues raised by the members. Thereafter, there was a discussion on a draft bill concerning another conference of the Tibetan people that is being proposed the next year or the next.

During the brief time that I watched, I saw quite a few members take part in the discussions.  There were strong criticisms of the Executive Branch’s policies relating to the welfare of Tibetans around Shimla and in Nepal. I also saw heated moments when members bluntly challenged the Kalon Tripa and other officials to be accountable. There were times when members touched on the core of the Tibetan polity and the nature of Tibetan democracy in the post 1991 period. They included the issues of the authority of H.H. the Dalai Lama as well as the role of the members.

There were also times when some members referred to the “expressed wish” of His Holiness as well as to clauses in the Tibetan Charter-in-Exile to support their contention. Thus, although the debate will continue as to how perfect Tibetan democracy is, or whether democracy is the end or the means to an end to the Tibetan people, I at least felt this morning that I was seeing some aspect of democracy with Tibetan characteristics in action at the Parliament.

Anyone interested in watching the same, you have till September 19 when the current session closes.


6 thoughts on “Tibetan Democracy in Action at the Parliament Session

  1. Its nice to see them practice democracy….but at times when green book, individual interest and spelling mistakes are the core issues of debate, which takes hours n hours of the session… then it saddens you!

    1. I agree. I feel the major challenge is for the members to desist from focusing on personalities and instead dwell on the issue itself. Today afternoon’s session (September 18) is a case in point.

      1. Bhuchung la,
        This morning I was listening to TCV Teaching 2007 by HHDL and heard him telling the students about his experience in China. He said the CCP members used to address each other as Comrades, but are in reality waiting to hit each other at the earliest opportunity… Then I realized how our Chitues address each other with respect as Kur woe Chitue or Cha rok Chitue but when individual interest differs… then they raise voice, hands and background history in Parliament to humiliate the so called kurwoe chitue…. I hope and pray that I am wrong in finding this similarity…

      2. You are right. I too sensed the tension in the house. It is one thing to disagree but it is sad to see some of the members becoming so personal and acrimonious.

  2. Buchung la,
    I know this is not related to the current posted topic. But I thought you would be interested in this. Check this link http://www.kuenselonline.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=13479

    I was wondering what you think about this and what we Tibetans are doing in this matter. Like the Bhutanese, we Tibetans are also in a similar conundrum. Most of us who grew up in exile have very limited working knowledge in reading and writing Tibetan. This is really one issue we hardly discuss openly in the public forum yet if surveyed would sure how far we have lagged behind.
    I would appreciate if you would comment on this issue and write something about this so that the Tibetan intellectuals, scholars and policy makers will do something.
    I think its high time someone has to point out to the elephant that is in the room.

    1. Tsering la,

      Thanks for the email. I actually read the news, too, and had the same feeling. It was in my mind to blog about it. May be I will do it. I follow Bhutan news as I see parallels between the development of contemporary Bhutanese and Tibetan societies. May be you do, too.

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