10th Session of Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile Begins

Mr Penpa Tsering, Speaker of Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, delivers his opening address during the tenth session of the parliament which began Tuesday, 7 September 2010/Photos by Tenzin Dhonyoe

The tenth session of the 14th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile has begun Tuesday morning. The session will last for ten days, from September 7 to 17.

In his opening address, Speaker Penpa Tsering gave an overview of the recently held first Tibetan National General Meeting, conferment of Gold Medal to the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama and the celebration of 50th anniversary of Tibetan democracy day.

The Speaker expressed deep concern over the prevailing political repression inside Tibet and the decreasing number of Tibetan refugees due to tight control on the border of Tibet and Nepal.

The Parliament passed three condolence resolutions on the opening session. The members observed a minute's silence to mourn: (1) the natural calamities in Kyegudo and Drugchu in Tibet (2) demise of Mr Gomang Tenpa, former member of Tibetan Parliament and (3) demise of parliamentary secretary Mr Phurbu Tsering.

The Tibetan legislators will hear the annual reports of the various departments of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile.

The 14th Tibetan Parliament has 43 members, who are elected representing the three traditional provinces of Tibet (U-Tsang, Do-toe and Do-med) and five major religious sects, including the traditional Bon, of Tibet. Three members are elected by Tibetans in the West - one from North America and two from Europe.

The members are directly elected by Tibetan exiles above the age of 18 from their respective constituencies.

Tibetan exiles will go to preliminary polls next month to nominate candidates for the next general elections to be held next year, when the 15th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile will be formed.

An estimated 150, 000 Tibetans live in exile, the majority of them in India and Nepal.

Some information for this report was provided by Tibetnet and Phayul