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Exile Tibetan parliament resumes session, but the intractable issue remains

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(TibetanReview.net, Sep14’22) – The Tibetan Parliament in Exile (TPiE) resumed its session on Sep 14 after it had to be postponed on Sep 9 without being able to continue it the next day and the following working day of Sep 13 as well, after members staged a walkout to deny it the required two-thirds quorum.

And it became possible only by the Speaker’s decision to set aside the bill on the proposed amendment to the Charter of Tibetans in Exile on the qualifications of justice commissioners of the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission (TSJC).

The walkout-section of the TPiE, made up mainly of the U-Tsang and Domey constituency members, contend that Resolution No. 39 of the previous TPiE which summarily removed from office all the justice commissioners of the TSJC without even an impeachment procedure stood overridden or rendered redundant after all the elected candidates to the current, 17th TPiE took their oath of office from the controversially removed chief justice commissioner on an advice unanimously sought and received from His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

However, the other section, made up mainly of the Dotoe and religious constituency members, while having taken their oath of office like the others, contend that the justice commissioners were still illegal and intruders, and did not allow the Charter amendment to proceed for this reason, swearing by the continued validity of the previous TPiE’s resolution. This section claims that the Dalai Lama’s advisory, asking the elected candidates to take their oath as prescribed by the Charter, did not make any mention of the controversial resolution, although this was the only reason why his intervention had to be sought in the first place.

It is not clear whether the Charter amendment bill could be taken up again during the current session of the TPiE, which ends on Sep 16, or afterwards, given the fact that the dispute between the two sides remains intractable.

The TPiE resumed its session on Sep 14 with a discussion on a report on the sustainability of the Gang Jong Development Finance Private Ltd (GDFPL), a non-banking financial corporation being run by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA). Sikyong Penpa Tsering, the executive head of the CTA, had expressed serious doubts about the sustainability of GDFPL during the previous session of the TPiE.

The committee, made up of five TPiE members and an Indian financial expert, has pointed out that the GDFPC, licensed by the Reserve Bank of India with effect from Dec 13, 2018, cannot legally be dissolved until 2026.

And Rahul Joshi, the financial expert-member of the committee, while expressing appreciation of the concerns raised by the Sikyong, has noted that the original vision of the GDFPL “is still as relevant today as it was when the Company was conceptualized” and “the CTA owes it to the Tibetan refugees to give this cause a final sincere shot, before calling it quits”.

Joshi has taken note of the challenges facing the GDFPL, agreed that “the Company is indeed staring at its permanent closure”, but noted that “there is a ray of hope if the CTA were to reflect on the recommendations made in this report and consider reviving the Company keeping in mind all the caveats that are advised in this report.”

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