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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Parliamentary stalemate: ‘The Tibetan movement has never looked so pathetic, incongruous’

Dear Editor, 

This letter is a reaction to recent news, “Tibetan self-immolates as the formation of 17th exile Tibetan parliament drags on,” published in Tibetan Review.net on June 22, 2021. We are all in disbelief that TPIE has continued to be a stumbling block preventing CTA from performing its responsibilities. TPIE’s prevailing malfunction and stalemate have effectively brought CTA to a standstill. This stalemate has led to several missed opportunities that could have brought renewed attention to the plight of Tibetans in and outside Tibet. This inaction is a shameful episode that will linger in the public’s memory for a long time. This situation has also brought to the public’s attention the uselessness and the stupidity of electing Chitues based on regional affiliation and religious sects. Time has come to abolish this idiotic practice once for all so that sanity may prevail in TPIE. The public must now voice their concerns and bring an end to this divisive practice. 

Mr. Lobsang Tenzin’s recent decision to self-immolate shows that he is distraught and disappointed with the ongoing stalemate at Dharamsala and is also concerned that this situation is likely to sadden His Holiness. Thus he appeals to all Chitues to put aside their perceived differences and resolve the impasse as soon as possible so that a fully functioning CTA works to serve the cause of Tibet as intended and expected.

Tibetans in Tibet resort to self-immolation to express their utmost frustration and dissatisfaction under the Chinese Communist regime. When our brothers and sisters undertake such drastic steps, we all feel heartbroken, and anger seeps into every fiber of our body. The authoritative and repressive Chinese regime is soulless and has no respect for human life. Rather than addressing the grievances of the deceased, they round off the relatives and family members who may then end up in prisons for undergoing patriotic education. Our brothers and sisters in Tibet self-immolate under duress and due to utter lack of human rights. But what about Mr. Lobsang Tenzin from Hunsur, India? Resorting to self-immolation in a free world is not the same as in a Communist country. It is a real tragedy when the cause for this action lies in the hands of TPIE Chitue-elects, who contributed to his unfathomable decision. 

I hope the Chitue-elects are aware of the gravity and the magnitude of the stalemate created by them.  They must resolve soon to avoid such unfortunate events in the future. The Chitue-elects’ recent failure to protect the nascent Tibetan democracy in exile is an indelible shame and disgrace on their part. We make ourselves look very foolish as if incapable of continuing a democratic tradition when a day to return to Tibet dawns on us. The Tibetan movement has never looked so pathetic and incongruous, as if stifling the movement from within is an accomplishment of some sort.

Nawang Phuntsog
800 N. State College Blvd
Fullerton, CA USA 92831

Jun 22, 2021



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