(TibetanReview.net, Mar26’23) – The 5th session of the 17th Tibetan Parliament in Exile (TPiE), which opened on Mar 15, concluded on Mar 25 after carrying out its main agenda of passing the annual budget of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) and adopting a high-profile resolution expressing gratitude to former US House Speak Nancy Pelosi for her consistent and substantive support for Tibet during her decades in the Congress.
However, the TPiE once against stumbled when it came to amending the Charter of Tibetans in Exile on the qualifications of candidates for appointment as justice commissioners of the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission (TSJC).
While some members have expressed hope that the logjam could be overcome during the next, Sep 2023 session of the TPiE, Sikyong Penpa Tsering, while also expressing hope, remains skeptical, given the known, intractable position of those who are opposed to the amendment due to their issue with the continuance in office of the existing justice commissioners of the TSJC.
The two justice commissioners of the TSJC should resign, and all problems will be solved, said one member.
The TPiE also adopted a resolution to appoint a committee to review the entire corpus of the laws and the rules and regulations, including the Charter, of the CTA. The committee, to be constituted by the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the TPiE, is to submit its report by the end of Feb 2024.
Another significant amendment adopted by the TPiE was to increase the amount of voluntary contributions from Tibetans living in India, Nepal and Bhutan towards the finance of the CTA, with those above 18 years of age being now required to pay a total of Indian Rs 200 per year.
Also, Tibetans who have failed to pay or register as payees have been enabled to make up for their failures by paying only 10% of their outstanding dues. The payment could be made either in a lump sum or in equal amounts spread over a number of years. This applies to all Tibetans living outside Tibet.
The processing of applications for availing the rebate, applicable up to the financial year 2023-24, will begin on Apr 1.
No nominations were made for the appointment of the up to four more Kalons (ministers) of the CTA allowed under the Charter. Sikyong Penpa Tsering currently heads the Departments of Finance, Home, Religion and Culture, and Health due to past difficulty in getting his nominees confirmed by the TPiE where members even staged a walk-out to subvert the voting process.