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Tibetan parliament in exile member resigns over justice commissioners sacking imbroglio

(TibetanReview.net, Apr08’21) – Domey member of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile (TPiE) Mr Lobsang Choejor has on Apr 8 tendered his resignation on moral ground, apologizing for his mistaken involvement in the Mar 2021 dismissal of the entire panel of justice commissioners of the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission (TSJC).

The official resolution for the dismissal of the justice commissioners without following the procedure of a report by an enquiry committee was tabled by the Standing Committee of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile of which he was a member.

Choejor’s resignation followed the telecast of an interview by the Oslo-based Voice of Tibet radio broadcast service with Professor Sandmong Rinpoche, former head of the exile Tibetan administration and Speaker of the TPiE and who was actively involved in the drafting of the Charter of Tibetans in Exile.

Prof Samdhong Rinpoche said that the Charter did not visualize a situation in which the entire panel of justice commissioners of the TSJC would be dismissed. He pointed out that the relevant provisions for dismissal in the Charter consistently speak only of “any of the justice commissioners”.

Domey member of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile (TPiE) Mr Lobsang Choejor has on Apr 8 tendered his resignation on moral ground. (Photo courtesy: VOA)

And the reason for this, he said, was because any dismissal of the entire panel would cripple Tibetan democracy and lead to a breakdown of the Charter.

He also said the Charter provided for the TPiE to frame rules governing the dismissal of justice commissioners but that no such rules had ever been framed, rendering the TPiE’s current decision questionable at the procedural level.

The TPiE’s decision to dismiss the Justice Commissioners was based on its own interpretation of the relevant provisions of the Charter, whereas the final authority thereof rested in the Justice Commission. Rinpoche indicated concurrence with this view.

The Charter of Tibetan in Exile does not state grounds on which a justice commissioner of the TSJC could be dismissed, leaving it open to the TPiE to sack them on any ground its members deem fit.

The TPiE sacked the entire panel of justice commissioners of the TSJC after the latter imposed a limited penalty on its 11 standing committee members for failing to hold the regular Sep 2020 session of the TPiE as required under the Charter. The TSJC barred them from taking part in voting – but not from standing for election – in the preliminary poll of the ongoing exile Tibetan elections.

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