DHARAMSALA, 2 Sept: The political head of the Tibetan people urged Tibetans to exercise their right to vote during the upcoming 2021 Sikyong and members of the 17th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile elections at the official celebrations of the 60th Tibetan Democracy day.
“Exercising one’s suffrage will contribute towards strengthening the Tibetan democracy envisioned by His Holiness the Dalai Lama that elder generation of Tibetans worked tirelessly for,” he added.
President Sangay further stated that China will surely meddle in the Tibetan general election and called on Tibetans to exercise caution.
“We should not end up dancing to the tune of Beijing,” he added.
President of the CTA Dr Lobsang Sangay and the Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile (TPiE) Pema Jungney who chaired the event paid their deepest respect and gratitude to His Holiness the Dalai Lama for pioneering and tirelessly steering a democratic system for the well-being of the Tibetan people.
Speaker Pema Jungney in his address spoke on how democracy came to the Tibetan people as a gift from His Holiness the Dalai Lama and credited the Tibetan spiritual leader for the successful democratic transformation of Tibetan political system in exile.
“It bears no mentioning that it is owing solely to the kindness of and tireless efforts made by His Holiness the Dalai Lama throughout his life for the sake of the nation and people of Tibet that we have been able to achieve success in the democratic transformation of our political system.”
On 2 September 1960, the first Commission of Tibetan People’s Deputies from religious and provincial constituencies took their oath before His Holiness the Dalai Lama, thereby, formally inaugurating the Tibetan democratic system of governance.
The Dalai Lama devolved all his political authority to a democratically elected leader despite the impassioned appeals by the Parliament and the Tibetan people to stay on as the nominal head of state in 2011, thereby completing the transition to a secular democracy. This year marks 8 years since the devolution of political authority by His Holiness.
Cultural performances usually presented during the event were cancelled this year to morn the demise of India’s former President Pranab Mukherji who passed away earlier this week on Monday while winners of coveted Sikyong Award for Academic Accomplishment, Gandhen Phodrang scholarships, CTA Award to Distinctive Staff for 25 years’ service and winners of the Tibetan youth development award were presented with their awards, certificates and cash prizes.