DHARAMSALA, 12 July: A group of Tibetans staged a protest again at Gangchen Kyishong, the central Tibetan secretariat today calling on the Chief Justice Commissioner and the two Justice Commissioners of the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission (TSJC)impeached by the Tibetan parliament to “respect democracy and resign now” and vacate their seats.
“The Chief Justice Commissioner and the two Justice Commissioners of the TSJC returned to their offices unconstitutionally claiming to have the public mandate with total disregard to the rule of law and this is totally unacceptable,” the protesters stated in their press release.
The protesters alleged that the “justices unlawful resumption to office disrupted the Tibetan freedom struggle, the functions of the Central Tibetan Administration and the three pillars of the exile Tibetan democracy.”
This the Tibetan petitioners said, “has become a cause of concern as the total disregard to the Charter of Tibetans in exile would lead to anarchy, and derail the exile democracy setup that His Holiness the Dalai Lama bestowed to the Tibetans.”
“The unlawful resumption of the offices by the justices forced the 17th Tibetan parliamentarians to take the oath of office in two different ways, the elected Sikyong unable to take the oath of office as prescribed by the charter and that the Dalai Lama’s birthday had to be celebrated without the proper representation of the three pillars of the Tibetan democracy and even became the cause of a self-immolation protest.”
As it is said that democracy is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. His Holiness the Dalai Lama worked tirelessly to introduce this system of governance for Tibetans but the resumption to offices by the justices totally derailed it. Therefore we will continue to protest until they resign and vacate their seats.”
“The protesters said they have volunteered and shouldered the responsibility for the sole motive of the sustenance of the three pillars of the CTA.”
The group staged a similar protest at the CTA headquarter earlier on 27 July while similar protests were reported from Tibetan settlements such as Bylakuppee, kollegal, Tso Pema(Riwalsar), and Kullu Manali among others.
The TPiE impeached Dagpo Sonam Norbu, the Chief Justice Commissioner, and the two Justice Commissioners, Tenzin Lungtok and Karma Dadul on 25th March during the tenth day of the 10th session of the 16th TPIE by passing an official motion in the Parliament for the trio’s impeachment in accordance with the Clause (IV), Article (63) of the Charter of Tibetans in exile.
On 26 March, the Justices of TSJC held a press conference and declared that they accepted the Tibetan parliament’s impeachment but refute the charges.
The Justices stated then that, though the Tibetan parliament is at fault for not following proper procedures to introduce and vote on the resolution for their removal, they are vacating their offices solely out of respect for the constitution. (link)
However, nearly two months later, the exile Tibetan democracy headed into more uncertainty as the Chief Justice Commissioner and the two Justice Commissioners of the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission impeached by the Tibetan parliament performed a u-turn and announced their resumption to offices.
“We never accepted the decision of the parliament, but recused ourselves for the sole interest of ensuring natural justice,” the impeached justices of the TSJC stated on 24 May.