DHARAMSALA, 25 Aug: The US state department has called on elected members of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile(TPiE) to “move past their differences” and resolve the political impasse “in accordance with the rule of law.”
“We note there has been a long delay in swearing in the new members of the Parliament. The September session is imminent and there is much to do in very little time,” the US Department of State’s Acting Secretary of State Lisa Peterson has said in a letter addressed to the TPiE Secretary Tsewang Ngodup.
“Disputes over parliamentary procedures which are not resolved in a timely manner and in accordance with the rule of law risk undermining the confidence placed by the Tibetan diaspora and the international community in the CTA and TPiE. We urge the elected members to move past their differences and turn to the pressing matters that need their attention,” it added.
The State Department’s letter further applauded the exiled Tibetans for successfully conducting the elections of the Sikyong and the members of the TPiE amid a pandemic that rocked the whole world.
The letter dated 2 Aug. further said that the international community is looking at the CTA and TPiE for leadership in renewing dialogue with Beijing, to preserve the unique Tibetan culture, language, and religion; advocating for the human rights of Tibetans inside Tibet and achieving meaningful autonomy for Tibetans.
“We urge the elected members to move past their differences and to turn to the pressing matters that need their attention,” it concluded.
Earlier on 8th June, the members of the 17th TPIE took their oath of office in an unprecedented manner but couldn’t elect a new Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the house.
Twenty-one MPs took their oath of office from the pro-tem Speaker Dawa Tsering who was administered the oath by the Chief Justice Commissioner who was removed by the TPIE in March while 22 MPs who held it unlawful took their oath in front of the Charter and a portrait of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
If the political deadlock keeps dragging beyond the September session, then without the parliament and its approval to the budget for the next fiscal year, this could force the CTA to completely shut down.
The unprecedented manner in which the members of the 17th TPIE took the oath of office was necessitated after the Chief Justice Commissioner and the two Justice Commissioners of the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission impeached by the Tibetan parliament in March performed a u-turn and announced their resumption to offices nearly two months after accepting their impeachment though they called it illegitimate.