17th Tibetan Parliament-in-exile concludes its 2024-2025 budget session

Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel while delivering his concluding remarks in the house. Image: TPIE.

DHARAMSALA, 29 March: The 17th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile (TPIE) concluded its 2024-2025 budget session today with the approval of a consolidated budget of Rs. 3,331,022,234 for the expenditure of the annual budget and Rs. 57,985,781 as an interim budget – not included in the consolidated fund – for the Central Tibetan Administration’s (CTA) seven departments, autonomous bodies, and offices of CTA for the coming financial year. 

Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel, in his closing remarks, commended the house for its success in amending the Charters as the failure of which could spell a constitutional crisis. Highlighting the house as a crucial forum for discussing political issues, the speaker advised MPs to enhance their discourse by refining their language and expression.

During the session held from 18-29 March, the lawmakers approved a total of 70 legislative amendments. However, the house voted against the proposed amendment of Article 63 (2) clause c, Rules and Regulations on the Central Election Commission’s Article 47 (IV), and Rules and Regulations for Salaries and Other Allowances for the Supreme Justice Commissioner and other Justice Commissioners.

Apart from being “a citizen of Tibet” and having “completed the age of 50 years” as mandated in Article 63 (2) clause c, nominees for “the Chief Justice Commissioner and the other two Justice Commissioners of the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission” must have been a judge in any court for a continuous period of 5 years or have been an experienced advocate standing for at least 10 years. 

The Tibetan parliament adopted the Charter on 14 June 1991, which was approved by the Dalai Lama on 28 June 1991. The 28th of June 2021 marked 30 years since the charter came into force.

The house also voted against the inclusion of an MP collectively from North America, Europe, and Australasia in the standing committee of the TPIE.

Additionally, the legislators unanimously passed resolutions to express solidarity with the suffering of the Tibetans inside Tibet and to mourn the demise of Ven Lama Lobzang, a renowned Himalayan Buddhist master and dedicated advocate for Tibet, who spent his life providing unwavering humanitarian assistance. The lawmakers also unanimously approved a motion to extend the payment exemption of 90% for the Tibetan diaspora in paying their Tibetan voluntary contribution from 31st March 2024 till 30th September 2024. 

The Tibetan Parliament-in-exile consists of 45 members: ten members each from U-Tsang, Do-tod, and Do-med, the three traditional provinces of Tibet; two members each from the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism and the traditional Bon faith; two members each from Europe and North America; and a member representing Tibetans in Asia and Australasia (excluding India, Nepal, and Bhutan). 

The TPIE holds its session twice every year with an interval of six months, a budget session in March and a general session in September.

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