By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, Dec 6: Former Tibetan Representative of North America, Penpa Tsering refuted all allegations levelled against him by the Kashag (Cabinet) of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) to terminate him from the Office of Tibet in DC.
“The Kashag has the prerogative to terminate the services of its representatives and I accepted Kashag’s termination, but not the accusations,” Penpa Tsering said at a press conference held yesterday at Hotel Norbu House in Mcleod Ganj.
Penpa Tsering stated that the officiating President of CTA’s statement at the press meet on Nov 14, Sikyong’s address at Norway, Kashag’s ten-point clarification issued on Nov 18 and Sikyong’s clarification to public in Canada has forced him to respond as it painted him in bad light.
“Kashag’s allegations are aimed to tarnish my reputation. They are untrue, incomplete and manipulative,” Penpa Tsering said and added, “if it wasn’t for these allegations, I would have moved on quietly.”
The former Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile further presented a 97-page document to refute the ten-point clarification issued by the Kashag on its decision to replace him from the CTA’s mission in North America.
Kashag cited growing trust deficit, under performance and insubordination as key reasons to replace Penpa Tsering from its mission in North America.
The former North American Representative countered by saying that the Kashag led by Sikyong Sangay never trusted him though he was assigned to the office of Tibet in DC.
“Within the first two months of my tenure at the office, two additional Board members of the TCDF (Tibetan Community Development Fund) were appointed. I was also left in the dark over matters related to US government funding under the PRM and USAID initiatives in spite of my attempts to reach out to President Sangay on the matters,” Penpa Tsering said.
As for the under-performance accusation, Penpa Tsering furnished a statistical document by Todd Stein that stated that his aggregate of 10.9 engagements per month betters his predecessor, Kador’s 1.9 engagement per month. “The statistics will speak for it self,” he remarked.
Penpa Tsering further stated that Chinese Liaison Officer Kunga Tashi’s appointment was not finalized as claimed by the Kashag.
Penpa Tsering also claimed that he took up the $ 1.5 million loan matter with the Sikyong to avoid problems in the future as financial statements of Tibet Fund show the amount as a loan, while no records of payable loan features in the report of DC office.
Penpa Tsering refuted Kashag’s every accusation one after another with documents to support it and accused the Kashag led by Sikyong Sangay of misinforming the public with false, incomplete and manipulative allegations. He further challenged the Kashag to prove their allegations with documents at the press conference that lasted for almost four hours.