Adjourned and Postponed: 6th Session of the 17th Tibetan Parliament in Exile Rescheduled for December

DHARAMSALA, 17 Nov: The remaining business of the 6th Session of the 17th Tibetan Parliament in Exile (TPiE) will reconvene for five days at the end of December, as announced by the Tibetan Parliamentary Secretariat on Thursday.

“The 6th session of the 17th TPiE will reconvene with the remaining business of the general session from 25th to 29th December 2023,” reads a circular issued by the Parliamentary Secretariat.

Tibetan lawmakers were required to “register their attendance at the Parliamentary Secretariat on 24 December 2022.”

The 6th Session of the 17th TPiE, initially scheduled from the 19th to the 28th of September, had to be adjourned on the 22nd of September and was subsequently postponed indefinitely on the 28th of September due to a lack of quorum.

Article 49 of the Charter of the Tibetans in Exile stipulates that a minimum of two-thirds of the total lawmakers must be present for the house to proceed. On the 22nd of September, only 25 lawmakers (including the Speaker) attended the session, falling short of the required quorum.

Despite the summon notice issued by the Parliamentary Secretariat for MPs to reconvene the session, there has been a notable silence from both the Parliamentary Secretariat and the Department of Security. The adjournment, announced by Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel in the past, cited the reluctance of some members to participate in the proceedings until the Security Department of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) clarified a specific matter. 

Despite efforts to seek clarification, neither the Parliamentary Secretariat nor the Department of Security has provided any statements, both declining to comment on the matter.

Additionally, Tibet Express also reached out to several MPs seeking clarification over the matter; however, our efforts proved futile as they declined to provide any comments on the matter.

This lack of transparency keeps everyone in the dark, and many are questioning whether the house can really hold its remaining session without the necessary clarifications from the involved entities. Speculation continues to swirl over the matter, highlighting the urgent need for clear and concise information to address the uncertainties surrounding the parliamentary session.

The Tibetan parliament comprises 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 sessions twice a year, with a budget session in March and a general session in September.

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