Final session of 16th Tibetan parliament begins

DHARAMSALA, 15 March: The Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile, Pema Jungney told the house that “with the final election just around the corner, it is our vested responsibility to use the floor to get rid of rumours and distorted information within our community rather than becoming the cause of it,” as he flagged final session of the 16th Tibetan Parliament-in-exile.

The Speaker made the remarks as he held that compared to the last cycle, that by and large, the preliminary round of the Sikyong of the Tibetan people and the 17th Tibetan Parliament-in-exile concluded without undesirable and untoward incidents.

He further expressed his delight that members of two pillars of the Tibetan democracy have made it hale and hearty for the session with everyone attending the session testing negative from COVID-19.

However, as Punjab, a neighbouring state is being ravaged by the pandemic, the Speaker expressed uncertainty over whether the house can commence its session as it was scheduled.

In the meantime, “everyone should wear masks and follow guidelines provided by the CTA’s health department,” he told the house in session with COVID safety measures in place.

The legislative and executive bodies of the Central Tibetan Administration, commonly referred to as the Tibetan government in exile sat today for the session after almost a yearlong gap.

Though Article 40 of the Charter of Tibetans in exile states that “a time period of six months shall not pass between the last session and the date appointed for the next session,” the last session of Tibetan parliament was held nearly a year ago on 17 March 2020.

The 10th session of the 16th Tibetan parliament was originally scheduled to be held over for 8 days from 16-24 September 2020, it was postponed until now owing to the COVID-19 pandemic that originated from Wuhan, China in December 2019.

The legislators today unanimously passed 16 resolutions of official mourning, remembering and honouring a Tibetan martyr, along with some Indian and foreign leaders, former Tibetan officials and civil servants.

The 10th and the last session of the 16th Tibetan Parliament will be held over 15-31 March to discuss and approve the budget of the Central Tibetan Administration for the year 2021-2022, followed by Kashag’s clarification and discussion.

The Parliament left open for discussion, its resolution to express solidarity with Tibetan people inside Tibet who are suffering under repressive Chinese rule in Tibet.

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