Tibetans in Dharamsala celebrate 58th Tibetan Democracy day

DHARAMSALA, Sept 2: Hundreds of Tibetans and supporters gathered at the courtyard of the main temple in Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsala today to participate in the official celebrations of the 58th Tibetan Democracy day.

The event was attended by among others, Bharatendra Singh, honourable member of Lok Sabha as the Chief Guest along with the representatives of the three pillars of the Tibetan democracy as well as the members of Tibetan Parliament-in-exile and officials of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA).

President of the CTA Dr Lobsang Sangay and Khenpo Sonam Tenphel, the Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile (TPiE) delivered the official statement of the Kashag (Cabinet) and TPiE respectively and paid their deepest respect and gratitude to His Holiness the Dalai Lama for pioneering and tirelessly steering a democratic system for the well-being of the Tibetan people.

President Sangay spoke on Tibetan democracy from the nascent stages in the 1960s to His Holiness the Dalai Lama declaring on Aug 8, 2011, the fulfilment of ‘long-cherished goal’ of bringing democracy to the Tibetan people when he devolved all his political authority to the democratically elected leader or Sikyong.

“Ultimately, for our democracy to thrive, it is the responsibility of every Tibetan to be informed and prevent any attempt to disrupt our community and harmony. The Kashag has and will continue to implement the three guiding principles of unity, innovation, and self-reliance, and I urge every Tibetan to follow suit,” President Sangay concluded.

Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel in his address spoke on how democracy came to the Tibetan people as a gift from His Holiness the Dalai Lama and described the Tibetan democratic system of governance in exile as a unique system, which incorporates the best characteristics of both the presidential and parliamentary system without any political factions.

“Unity of the Tibetans is the core of all our important purposes,” So, to every Tibetan, with a firm pledge to abstain from creating any contradictions amongst the Tibetan people and keeping in heart, the beneficence and hopes of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, we earnestly request, to never waver in your enthusiasm towards the realization of our common future aspirations,” Khenpo Sonam Tenphel said.

Chief Guest Mr Kunwar Bharatendra Singh in his address congratulated the CTA on the 58th anniversary of Tibetan Democracy day and appreciated the exiled Tibetans’ ability to preserve their cultural identities and love for their country.

Mr Kunwar Bharatendra Singh further expressed his hope that the middle way policy will prosper under the leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

On September 2, 1960, the first Commission of Tibetan People’s Deputies from religious and provincial constituencies took their oath before His Holiness the Dalai Lama, thereby, formally inaugurating the Tibetan democratic system of governance.

the Dalai Lama devolved all his political authority to a democratically elected leader despite the impassioned appeals by the Parliament and the Tibetan people to stay on as the nominal head of state in 2011, thereby completing the transition to a secular democracy. This year marks 7 years since the devolution of political authority by His Holiness.

Cultural performances were presented during the event and winners of coveted Sikyong scholarship, Gandhen Phodrang scholarships, and winners of the Tibetan entrepreneurship competition were presented with their awards, certificates and cash prizes.

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