Historic Tibetan National General Meeting Commences

The opening session of the Second Tibetan National General Meeting being held at the TCV School auditorium in Dharamsala, on 21 May 2011

DHARAMSHALA: Hundreds of Tibetan delegates representing Tibetan community from across the globe have begun discussing amendments to the Charter on the devolution of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's administrative and political powers and responsibilities to the elected leaders of the Central Tibetan Administration.

The meeting is being held in accordance with the His Holiness the Dalai Lama's decision to relinquish his formal authorities in order to bring about complete democratisation of the Tibetan polity. (Message of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the Fourteenth Assembly of the Tibetan People's Deputies)

The delegates will deliberate on insertion of a new Preamble and Article 1 into the Charter and 39 related articles prepared by Charter Amendment Drafting Committee. (Click here to read Draft Preamble and Article 1)

The drafting committee has amended 39 articles including the Article 19 concerning the executive powers assigned to His Holiness in the Charter. The amendments made to 9 executive powers assigned to His Holiness in the Charter will be devolved to the elected leadership and the three pillars of Tibetan democracy, Speaker Penpa Tsering said in his opening statement.

One of the major draft amendments made to the Charter is the withdrawal of provisions (Article 31 – 35) of appointing Council of Regency.  

Kalon Tripa reiterated three long-term visions of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to devolve his political authorities to the elected Tibetan leadership. “His Holiness aims to complete the democratisation process of Tibetan society, to establish a sound system of governance and self-reliant exile Tibetan administration when he remain able and healthy and to sustain the exile administration until the issue of Tibet is resolved,” Kalon Tripa said.

Kalon Tripa stressed the changes made in the Charter must ensure the continuity of the special historic and karmic bond between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people, safeguarding the Central Tibetan Administration as the legitimate governing body and representative of the whole Tibetan people, in whom sovereignty resides.

Kalon Tripa underscored the need to ensure Central Tibetan Administration to get recognition in the international arena and to maintain relations with governments across the world.

He said efforts must be made to remove impediments which might undermine the sustenance of the Central Tibetan Administration.

The delegates will present to His Holiness the Dalai Lama the final outcome of the final Draft Preamble and the First Article Amendments to the Charter on 24 May.

A total of 418 delegates from over 20 countries, including India, Nepal, the US, Europe and Russia, are taking part in the 4-day historic meeting being held in Dharamsala.

On the advice of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the meeting which is previously scheduled to be held for three days from 21-23 May has been extended for a day. His Holiness said all the delegates should get the opportunity to express their views and those of the Tibetan community on the devolution of his political authorities to the democratically elected leadership, Speaker Penpa Tsering said.

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