Parliament to debate His Holiness the Dalai Lama's proposal on Tuesday

The 11th session of the 14th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile during the opening day of the budget session on Monday, 14 March 2011/TPiE Photo

DHARAMSHALA: In a message to the members of the 14th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has formally proposed to devolve his political authority to the elected leadership. 

 The Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament, Mr Penpa Tsering, read out the message on the opening day of the budget session which began today.

 He convened a press conference during the morning recess to brief a large gathering of Indian and foreign journalists who are covering the Parliament session.

 “Tomorrow (Tuesday) all the members of the Parliament would be given the opportunity to speak and deliberate on the message of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. By tomorrow evening we hope that we would get a complete sense of the House, based on which we would act accordingly,” the Speaker told the journalists at the Parliamentary Secretariat.

 The Speaker said the Parliament would perhaps form certain committees to look into the details of the message.

 He spelled out three possible outcome of the deliberations.

 “The first possibility is that we would again request His Holiness that we don't want any changes and His Holiness should continue to take political responsibilities. If most of the members say that we don't want any changes, then this will have to be conveyed to His Holiness and what he will say after that will be depended on when we inform him about these developments” he said.

 “The second possibility would be to accept the suggestion of His Holiness and make changes accordingly. If members say that we agree with His Holiness the Dalai Lama's proposal, then separate committees would have to be formed. Then there would be a long process, something that cannot be done within the period of this House because the 14th Parliament is also coming to an end by May and new Parliament and cabinet would come into being by June. So the responsibility of carrying forward in terms of the implementation of His Holiness' message would lie on the new and upcoming 15th Parliament,” he said.

 “The third possibility is to try to find a middle-way wherein the elected representatives can take responsibility for executive affairs with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in charge of the political leadership. If suggestions from majority of the members opt the middle-way asking His Holiness to continue the political leadership, then committees will have to be formed to make necessary amendments in the Charter and other regulations,” he said.

 “I cannot comment exactly about what would be the outcome which you will know only after tomorrow's deliberations,” he said.

 The budget session will go on till 25 March.

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