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The Chater Amendment
A Test of Our Mangtso

Tuesday, Jun 7, 2011

The announcement of His Holiness the Dalai Lama devolving his political power to an elected leadership came at a time when we were excited and ready for our general election for the Kalon Tripa and Chitue and never prepared for such an unexpected surprise at this time, rendering voters go to the polling booths with heavy heads pondering over the complicated and serious implications of the devolution. It was this announcement that triggered off series of crucial events in haste – On top of the election fever came the formation of Constitutional Amendment Draft Committee to draft amendments, the 2nd Tibetan General Meeting to discuss on His Holiness’ retirement followed by special session of the parliament to evaluate the proposed amendments.

The general meeting was hosted in grandeur, converging over 400 Tibetan officials across the globe, yet the meeting made little difference to the drafted amendments and in cases even disregarded the outcome of the meeting — Majority in the general meeting voted for retaining the name Tibetan Government in Exile (Tsenjol Bhoe Zhung) was snubbed in the following special session of the parliament that passed the resolution for replacing it with Institution of the Tibetan People (Bod Mei Drik Tsuk). Amongst the jostling public opinions against changing the glorious and lofty slogan “Bod Shung Gaden Phodrang Chogle Namgyal” (Victory to the Government of Tibet) of our official emblem, it was eventually again changed to an unimpressive one “Denpanyi Nampar Gyalgyur Chig” (Truth Will Triumph). Truth will triumph only when it is fought for in a true way with popular support. This undemocratic behavior of the parliament should be criticized and, if necessary, protested against.

The speaker Penpa Tsering was asked on an interview by Kunleng program of Radio Free Asia regarding the changes mentioned above and he cited Chinese opposition to their presence in our charter as symbols of independence. He also said these changes would not make any difference for Tibetans as we would go on considering it as our government. Regarding it as our government which is not legally called a government is as senseless as regarding a case won when the judgment is in favor of the opponent. With this endless kowtowing to the Chinese by our “moderates”, presuming we furling our own flags and banning our national anthem in exile one day is not an unfounded speculation.

When the Chinese government calls our prime minister elect a terrorist, reduces Tibetan issue to the personal accommodation of His Holiness and no change in its stance pertaining to our exile government even after His Holiness’ stepping down from politics, our government is yet on its endeavor of giving endless concessions to the Chinese, breaking its own promise of no more compromises. A recent article on Xinhua news says the Dalai Lama’s retirement from politics makes no difference to the Chinese government as the Dalai Lama has natural authority over Tibetans even with no legal power. Before retirement, they used to criticize our government being theocratic with a hidden agenda of restoring serfdom, now they blame His Holiness being His Holiness. So when the problem is from their side, making adjustments from our side will make no difference, as long as they are not sincere with solving the problem. The harder we try to ensure them our end goal being genuine autonomy, the more would they complain and accuse us for pursuing coveted independence as Tibet is in their hand and we have nothing to bargain with. Reasoning with a rogue is a fault of the gentleman.

Five decades of insult, deception and mockery have not yet awakened us to recognize the nature of this communist regime and we have been living in an illusion of optimism toward this tyranny. As wolves can never change into humble lambs, as long as this regime stands, there will never be a solution to the Tibetan issue within this system. Hope will come only after the collapse of this communist power that is widely expected soon. This regime, like Wang Lixiong talks about in his “The Roadmap to the Tibetan Independence”, will not fall smoothly but catastrophically leading to anarchy resulting political vacuum attracting foreign intervention when there will then even be a great chance to legally pursue for Tibetan Independence in case these compromises and concessions would have not been given. That time, Tibetan people will never forget and forgive these leaders for surrendering our statehood.

If resolution of our issue is commonly expected (including by our leaders) after the downfall of this regime and even Tibetan independence will be possible by that time, then why are we still going in the wrong direction? One step in the right direction is much better than a thousand steps in the wrong one. However difficult and negligible the steps are, they are in the right direction towards our true dreams. Rangzen is the only call in the heart of every Tibetan except being not expressed by the Tibetans in Tibet due to fear of the government, Tibetans in exile due to our respect to His Holiness and due to our thinking that it is impossible. All great achievements in the world history came through impossibilities. Achievements are greater if obtained through bigger difficulties. So why do we not think if we should rather than if we can especially in our case with Ume-lam and Rangzen being at about the same difficulty level as mentioned above?

It is pathetic that the moment we talk about independence, we are told it is the Ume-lam that secured us this international support which will be lost otherwise, as if international support will solve Tibetan issue. In fact, it is this approach that made world leaders not to hesitate saying Tibet being an integral part of China as we ourselves admit it. Ume-lam has never been more than a bargaining factor of international diplomacy with China, 1972 Ping-Pong diplomacy was an epitome of dumping us at their will. Moreover, no independence of any country was fought for by another country. Besides, saving and preserving our culture and religion (to contribute to the world peace) are not the top priority objectives of our struggle but the existence of a nation state as otherwise, with our experiences of Chinese sheer violations of the 17-Point Agreement, how can we ever believe the regime will comply with the agreement even if we can sign one (such an agreement is impossible to reach though)? Thus, religious and cultural freedom being the by-products of Rangzen, we get everything we want with Rangzen, and much much more.

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  • avatar Tenpa Gashi says:

    the Chinese got one thing correct, Kundun will naturally remain the leader of Tibetan people irregardless of what position he holds or does not hold. That will not change and we shouldn’t pretend otherwise. Good piece!

  • avatar dolma says:

    Bod Zhung or Palace of Happiness the Domain of Chenrezi recognizes the historical roots and origins of the Tibetan people.

    Tibetans are said to be the sons and daughters of Chenrezi and Tara and we pay homage the Lord of Compassion by recognizing this tie. Gaden or Tushita refers to the relm of Avalokitesvara.

    Second, the Government of Tibet was moved to escape Chinese occupation in order to escape having to accept China’s domination.

    An oath was sworn by Tibetan refugees that the Tibetan Government in exile was the one and only true Tibetan Government until an referrandum or plebiscite established the true will of the Tibetan people.

    “Tibetan Organization” is a term that shows either ignorance or disrespect to the faith and sacrifice of our parents.

    What is worse, it is a betrayal verging on treason to the Tibetan cause.

    So the sons want to show how much better they are than their Father?

    Do so by going uphill, not downhill –however much easier it is. This change will only please the Chinese Government.

  • avatar dolma says:

    Tibetan Government and Tibetans forced into exile are phrases I’m familiar with.

    Apparently the new clique in Dharamsala found the the term “Bod Zhung” or Tibetan Government unworthy of their support.

    So no “kashag” or “Ka-lon:!

    Kalon Tripa means the Throne Holder who is the Prime Minister who upholds the “Ka”–the Command or Words of the Buddha, Chenrezi, Kings or the Lama-Kings.

    Since there is no Government in exile, we cannot use the words Kashag or Kalon– so we could have Nga-Lons!

    The outdated term “kalon tripa” should now be called NgaLon or CEO– chief executive officer!

    Since there is no longer a government in exile, there is scarce reason to pay taxes or make sacrifices to people who are closer to Chinese goals than Tibetan aspirations.

  • avatar dolma says:

    After China invaded Tibet the Chinese Government’s 17-point Ag– recognized the Tibetan Government and promised not to change the status of the Tibetan Govt or the Dalai Lama.

    Tibetans spectacularly affirmed their loyalty to HH the Dalai Lama and the state/govt he personified by the popular enthronement on a golden throne by people offering their jewelry etc.

    In the face of ethnic genocide by Chinese occupation, HH the Dalai Lama moved the Government of Tibet and all the signs and seals of power. This move was made after assurances by USA and India and others to respect the Tibetan Government in Exile.

    Since then, all genuine Tibetans have always spoken about the rights, welfare and the wishes of the “six million Tibetans.”

    Six million being the best census figure for all Tibetans.

    Tibetan Government Kalons took their oath on the Mani Kabum.

    The ancestral rights of Tibetans, the sacred ethos of Tibetan people and our heritage cannot be reduced to the verbiage of “Charter.”

    The first Tibetan Constitution was promulgated by King Srongtsen Gampo in his 16 Civic Laws and 10 Celestail Laws.

    But the “charter” (such a poverty of vision or nobility of soul) of the Tibetan Government in exile was freedom and fundamental human rights enjoyed by people in all civilized countries.

    The “Tibetan Government” represents the rights of all SIX MILLION TIBETANS–when dealing with constitutional changes the amendment must be voted on by all six million Tibetans– not a small clique in Dharamsala controlling millions of dollars.

    The parents of this clique swore to preserve, protect and support the Tibetan Government in Exile until a national plebiscite in Tibet clearly established the will of the Tibetan people.

    This clique violated Robert’s Rules of Order– and this sacred trust.

  • avatar dolma says:

    Google just trashed my attempt to find “Tibetan Government in Exile.” Did the Chinese or Shugdenists or
    Tibetan pragmatists just have THEIR DREAMS come true?

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