March 10 National Uprising Memorial Website
Jamyang Norbu  |  Thursday, Mar 10, 2016  |  No Comment

Among the great war monuments in America, the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in DC, designed by Maya Lin, is perhaps the most elegant and simple. The stark black wall with the etched names of over 58,307 …

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The “Penpa Tsering Affair”, chronicle of a predicted shipwreck

Monday, Feb 5, 2018
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(photo source : Tibetan Political Review)

At the heart of the “Penpa Tsering Affair”, the supporters of the one who presents himself today as “victim” denounce “injustice” and want to believe in the opportunity of a “democratic protest”. But what looms on the horizon is the pitfall of division and confrontation among exiled Tibetans, against a backdrop of rivalry between two former political allies. Penpa Tsering’s supporters still refuse to see his own role in setting up the institutional censorship he now faces.

For several months and especially in recent weeks, some people have resolved to take sides in the case between former Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in exile Penpa Tsering to President Lobsang Sangay. These same people wish today to present Penpa Tsering, who has been dismissed from his position of representative in Washington, as a victim of the policy of censorship led by Lobsang Sangay and the reactions of indignation resulting from it as the precursor sign of a democratic protest.

This is obviously their right and their reading of the affair belongs to them, but my reading is not the same.

For my part, I consider that this case consists of an internal settling of scores within the Tibetan administration, with the pretext of a dispute related to the function recently exercised by Penpa Tsering under the direct authority of Lobsang Sangay. Let it be said differently: Penpa Tsering is paying the price of his rivalry with Lobsang Sangay in the last election of 2016 and the price of his betrayal, since they both previously headed the Tibetan administration and were equally responsible for the censorship policy they initiated together and which has continued ever since.

It is still necessary to specify what this censorship policy consists of.

Between 2013 and 2016, Penpa Tsering at the head of Parliament and Lobsang Sangay at the head of the government worked together to smother and crush any opponents of the official line. With a certain and undeniable result. During these three years, they constantly accused these same opponents of being “disloyal” towards the Dalai Lama and “betraying” him – accusations with the devastating resonance within the Tibetan diaspora. In particular, they accused them of “harming the longevity of the Dalai Lama”, relying for that on an incredible resolution adopted by the Parliament requesting the Dalai Lama “to live up to the age of 113 and beyond”. Penpa Tsering in particular sought to disqualify the MP Karma Choephel, himself former Speaker of Parliament, because he had dared to dissociate himself publicly from the official line. In particular, Penpa Tsering orchestrated the self-criticism session inflicted to Karma Choephel within the parliament, forcing him to abjure charges he had never brought against the Dalai Lama. Penpa Tsering and Lobsang Sangay continued their joint action of intimidation by putting pressure on the last opposition groups to resign their political vocation or to declare that they no longer oppose the action of the government. Finally, in the last elections in 2016, they issued a new electoral law to specially prevent Lukar Jam, the only true opposition candidate, from receiving any political and financial support with the aim to disadvantage him in the electoral process.

That’s what a censorship policy is.

When I now have to appreciate the divorce of this political couple that has literally institutionalized censorship and created a deleterious climate within the exiled community, I do not say that the “Penpa Tsering Affair” reveals an injustice of which the one would be a victim and the other would be guilty. On the contrary, I think that there is finally a form of justice that consists of a providential backlash for both of them who have inflicted authoritarian governance on their opponents and now find themselves confronted with their turn by force of things.

Among those who are upset today about the “injustice” supposedly suffered by one or practiced by the other, we find mainly the supporters of the one who is presented as “victim”. As for the real political opponents, the very ones who have actually experienced the injustice under the previous mandate of Penpa Tsering and Lobsang Sangay, they carefully stay at distance and are right in that.

For there would be nothing more dangerous than to want to turn a partisan dispute into a supposed democratic prelude, especially if none of the parties questions the origin of the political practices that are now being denounced. For example, it would be unthinkable for me to defend Penpa Tsering without recalling his responsibility or accusing only Lobsang Sangay without questioning Penpa Tsering.

As we know, the political climate in exile has deteriorated since the resignation of the Dalai Lama in 2011, and the way things go, it will only degenerate into infighting after his death. This has already begun: the “Penpa Tsering Affair” is a sad illustration of this, and it is not, as it stands, the harbinger of a democratic wind.

That is why the supporters of Penpa Tsering, including others who have been persuaded or are intimately convinced of an “injustice”, should think about the grounding of their postulate before wanting to lead more people in the risky adventure of division and confrontation. This does not mean to keep silent about the autocratic attitude of Lobsang Sangay, quite the opposite.

On the other hand, finally authorizing the debate about political objectives, infusing the Parliament with the pluralism that it lacks, allowing the expression of the opponents as well as allowing the conditions of political alternation – in short, the opposite of all that Penpa Tsering and Lobsang Sangay have done so far – this would serve not only to avoid the worst but also to concretely embody the democratic dynamics that each one scrutinizes the first signs with legitimate anxiety on the horizon.


This article was originally published in French and developed in the context of the French Tibetan movement : L’affaire “Penpa Tsering”, chronique d’un naufrage annoncé

Why I won’t vote in the Final Sikyong Election
Choenyi Woser  |  Feb 29, 2016  |  No Comment
Why I won’t vote in the Final Sikyong Election

In this year’s election for the post of Sikyong, we have had five candidates. Out of them, Lukar Jam stood for Tibetan independence. The rest of them—all Middle-Way advocates seeking Tibetan autonomy within the framework …

Will Tibetans in Exile Accept ‘Democracy with Tibetan Refugee Characteristics’?
Neil Steedman  |  Nov 29, 2015  |  No Comment
Will Tibetans in Exile Accept ‘Democracy with Tibetan Refugee Characteristics’?

This article has been written for publication in German in ‘Tibet und Buddhismus’ issue 113/2015, to be distributed on 22nd December.
* * *
‘Tibet und Buddhismus’ (‘TiBu’) asked Neil Steedman, one of the 27 Tibet Supporter …

Britain arrests Chinese dissident
Press release
Wu’er Kaixi and Wang Dan  |  Oct 24, 2015  |  No Comment
Britain arrests Chinese dissident

As fellow exiled Chinese dissidents, we, Wang Dan and Wu’er Kaixi, China’s No 1 and No 2 most wanted student leaders in the 1989 Tiananmen student movement, condemn in the strongest possible terms Britain’s treatment …

Allegations Against Lukar Jam Unfounded
Ogyen K Gchenpa  |  Oct 17, 2015  |  No Comment
Allegations Against Lukar Jam Unfounded

With exile election fever being unprecedently high, our tiny community has gone abuzz. Politically charged Tibetans are filling wherever possible with political discussions. Such exceptional show of interest by the ordinary people in an election …

An Open Letter to the Sikyong, Kashag, and Election Commissioner of the Central Tibetan Administration in Dharamsala, India
Tibet Supporters  |  Oct 14, 2015  |  No Comment
An Open Letter to the Sikyong, Kashag, and Election Commissioner of the Central Tibetan Administration in Dharamsala, India

We, the undersigned 27 long-time Tibet Supporters, are writing to you to express our concern about several recent events relating to the current Tibetan Election processes.
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama has worked tirelessly to …

Tibet Supporters  |  Oct 14, 2015  |  No Comment

རྒྱ་གར་རྡ་རམ་ས་ལར་འཁོད་པའི་དབུས་བོད་མིའི་སྒྲིག་འཛུགས་ཀྱི་འོས་ བསྡུའི་སྤྱི་ཁྱབ་འགན་འཛིན་དང་། བཀའ་ཤག སྲིད་སྐྱོང་བཅས་ལ་ཕུལ་བའི་ཡོངས་ཁྱབ་ཞུ་ཡིག
གཤམ་དུ་མིང་རྟགས་བཀོད་པའི་ཡུན་རིང་གི་བོད་དོན་རྒྱབ་སྐྱོར་བ་ང་ཚོས་ད་ ལྟའི་བོད་ཀྱི་འོས་འདེམས་བརྒྱུད་རིམ་དང་འབྲེལ་བ་ཆགས་པའི་ཉེ་ཆར་གྱི་གནས་ཚུལ་ འགའ་ཞིག་ཐད་སེམས་འཚབ་བྱུང་བ་རྣམས་གསལ་འདོན་ཆེད་ཡི་གེ་འདི་ཁྱེད་ཅག་ལ་འབྲི་ བཞིན་ཡོད།
༧གོང་ས་སྐྱབས་མགོན་སྐུ་ཕྲེང་བཅུ་བཞི་པ་ཆེན་པོ་མཆོག་གིས་བོད་ཀྱི་ཆབ་སྲིད་ འཛིན་སྐྱོང་ཁྲོད་དམངས་གཙོ་བསྐྲུན་ཐབས་ལ་སྐུ་ངལ་འཛེམ་མེད་མཛད་ཡོད་ཅིང་། ཁོང་གིས་ “བོད་ནང་ཡོད་པའི་རྒྱ་ནག་དམར་པོའི་དབང་འཛིན་ལམ་ལུགས་དང་མི་མཚུངས་པར་ང་ཚོའི་ བཙན་བྱོལ་སྤྱི་ཚོགས་ནང་དེང་རབས་དམངས་གཙོའི་ལམ་ལུགས་ཆ་ཚང་བ་ཞིག་འཛུགས་ཐུབ་ ཡོད། མ་འོངས་ཕུགས་རྒྱང་རིང་པོའི་ཆ་ནས་ཐག་གཅོད་འདིས་ང་ཚོའི་བཙན་བྱོལ་བའི་སྒྲིག་ འཛུགས་འདི་ཤུགས་ཆེ་བ་དང་ཚད་ལྡན་པ་ཞིག་ཡོང་གི་རེད། ་་་་འདི་ནི་ང་ཚོའི་གྲུབ་འབྲས་གཟི་བརྗིད་ལྡན་པ་ཞིག་ཡིན། བོད་ནང་གི་བོད་མི་ཚོས་ཀྱང་གྲུབ་འབྲས་འདི་ལ་སྤོབས་པ་སྐྱེ་འོས་པ་ཞིག་ ཡིན།”ཞེས་ཁོང་ཉིད་ལས་འཁྱུར་མཛད་པའི་གསུང་འཕྲིན་དུ་བསྩལ་ཏེ། རང་མོས་བཞིན་ཆབ་སྲིད་ཀྱི་སྐུ་དབང་རྣམས་འོས་འདེམས་བྱས་པའི་ལས་བྱེད་པར་རྩིས་ འབུལ་བྱས་པ་དེར་ཁོང་སྐུ་སྒེར་ངོས་དང་བོད་རྒྱལ་ཁབ་ཀྱི་ངོས་ནས་ཐུགས་ཡིད་ཚིམ་ པའི་སྐོར་ལན་མང་གསུངས་ཡོད།ང་ཚོས་༧གོང་ས་མཆོག་གི་མཛད་པ་དང་དེ་བཞིན་ཁོང་གི་ལས་འཁྱུར་སྐབས་ཀྱི་གསུང་ འཕྲིན་དེའི་གལ་ཆེའི་རང་བཞིན་ལ་ཧ་ཅང་ཡི་རང་བསྔགས་བརྗོད་ཞུ་བཞིན་ཡོད་ཅིང་། གསུང་འཕྲིན་དེའི་ཁོངས་སུ་བཙན་བྱོལ་གཞུང་གི་ལས་འགན་སྒྲུབ་རྒྱུ་ཙམ་ཞིག་མ་ཡིན་ པར་ཡུན་རིང་མནར་གཅོད་འོག་ཡོད་པའི་བོད་རྒྱལ་ཁབ་ཀྱི་འབྱུང་འགྱུར་ཇེ་ལེགས་སུ་ གཏོང་བའི་ཆེས་མཐོའི་འོས་འགན་ཅན་གྱི་ལས་སྣེའི་འོས་འདེམས་ལ་བཙན་བྱོལ་བོད་མི་ མི་རེ་ངོ་རེ་བཞིན་གྱིས་དྲང་བདེན་དང་རང་དབང་གི་ཐོག་ནས་ཆ་ཤས་ལེན་པའི་ཐོབ་ཐང་ ཡོད་པ་དེ་ཡང་འདུས་ཡོད་པ་ཡིན། ལྷག་དོན་དུ་བོད་མི་ཚང་མ་ལ་བོད་ཀྱི་འབྱུང་འགྱུར་སྐོར་ལ་བསམ་ཚུལ་འཛིན་པ་དང་ ཤོད་པའི་ཐོབ་ཐང་ཡོད་པར་ང་ཚོས་ཡིད་ཆེས་བྱེད་བཞིན་ཡོད།

 དབུས་འོས་བསྡུ་ལས་ཁང་ནས་ཉེ་ཆར་སྒྲིག་གཞི་ཞིག་སྤེལ་པ་དེས་འབྱུང་འགྱུར་ བཙན་བྱོལ་བོད་མིའི་འོས་འདེམས་ཁྲོད་སྨྲ་བརྗོད་རང་དབང་དང་། དེ་བཞིན་ཚོགས་སྡེ་དང་སྒེར་གྱི་འདུ་འཛོམས་ཐོབ་ཐང་ལ་ཚད་འཛིན་བྱས་འདུག སྒྲིག་གཞི་དེའི་ནང་དུ་དམིགས་བསལ་བ་གཅིག་མ་གཏོགས་གཞན་རང་དབང་ཅན་གྱི་ཚོགས་ པའམ་གང་ཟག་སྒེར་ངོས་ནས་སྐད་འབོད་ལས་དོན་སྤེལ་རྒྱུ་ལ་མ་དངུལ་གཏོང་བའམ་དྲིལ་ བསྒྲགས་བྱེད་རྒྱུ་ལའང་ཚད་བཀག་བྱས་ཡོད་པ་ཚུད་ཡོད། ཚད་བཀག་བྱས་པ་འདི་དག་ནི་བཙན་བྱོལ་བོད་མིའི་བཅའ་ཁྲིམས་ཀྱི་ཁྲོད་དུ་བཞག་ཡོད་ …

Human Trafficking: Organized Crime in the Exile-Tibetan Community
TibetLeaks  |  Oct 14, 2015  |  No Comment
Human Trafficking: Organized Crime in the Exile-Tibetan Community

The brutal Chinese occupation of Tibet has created countless hardships for the Tibetan people, with so many looking to the West for safety and a new life outside India and Nepal.  Many Tibetans have obtained …

An Exile Within Exile: the Specter of Lukar Jam
Tendor  |  Oct 7, 2015  |  No Comment
An Exile Within Exile: the Specter of Lukar Jam

To say that Tibetan exiles live in a small world would be an understatement. Ours is a world where any two people chosen at random are bound to have several common friends (and sometimes, a …

Lukar Jam: Prisoner of Conscience
Jamyang Norbu  |  Oct 3, 2015  |  No Comment
Lukar Jam: Prisoner of Conscience

Some exile Tibetans are angry with Sikyong candidate Lukar Jam Atsok for criticizing HH’s policies.  He has not only been attacked in speech and writing but also on video, in one of which the accuser …

Forgotten Tibet
China ensured Washington heard nothing from the muzzled vassal state
Maura Moynihan  |  Oct 3, 2015  |  No Comment
Forgotten Tibet

Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s state dinner at the White House last week received fulsome coverage — about the fashion, the food and tech giants in attendance. The voices of protesters who gathered at the White …