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flash0709102741Dharamshala: The tenth session of the 14th Tibetan Parliament-in-exile began this morning (September 7). In his opening address, Speaker Penpa Tsering gave an overview of the recent inaugural Tibetan National General Meeting in Bylakuppe, which included the conferal of a gold seal to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Tibetan democracy day.

The Speaker said the meeting's delegates held an extensive six-day discussion on issues including political affairs, the promotion of democracy, religion, culture, the sustenance of settlements, education, health, economics and Tibetan welfare.

He added that, although the recommendations of the meeting have yet to be passed into law, the Kashag (cabinet) and parliament must in future must be answerable to the general public for their implementation.

The Speaker also expressed deep concern over the prevailing political repression inside Tibet and the decreasing number of Tibetan refugees escaping the country, due to tight border controls in Tibet and Nepal.

He highlighted the numerous arrests and allegations the Chinese government make in their targeting of leading Tibetan spiritual figures, scholars and singers - people who aim to benefit Tibetan culture, religion, environment and social welfare.

"If the Chinese government think carefully about its policies on Tibet," he said, "these measures will not help to promote harmony between the Tibetan and Chinese peoples in the long run.

"Similarly, measures to annihilate the identity of Tibetan people through projects implemented under the pretext of development in Tibet will create impediment in resolving the issue of Tibet and harm the long-term relations between the Chinese and Tibetan people."

The Speaker also called on the administration and the general public to make a concerted effort to follow the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

The parliament passed three condolence resolutions during the opening session, and observed a minute's silence to mourn the natural calamities in Kyegudo and Drugchu, Tibet, and the deaths of former MP Mr Gomang Tenpa and parliamentary secretary Mr Phurbu Tsering.

During this parliamentary session, the Central Tibetan Administration will present its work reports for 2009-2010.

The session will conclude on September 17.

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