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20june20093Dharamshala: Hundreds of people crowed in main performance hall at Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts, not to enjoy a song or dance show, but to attend a political discussion today. Tibetan Women's Association, GuChuSumm, Students for a free Tibet, and Phayul news agency, conducted a panel to discuss how the Tibetan community in exile will choose the next Prime Minister.  Phayul online news broadcasted the panel live and questions from abroad were posed spontaneously to politicians. Speaker of Tibetan Parliament in Exile, Penpa Tsering, and Prof> Samdhong Rinpoche the prime minister of Tibetan government in Exile sat on the panel.

His Holiness famously jokes that Tibetan prime minister (Kalon Tipa)
is his boss in affairs of the state, but when it comes to religious matters then he is the boss. In the same joking matter His Holiness spoke about the re-election of Tibetan prime minister, “I had hopped that a young Tibetan would be elected to be the Prime Minister, preferably a Tibetan woman, but unfortunately we got an old monk again.”

DSC_0034Mr. Penpa Tsering spoke about the younger generations’ responsibility to participate in the election, and he spoke practically about the election procedure. He said “in accordance with the 20th article in the Tibetan Constitution the Prime Minister holds the highest political seat in the Tibetan Government under the leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama”.

He said “Tibetan democracy was granted to the Tibetan people by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, to fully appreciate this gift all Tibetans should take part in the Tibetan prime minister election and give their vote to the candidate that shares their opinions views.”

Since 2001, the Tibetan Prime Minister has been directly elected by the people. His Holiness insists the biggest achievement of Tibetan government since coming into exile is democracy.

The Prime Minister has already served two terms and according to the constitution he will not be able to serve another term. To change the constitution the parliament must vote a 28/43 majority. Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche, Tibetan PM spoke about the duty of the Prime Minister and this time of crisis. He said “as His Holiness says today’s world is in danger of population expansion, violence, divergence between the haves and the have-nots, environmental degradation.”

Besides these five global dangers Samdong Rinpoche spoke about the crisis in Tibet, he said “daily lives of those living under Chinese occupation is unimaginable, last march conditions once again worsened inside Tibet when Chinese forces cracked down on Tibetan protesters. Now these are still problems in Tibet.”

DSC_0020“The role of the prime minister (Kalon Tipa) is to follow the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and to take responsibility of Tibetan political affairs, and to govern the cabinet.”

His Holiness the Dalai Lama explained that it is high time that the language surrounding my title be changed, “for almost  400 years in Tibetan history His Holiness the Dalai Lama institute has served as the temporal and spiritual leader of all Tibet, it is high time that all the responsibility not be on the shoulders of His Holiness.”

His Holiness said “There are many discussions on the political and spiritual should be separated but I think we need to be a team.”

This is only a translation. If there is difference between this and the Tibetan original, please treat the first as final.

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