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TPiE-Tibet-2015Dharamshala — The 15th Tibetan Parliament which began its 9th session on Monday reiterated its appeal to the Chinese government to allow an unbiased fact-finding delegation comprising of diplomats, media and reps. of human rights groups to visit Tibet.

A minute's silence was observed to honour those who had died for the Tibetan cause, followed by the singing of the Tibetan national anthem at the opening of budget session — the 9th session of the 15th the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile (TPiE) for the financial year 2015-2016.

In his opening remarks, Mr Penpa Tsering, the parliament Speaker, spoke about the critical situation prevailing inside Tibet and the wave of self-immolation protests that has swept Tibet since 2009.

"The situation inside Tibet continues to remain grim. Five Tibetans set themselves on fire in protest since the last session of the Tibetan parliament in September 2014, resulting in a total of 136 self-immolations since 2009," Mr Tsering said.

The Speaker said that "the Tibetan Parliament will duly deliberate on the situation inside Tibet to mitigate the sufferings of the Tibetan people inside Tibet."

TPiE unanimously passed two resolutions expressing solidarity with Tibetans who have self-immolated in protest against China's repressive policies in Tibet and expressed condolences to all those Tibetans who had sacrificed their lives for the cause of Tibet.

TPiE also expressed its gratitude to the parliaments and government leaders and international community for their support, and appealed them to continue their support for the just cause of Tibet.

It emphasised the parliament's resolve to fulfill the aspirations of the Tibetan people and take earnest and effective responsibility towards the successful return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet.

The parliament reaffirmed the "Middle Way Approach" as the only viable solution to resolve the issue of Tibet through dialogue with the Chinese government.

The House also condoled the demise of Shri. Kul Bhushan Bakshi and Shri. Narayan Desai, two long-time supporters of Tibet who passed away recently.

Finance minister Tsering Dhondup presented the Budget for 2015-2016 which will be discussed during coming sessions. TPiE committee for budget estimation, represented by its chairman Mr Thupten Lungrik, also presented its report to the house.

This two week session will conclude on Saturday, March 28 after discussing and approving the budget of the Central Tibetan Administration for the year 2015-16.

TPiE is the unicameral and highest legislative organ of the Central Tibetan Administration. Sessions are held twice every year, with an interval of six months between the sessions. The elections are held every five years and any Tibetan who has reached the age of 18 is entitled to vote. Today, the house consists of 44 members headed by a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker, who are elected by the members amongst themselves.

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