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08march20104Dharamshala: The Ninth Session of the 14th Tibetan Parliament began today in Dharamshala. Penpa Tsering, Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile, inaugurated the session this morning. He expressed his exiled parliament's concern at the current tense situation in the occupied Tibet, including the statue of ninth round of China-Tibet talks.

Addressing his fellow Parliamentary Members, the Speaker said, "It is clear that since 2008, the situation in Tibet has been very tense. With the 51st Tibetan uprising anniversary approaching, the suppression and security has been tightened with the launch of the new Chinese "Strike Hard" campaign.

"The main reason Ninth Round China-Tibet talks bore no fruit is China's arrogance and lack of intention. However as Tibetan issues have already become international, thanks to His Holiness and patriotic Tibetans inside Tibet, China can't ignore its existence.

Over the ten days of the parliamentary session, Tibetan legislators will discuss at length the budget of the Tibetan Government in Exile, with an aim to producing a complete version for the fiscal year 2010-2011.

Talks will also continue the motions abandoned after the September 2009 breakdown of the session.

Other subjects to be discussed include the modification of the Tibetan parliamentary election process; the increasing of the number of representative MPs by two - one from North America and one from a region not in North America, Europe, India, Nepal or Bhutan; the proceedings of the 5th Tibetan conference on education; and the manner of commemoration of Tibetan Democracy Day in September.

The Speaker also urged MPs participating to be responsible in the wake of the unprecedented collapse of the last session of the biennial conference, which was postponed last year following a mass-walkout of MPs over allegations of factionism and unfair claiming of travel expenses.

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