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19march20101Dharamshala: A Parliamentary sideline session to discuss His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama's statement issued to the 9th Tibetan Parliament Budget Session concluded today in the mess hall of Tibetan Government in exile, Gangchen Kyishong, Dharamshala, India.

The sideline session gave Tibetan Members of Parliament the opportunity to pose questions to Tibetan Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche, Senior Cabinet Members, Former Ministers and His Holiness' personal envoys regarding His Holiness' statement.

A major issue was fears of further Tibetan concessions in an effort to reach agreement with China after the latter's outright rejection of His Holiness' Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan People. "We have already made all necessary and possible compromise that could have been made, and there is nothing left to concede any further," Prof Samdhong Rinpoche said. "We have reached a stage where to concede for anything less than that would be totally irrational on our part."

In the statement His Holiness relayed doubts and confusion raised by some Members of Parliament, "There are rumours that the memorandum and note were not shown to parliament, or were not agreed by it, or ran counter to my opinions. These rumours should be thoroughly discussed during this session, in the name of transparency, as the issues involved are fundamental to the Tibetan cause."

His Holiness has sought to dispel such rumours, assuring the documents did indeed meet his approval: "I worked hard on the above-mentioned issues, and all decisions were agreed by resolutions passed by the Tibetan parliament."

Some MPs noted that the Memorandum brought forward by His Holiness' envoys does not specify that decisions should be made in line with the wishes of the Tibetan population within Tibet. Prime Minister Rinpoche insisted that the consent of the Tibetan people would always be first priority. Quoting His Holiness, the Prime Minister said, "The day the Tibetan issue is resolved, the support of the Tibetan people will still be needed."

One Former Minister proposed a resolution to prohibit Members of the Tibetan Parliament from unnecessarily interfering in His Holiness' efforts in the Tibet-China dialogue process.

In his concluding speech, Prime Minister Rinpoche stressed that, above even the Tibetan Parliament in Exile, His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the representative of Tibetans inside and outside of Tibet.

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