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19september20091Dharamshala: Proceeding sessions of the 14th Tibetan parliament-in-exile have been postponed indefinitely as of this afternoon. The reason for this was a staged walkout by some members after a proposal made by a fellow MP. This decreased the number of members in attendance to less than two-thirds (28 members) of the entire parliament which, according to the Tibetan charter, did not allow the parliament to continue with the session.

The staged walkout happened after MP Ms Dolma Tsomo expressed her opinion that the Tibetan Parliaments Standing Committees decision to reimburse the travel expenses of a provincial MP is not fair because a parliament member who moves to another country does not need to get reimbursement for his expenses from the parliament. Some parliament members opposed her opinion and the fact that she had collected around 14 signatures from parliament members to support her motion before presenting it in the parliament for discussion, which in their view was encouraging factionalism. The main objection for her motion was that it is targeted only on one person and is not correct according to the Tibetan government rulebook.

Tibetan parliament member who moves to Nepal or another place in India will be reimbursed his travel expenses and the same should apply for Mr Topgyal who moved to Australia. Before there were no clear rules about this in the parliament and this is why some parliament members said that if she does not take back her proposal, the Tibetan Parliament Standing Committee including speaker will leave from the session.

19september20092Other parliament members who supported her motion said that in the past two parliament members moved abroad and their travel expenses were not reimbursed by the parliament. So this time the Standing Committees decision is not fair. So they oppose the Committees decision and support her motion. But many of them opposed collecting of signatures.

The discussion lasted for a long time and some parliament members staged a walkout from the session. Yesterday afternoon at 4 o ´clock the session was canceled. An attempt to start the session again was made at 10 o´ clock this morning but had to be postponed until 1.30 PM due to insufficient number of members in attendance. The session was postponed again in the afternoon because of low attendance.

This incident would not have become such a big issue, but as was said by some parliament members, Mrs Dolma Tsomo ´s and her supporter ´s activity was supporting factionalism and this was their reason for opposing her motion.

Most of Kham region parliament members and members from religious sects opposed her motion while majority of members from U-Tsang and Amdho regions supported her. Her motion was opposed by 13 members and supported by 20. Around 14 members´ signatures were supporting her motion.