As a long-time parliamentarian involved in supporting the Tibetan cause, I must admit that I am shocked by the profound lack of transparency surrounding the way in which the representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Washington was suddenly removed from his duties by the Kashag!
On several other subjects, I have already in recent months expressed in private my astonishment at certain political practices which in my opinion do not reflect the democratic ambitions carried by our Tibetan friends. I will not express them here (because it is a public space and I do not want to undermine our cause that I hope is common).
But “The Penpa Tsering Affair”, which concerns a Tibetan personality highly respected by the parliamentarians of the whole world who support
Tibet, has been made public by the political authorities of Tibet in exile in a way that does not satisfy me personally with regard to the requirements that I have with respect to all causes that I have tirelessly supported for many, many years.
I therefore feel entitled to give a public warning about this.
The young democracy of Tibet in exile must be exemplary, especially at a time when the pressure of power from Beijing has never been so heavy, and when the new US administration threatens to reduce or even eliminate the aid it gives to the Tibetan administration.
I call for the restoration of democratic dignity, for the better functioning of the institution of Tibet in exile, and for the implementation of the principles of benevolence, fairness, transparency, and nonviolence within them.
To those who will tell me that I am not Tibetan and that this is an internal affair of the Tibetan people, and that I do not have to interfere with that: I answer that we cannot on one hand ask for active support of the international community and parliamentarians engaged in the difficult struggle to establish the Rule of law everywhere in the world, and on the other hand consider that we do not have account to be made of the effectiveness of its own practices in respect of democratic rules.
Having exchanged ideas with several parliamentary colleagues very engaged in the Tibetan cause, I can affirm that many will take a step back with regard to the official institutions of Tibet in Exile if certain bad practices come to multiply within them.
Last year after the election of the head of the exiled Tibetan executive, His Holiness the Dalai Lama did not hide his deep disappointment about the very deleterious atmosphere that surrounded the election campaign that has just ended (he even made a comparison with the American campaign that was then underway).
Democracy is not only the establishment of free elections. It is also the respect for the principles and the values of the rule of law.
I hope that His Holiness, who is the highest moral authority and especially the guarantor of the process of democratization of Tibet that he has carried forward throughout his life, will quickly reframe the situation.
Member of the French Senate
Vice-Chairman of the Information Group on Tibet in the Senate
20 November 2017
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed are those of the writer and not necessarily that of Tibet Sun
Let Penpa Tsering speak on the issue as he said would speak. If he has been truly mistreated both in legal and moral terms, he will challenge Kashag’s decision. He can do that both as Tibetan exile citizen and as a staff of CTA.
In between there shouldn’t have been protests. We all don’t know who was right in that. Both Sikyong and Penpa Tsering were at logger heads.
Let the law take its own course. After that who ever has truth, I will support that and none.
shame on penpa tsering! what a loser. can’t even speak a word to stop the protests happening all around.
he is at the root of all this crazy mess.
Is Penpa Tsering more important than Tibetan reputations and Tibetan cause? PT is simply an employee of Tibetan administration. He couldn’t deliver the post he was assigned. That is it. We all should move on. so crazy or by partisan type politics in our exile government will only make Chinese happy.
Both LS and PT are not above the Tibetan cause.
It’s truth and transparency that people are challenging, not the chair of Penpa Tsering. And Kashag misuse of power.
Nobody is more important than Tibet’s cause and nobody is as important as His Holiness the Great 14th, not even close to equal and replace HH’s name in a song of tribute!!
It is not about who is more important between LS and PT. It is about the functioning of the elected leaders in a nascent democracy. It is about credibility of the leadership and the community. It is about dirty and partisan politics. It is about regionalism taking precedence over nationalism. It is about accountability and responsibility of unity, peace and upholding truth. It is about fighting lies and misrepresentations. It is about someone being utterly unreasonable and authoritarian. It is about safeguarding norms and values.
After all and above everything it is about calling out lie for a lie, and criticising anything that hurts unity, peace and our cause.
LS and Dhardon Sharling have caused a great harm to the credibility that was built over many many years and by many generations. I am so sad and hurt.
Did the Kashag have to justify any postings, terminations, or transfers in the past? I do remember one or two that provoked an outcry, but no demos, no dragging in foreign MPs and supporters. Guess Trump time in USA has fired up some of the local artillery.
Is is wise? Does it matter that much? Time will tell.
In recent times then the issue of Tibetans in India applying for Indian passport brought the Kashag to its knees fearing that if more and more apply for citizenship; in the long run the legitimacy of the Exile Govt will in question. No need to mention that many of the politicians have all sorts of passports.
I wonder whether the Kashag manner of discharging Democratic functioning without transparency will put more questions on legitimacy on the Exile govt than applying for Indian passport by Tibetans in Exile? In fact Kashag adventurism will put a big question mark on legitimacy by losing the trust of its people. Especially it will have big negative consequence in the minds of people inside Tibet.
Kashag has to realise that we are an Exile govt, not a free country. We have huge stake. What if we lose support from the outside world.
50 years is long in the context of an individual, but not for a Nation. Democracy is entrusted to us by HH Dalai Lama. If we fail to nurture it properly by default, love for power, China will have the last laugh. It might justify their argument that they came to liberate us from feudalism and might say look, how inept these feudal descendants for democracy. They may also legitimize their style of rule.
I fear that Tibetans in the Western world lose the sense and feeling for their culture.