By Lobsang Wangyal | Tibet Sun
MCLEOD GANJ, India, 6 September 2012
A press conference was held today by 11 Tibetan exile organisations to affirm their support for the recent name change (in Tibetan) of the Central Tibetan Administration.
After the Dalai Lama stepped down as the political leader of Tibetans in March 2011, the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile replaced the name of “Gaden Phodrang” Government of Tibet to “U Bodmei Drigtsug”, which in Tibetan reads literally “Organisation of the Tibetan People”. (The English version of the name, “Central Tibetan Administration”, that had been used from earlier times has been retained.)
The Tibetan Youth Congress and others opposed the name change, feeling that the Tibetan government-in-exile had been abandoned. They called for “Tibetan Government-in-exile” as the official name, saying that this is a symbol of the Tibetan struggle and identity.
However, it was emphasized by the NGOs at the press conference, that the nomenclature “Tibetan government-in-exile” can create constitutional and legal problems since it has no recognition from any government.
The 11 NGOs had not contacted the TYC for discussion of their comments, but said that they may have a dialogue in future.
The Dalai Lama, in a June speech in Italy and an August speech in Ladakh, had pointed out reasons for changing the name of “Gaden Phodrang Government of Tibet” to “Central Tibetan Administration”, an important one being that the Indian government does not recognise the Tibetan government-in-exile. He described the Indian government’s position on Tibet, and how Nehru, then Indian prime minister, declined to accept a Tibetan government.
These talks were published in a pamphlet, which was distributed on 2 September, Tibetan Democracy Day.
The 11 NGOs include U-Tsang province, Dotoe (Kham) province, Domay (Amdo) province, Dharamshala Dotoe Organisation, Tibetan United Organisation, Ngari Association, Tibetan Volunteers Organisation, Ex-political prisoners organisation, Shop association, Restaurant association, and People’s Umay Lam (Middle-way) organisation.
Thupten Lekshey of the Dharamshala Dotoe organisation said that the name change does not affect the status or the functioning of the Central Tibetan Administration.
“If the Central Tibetan Administration had been shut down, China would be first to make use of the situation to discourage Tibetans in Tibet.”
Members of the various organisations expressed the feeling that the Dalai Lama’s tireless efforts have made the exiled Tibetan community a success story. Lekshey further stated that any Tibetan organisation or individual to make baseless accusations against the Dalai Lama would be strictly dealt with, and a case would be filed in court if necessary.