By Lobsang Wangyal
MCLEOD GANJ, India, 28 March 2015
Tibetans living in Australia, New Zealand, and Asian countries (excluding India, Nepal, and Bhutan) will be represented in the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile with one representative at the 16th Parliament in March 2016.
Members of the Parliament unanimously passed a resolution at the end of the 2015-16 Budget session to facilitate this new representation.
There are about 1,000 Tibetans in Australia, increasing each year with at least 100 former political prisoners being given asylum in the country, along with immigration of other individuals.
About 50 Tibetans live in New Zealand, about 500 in Taiwan (200 with citizenship and others with temporary visas), and about 500 in Japan. Other Asian countries have small numbers of Tibetans, with two living in Vietnam.
With this additional member, there will be 45 members in the exile Parliament.
Tibetans living in India, Nepal, and Bhutan elect 10 members each from their respective provinces of Amdo, Kham, and U-Tsang. Unlike the laity, monks and nuns elect an additional two members each from their respective Tibetan Buddhist sects and Bon religion. Tibetans living in Europe and North America elect two representatives each.
Tibetans living in Australia and New Zealand come under the jurisdiction of the Tibet Information Office in Canberra, which was established in 1993 after the Dalai Lama’s meeting with Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating in May 1992.
The jurisdiction of the Tibet Information Office covers Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, East Timor, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.
The Liaison Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Tokyo, Japan, has jurisdiction over North and South Korea, and the Philippines, and the Bureau of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, New Delhi, has jurisdiction over the rest of Asia except for India, Nepal and Bhutan and Taiwan, which has an office at the Religious Foundation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Taipei.