Uproar over Yongling issue leads to Parliament adjournment

Tenpa Yarphel withdraws his earlier statement about Gaden Phodrang supporting Dawa Tsering, in the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile in Dharamshala, India, on 21 September 2017.

Tenpa Yarphel withdraws his earlier statement about Gaden Phodrang supporting Dawa Tsering, in the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile in Dharamshala, India, on 21 September 2017. Tibet Sun/Lobsang Wangyal

By Lobsang Wangyal

McLEOD GANJ, India, 21 September 2017

The proceedings of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile were adjourned today for more than an hour after a member raised the issue of Yongling.

MP Tenpa Yarphel said that the people who were asking for an answer from the Parliament and the Kashag (Cabinet of the Central Tibetan Administration) would not be getting a reply.

He said that Dawa Tsering, the claimant of Yongling Kindergarten, has support of the Gaden Phodrang, the office of the Dalai Lama.

Yarphel said that Dawa Tsering was presented the “Social Service Recognition Award” on 3 April by Gaden Phodrang, which is led by the Dalai Lama.

“When Gaden Phodrang is supporting Dawa Tsering, those people seeking answer can leave their hope,” Yarphel said.

He also sought an answer from the Department of Home as to why the CTA has not been able to take over the Yongling kindergarten.

Minister for Home Sonam Topgyal explained that the Yongling issue is a matter to be adjudicated by the court, and that the Department cannot enforce orders.

Thupten Lungrig countered Tenpa Yarphel by saying that the award was presented not by Gaden Phodrang, but by a group of people, and that it is inappropriate to target the Dalai Lama. Lungrig then walked out. He was followed by many others, causing a commotion.

Unable to run the house due to lack of a quorum, the Speaker adjourned the proceedings till 3:15pm.

When the house reassembled, President of Central Tibetan Administration Lobsang Sangay said that nobody from Gaden Phodrang Office attended the “Social Service Recognition Award” presentation function officially. He was told by that office after his enquiries.

He had been told that if any official had attended, it was in their personal capacity.

Tenpa Yarphel then withdrew all his previous statements charging the Gaden Phodrang for supporting Dawa Tsering.

Members then discussed other issues, including the new Tibetan Women’s Day started by Kashag this year, to be observed on 12 March.

Among Members opposing the introduction of the new Tibetan Women’s Day are North American representative Pema Chagzoetsang and Europe representative Jampa Tsering Samdo.

Pema Chagzoetsang said that the 12th of March is already the Tibetan Women’s Uprising Day, and there was no need to have another day on that day with a different meaning.

On 12 March 1959, two days after the Tibetan Uprising against the occupying Communist Chinese forces, thousands of women gathered on the ground called Dri-bu-Yul-Khai Thang in front of the Potala Palace in Lhasa in protest. This demonstration is observed as the Tibetan Women’s Uprising Day every year by Tibetans in exile.

“Tibetan Women’s Uprising Day remembers the brave Tibetan women who gave their lives for Tibetan freedom, and many continue to do so,” Pema Chagzoetsang said.

“A different observation on the same day of the Tibetans Women’s Uprising Day is unwarranted.”

Samdo said that he has been requested by Tibetan women in Europe ask Kashag to scrap the Tibetan Women’s Day observed on 12 March.

He also had the same reasoning, that 12 March is already Tibetan Women’s Uprising Day.

“If the Kashag need to have a Tibetan Women’s Day it could be either observed on the same day as that of the International Women’s Day, or the Day Tibetan Women’s Association was formed.”

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