By Lobsang Wangyal
McLEOD GANJ, India, 14 November 2017
Sensing the momentum gathering around a mass demonstration in Dharamshala against Kashag’s continuous silence over its decision to sack Penpa Tsering as the representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in North America, the Tibetan Settlement Officer in Dharamshala has issued an appeal to the people to maintain peace and harmony.
Calls for a demonstration were made after the Kashag (Cabinet of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) ) refused to divulge details of the reason for expelling Representative Penpa Tsering.
Kashag issued an announcement about the termination of Penpa Tsering’s duties through their website on 7 November, stating that he will end his duty on 30 November, and the current CTA Education Minister Ngodup Tsering will replace him.
The Kashag stated “dereliction of duty” as the reason, and said that three warnings had been served, but that Penpa Tsering didn’t show any improvement in his conduct.
The actual nature of the warnings was also not clear when the officiating President of the CTA convened a press conference on 9 November.
Penpa Tsering on the other hand denied any wrongdoing.
Settlement Officer Dawa Rinchen said in his appeal message that since Dharamshala being the seat of the Dalai Lama and of the Central Tibetan Administration, he urged people to respect the sanctity of the place.
Speaking to Tibet Sun, Rinchen said that he envisaged a demonstration on the 27th of this month, but couldn’t have any estimate of its size.
The 27th came to be the date for demonstration after an activist in NYC suggested it through his article published on Tibet Sun.
He said, ”There’s so much talk and discussion about the issue and preparations for the protest. Many people are seen registering and others giving donations towards this event.”
President of CTA Lobsang Sangay, who is on a European tour, spoke on 13 November about the issue in Norway, but he also refused to give details as to why Penpa Tsering was suspended.
He said that it is the prerogative of the Kashag to appoint and terminate representatives and staff members of CTA. Kashag is not required to explain the reasons for their termination.
Some Tibetans in the United States are saying they would stop paying the annual tax to CTA (record maintained through the “Green Book”), and people in New York are calling for a boycott of an event in New York on 10 December, the Tibetan Rally for Peace and Non-violence, which is to be attended by CTA President Lobsang Sangay and Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile Khenpo Sonam Tenphel. It is to be held at United Nations Plaza, led by North American Chithues and is organised by North American Tibetan Associations.
However, Penpa Tsering has appealed in a video message to people in New York City and nearby areas to attend the event.