By Lobsang Wangyal
ON THE WEB, 19 November 2017
Penpa Tsering refused to accept the Cabinet’s ten charges against him, and said he will challenge all of them after he leaves office on 30 November.
He also hinted at filing a case in the exile Tibetan Supreme Justice, saying the charges are unacceptable as he hasn’t committed any mistake.
In a clear demonstration of the power of the people, the Cabinet of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) finally issued a clarification as to why Penpa Tsering had been terminated of his duties as North America Representative. Ten reasons were given, but each would surely be scrutinised and analysed.
Details of warnings remain unclear
Penpa Tsering’s sacking was announced on 7 November. As the news shocked the Tibetan world, the demand for reasons of the ousting mounted on the Cabinet. Questions asked by journalists received no comments from the Cabinet and the President of the Central Tibetan Administration.
Due to popular demand from the press and the public, a press conference was convened after two days. At the conference, the officiating President of CTA Karma Gelek said that Penpa Tsering was sacked due to “dereliction of duty”, and stated that three warnings had been sent to him in the last one year, with the last one being sent in July. Gelek refused to say what the warnings were about.
On 18 November, CTA President Lobsang Sangay during his visit to Norway said, without giving any details, that the revelation would paint a bad image. He added that it was not required for the Cabinet to reveal the reasons for the ouster, as it was the Cabinet’s prerogative to appoint and suspend any staff subordinate to it.
As pressure from the public mounted, Kashag came out with the ten-point explanation. However, the ten reasons given didn’t seem to support the severe picture painted by Sangay.
The nature of the warnings still remained unclear, as well as the specific rules Penpa Tsering was supposed to have violated.
Penpa Tsering clarifies his stand
When contacted for explanation about the ten points, Penpa Tsering said that the Kashag has hacked together these ten points so they could say that there were ten reasons to dismiss him.
Sticking to his claim of not having committed any mistake, he said, “I still stand by my earlier statement that I haven’t committed any mistake, and I do not accept any wrongdoing. But I am leaving office because that’s what Kashag (Cabinet) has ordered.”
“I cannot publicly discuss the issue now as I am still bound by the rules. I will be free to speak after 30 November, and I will challenge all the ten points one by one,” he said by phone.
He claimed that he received only one letter from the Cabinet that was stated as “the last warning” in July, which concerned the information that the USD 1.5 million dollars from Tibet Fund used to purchase DC office building was a loan.
He said that as reported in Tibet Sun, the issue of the 1.5 million dollars came up during the meeting of the representatives after the 5/50 Conference. “There is no truth in how Kashag has framed the charges, but I will explain about the details after leaving the office.”
“I didn’t get any other warning letters. And the letter that said ‘last warning’ only mentioned about the loan issue. And now there are ten points accusing me of dereliction of duties. All the points they have mentioned were events that happened before the ‘last warning’ they sent.”
However, he said that he did receive two letters from the Department of Information of the International Relations, but they were not warning letters.
“One was about the appointment of Chinese liaison officer Kunga Tashi at the Office of Tibet in Washington, DC. I clarified that he would be appointed upon approval from Kashag, rather than I announce him as having appointed.
“Let alone any warning about that issue after I clarified, there was no follow up on that.”
With regard to the second letter, he said, “The other letter that I received from the Department was about a group of Shugden followers welcoming President Xi Jinping to the US in April. I was questioned about not sending a report about that. I replied to that, and if I clarify, it takes time to find out the details about who the people. But we send a report after we got all the information we could gather.”