Budget session ends amidst drama over Penpa Tsering issue

Members of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile meet the

Members of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile meet the "Truth-seeking Protesters" at the basketball court outside the Parliament in Dharamshala, India, on 24 March 2018. Tibet Sun/Contributor

By Tibet Sun Online News

ON THE WEB, 24 March 2018

Amidst high drama over the issue of Penpa Tsering’s dismissal by the Cabinet of the Central Tibetan Administration, the 11-day budget session of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile finally came to an end with the House passing the budget for the fiscal year 2018-2019.

The 45-member exile Parliament approved a budget of INR 2,65,25,55,781.00 for seven departments and other offices of the Central Tibetan Administration.

Penpa Tsering’s termination as the Representative of the Dalai Lama in Washington DC dominated the budget session, with members discussing the issue every day.

About 90 people from a group “Truth-Seeking Volunteers” protested against the President of the CTA, Lobsang Sangay, and the Cabinet, demanding a response from them to Penpa Tsering’s reply to their 10-point reasons for his dismissal.

They sat in protest near the Parliament at a basketball court for eight days, from the 17th till the Parliament ended its session today.

Fourteen members of the Parliament paid a goodwill visit to the protesters on the last day of the session.

Later the Cabinet called a member of the protesters to meet with them, but the protesters demanded that media be allowed to cover the meeting, and this was rejected.

Then the Secretary of the Cabinet came to the venue to invite a member of the protesters to meet the Cabinet. To this the protesters asked to allow one of their members to film the meeting, but this was again rejected. As a result, no meeting took place.

Speaking to media persons, the leader of the protesters, Thinley Kelsang, said that they have used every means to reach out to the Cabinet and the Parliament for a solution. “Since nothing came out from our endeavours, it is now the Cabinet and the Parliament who are responsible for any eventuality.”

Lobsang Sangay has consistently said that Penpa Tsering was dismissed due to loss of trust, and that it is the Cabinet’s prerogative to appoint or dismiss any representative. He also said that if anybody feels any discrepancy in the decision, they are free to go to court.

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