Exile Tibetan Cabinet offers apology to Penpa Tsering in Case no 20

President of the Central Tibetan Administration Lobsang Sangay speaks during an event on 27 November 2019.

President of the Central Tibetan Administration Lobsang Sangay speaks during an event on 27 November 2019. File photo/Tibet Sun/Lobsang Wangyal

By Lobsang Wangyal

Tibet Sun Onlinenews, 27 December 2019

The Lobsang Sangay-led exile Tibetan Cabinet offered an apology to Penpa Tsering in Case no 20, accepting that their charges made to justify his ousting were regrettable.

Announcing the apology on the official website of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) in both Tibetan and English, the highest office of the exile Tibetans said: “The ten-point clarification issued by the Kashag on the replacement of Mr Penpa Tsering from the service of Representative to North America was based on unreliable sources and misunderstandings, thereby unintentionally defamed his dedication, competence, and character, and led to the spread of misinformation in the community.

“For this, the Kashag [the exile Cabinet] expresses its regret.”

The Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission, in its judgment on 14 October, had dictated the text of the apology, as well as ordered that the same be published in both Tibetan and English on all CTA information outlets.

The Cabinet failed to meet the first deadline to apologise, 13 November, after which Penpa Tsering appealed to the court to take congisance of that fact. On 22 November the court gave a new date of 27 December, with a warning that Sangay and his colleagues would lose their eligibility to run for office and their voting rights if they failed to meet this deadline.

The second part of the original court order stipulated that the Cabinet pay Penpa Tsering’s lawyer’s fees for this case, amounting to 98,000 rupees (1,400 USD approx). This payment was fulfilled by the Cabinet by the 13 November 2019 deadline.

Famously known as “Case no 20”, this was a defamation case against the Tibetan exile Cabinet filed by Penpa Tsering, the former Representative of the Dalai Lama in Washington DC in May 2018, and became a contentious issue within the Tibetan community.

Tsering had been relieved of his Washington post, and charged with dereliction of duty, insubordination, and deficit of trust. Following this, 10 points were given by the Cabinet to justify his ousting, which points the court found groundless in deciding this case.

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