Europe representative Thupten Wangchen relieved of Parliament post

Thupten Wangchen in a video grab image on 2 April 2020.

Thupten Wangchen in a video grab image on 2 April 2020. Facebook/Thupten Wangchen

Tibet Sun Online News

ON THE WEB, 4 April 2020

The Tibetan Parliament-in-exile has relieved one of the European Tibetan representatives in the House Thubten Wangchen for failing to attend two successive sessions, and has announced the next-in-line Wangpo Tethong as his replacement.

Wangchen in a video message posted on his Facebook explained that he was unable to attend the Budget Session of exile Parliament in March due to India’s closure for travellers from European countries.

“I had everything ready to travel — Indian visa and confirmed ticket, but the day I was to fly, India banned travellers from Spain and other European countries because of coronavirus problem. I immediately contacted the Indian embassy to grant me special permit to enter India, but that wasn’t granted.”

The ten-day Budget Session was planned for 17 to 27 March, but was reduced to one day due to the orders by the Himachal Pradesh state government making any gathering of four or more people in one place as illegal, in order to fight the spread of coronavirus. Representatives from other countries such as Australia and the US, were also not able to attend the session, including the second Parliament representative Jampa from Switzerland.

The exile Parliament’s rule has it that any member not attending two sessions consecutively shall be relieved of the post.

During the September 2019 session, Wangchen, was also absent, with permission from the Speaker of the House. He was campaigning for “Dialogue for Peace” touring 30 different countries in Europe, seeking support for calling on China to enter into dialogue to resolve the Tibetan issue.

It was Wangchen’s second term as the elected representative of Tibetans in Europe, and he had more than one year to go before the term ends in May 2021. He lives in Bercelona, Spain, running the Casa Del Tibet, which he founded.

Wangchen congratulated his replacement Wangpo Tethong, and pledged to work for the Tibetan cause as before.

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