By Lobsang Wangyal
McLEOD GANJ, India, 2 October 2020
Riding high on over 30 years of service within the Tibetan community supporting his election campaign, Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok, the Deputy Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile, launched his manifesto as a 2021 Sikyong candidate.
In a press conference, Acharya, 58, enumerated his experience from a school prefect in 1979 to election as Deputy Speaker in 2016.
He said his prime goal will be to follow the path shown by the Dalai Lama through the Middle-way approach for fulfilling the dream of a free Tibet.
His manifesto promises a strong exile Tibetan community, strong relations with India and a strong international network, and reestablishment of the process of dialogue with the Chinese government that has been stalled since 2010.
The manifesto assures the administrative services would be less bureaucratic and more efficient, and would build a sound economy for activism and the welfare of Tibetans in India, Nepal, and Bhutan.
A few members of the press and several of Acharya’s supporters were present at the manifesto launch in McLeod Ganj. He said his support base is people from all three Tibetan provinces, spread around the world.
The preliminary round of voting when the nominations will be chosen will be held on 3 January, and the final round with the top two candidates will be on 11 April. The winner will be declared on 14 May.
Some people are passing sweeping judgement about monks. To assert that a campaigning monk is “not a good monk” exposes the ignorance of the individual about monks and it’s also the straitjacket mentality of orthodox Tibetans. According to Buddhist belief, whether a monk is good or not is measured by his strict observance of the vows that one has committed. If the monk is observing them, what he does is not an issue to measure his credibility.
The Dalai Lama has often said, he was inspired by the social work of the Christian monks and nuns like mother Teresa. He said, Tibetan monks and nuns should also do the same. Meditating in a cave on compassion was not enough and time for real action was need of the hour.
Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok has the right to do what he likes and no one has the right to stop him from standing for Sikyong by demeaning him. These are the same people who believe, girls should be in the kitchen to cook, wash and produce children. That mentality has long left the shores of a backward world but some still habour such antiquated ideas to this day.
It’s not Acharya’s fault but the fault of the individuals who are stuck in the stultified environment of stagnant conformity. Agreed, that some of the monk chitues have behaved dishonorably but that doesn’t in anyway take away the right of any monk or nun to run for the highest office.
Why do you see ONLY the few bad apples but can’t see the service the monks have rendered for six decades in all CST Schools across India in teaching Tibetan language and Buddhism? Were they bad monks as well? Samdhong Rinpoche spent his earlier life teaching CST Shimla and CST Dalhousie. There are hundreds of dedicated monks who were in the forefront of educating exile Tibetan children! Have some respect!!
To me, he looks more like Ashang Tsering Chomphel of Dharamsala when in monks robe.
He should have stick with Chithue business. I mean it would be the safest bet. But that said, when scatter brain like Sikyong LS and his little blood brother hare brain Keydor can run for Sikyong, why not our Lamaji ?
The magic of Buddha’s robes in itself opens lots of door to talk about Tibet.
May be his India-centric and Ladakh (his home base)-centric time has come. Who knows?
This election is going to churn out lots of power players with their own support base. His Ngari and Sakya base is nothing to laugh at. He should have made his announcement from Ladakh instead of Dharamshala. Who needs Kalden Lodroe led media clowns, running around like head-chopped chicken?
If people really open up their eyes, here in Lamaji, we have a Tibetan Chanakya in monk’s robe and people like Dhongchung Ngodup are no match for political skills Lamaji has.
In short, I will easily choose Lamaji over Dhongchung Ngodup any time of the day.
When a monk campaigns for a office, not matter what he can do, he is not a good monk. We are ashamed of behavior of the monk chitues already. So big no for any monk running for office when there is not even 20% support from the public. Can you be like Donchung Ngodup and see what happens?
I am entertaining the leadership of this deputy speaker Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok. I want to listen to him. I always admire his interaction with the Indian leaders.
There is no harm in listening to hopeful candidate. Your choice don’t have to win all the time.
He looks more and more like Ladakh Lama Lobsang la.
I have an advice for him. Learn to obey (the law – the Charter of Exile Government) before he plans to lead!
If he accepts the supremacy of Supreme Justice Commission’s correct verdict, then Zindabad! Zindabad!! Otherwise, I say Murdabad! Murdadab!!
As simple as that.
Also, wants to know, what he intends to do in the case of Dolma Gyari not winning Sikyong election? He will not have lost the opportunity of becoming Kalon but also of becoming deputy speaker! And, I don’t think, he as monk can’t go for sweater selling business in the winter at Tatanagar. If he so wants, I can reserve a market place for him. At least there is a backup plan.