Deputy Speaker to skip new Sikyong’s swearing-in ceremony

Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok in a file photo taken on 29 December 2020.

Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok in a file photo taken on 29 December 2020. File photo/Tibet Sun/Lobsang Wangyal

By Lobsang Wangyal

McLEOD GANJ, India, 26 May 2021

In the ongoing feud between the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission and the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile, the Deputy Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile has decided not to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the new Sikyong tomorrow.

Penpa Tsering, the Sikyong-elect will take his oath of office from the Chief Justice Sonam Norbu Dagpo at 09:55am with the outgoing Sikyong Lobsang Sangay in attendance. The Deputy Speaker Acharya Yeshe Phuntsok has been invited too to be the guest.

In show of their non-acceptance of the Chief Justice and the two other justice commissioners, who resumed their duties after two months of recusing themselves from the Justice Commission, the Standing Committee of the parliament took the decision for the Deputy Speaker to not attend the ceremony.

However, three members of the Standing Committee of the Parliament released a statement saying they were against the decision of the deputy speaker not attending the swearing-in ceremony. The resolution to dismiss the three justice commissioners, they said, was invalid as the parliament has violated Article 54 and Article 63.4 of the exile Tibetan Charter.

In a signed letter, three Standing Committee members Dhondup Tashi (Amdo), Gangri (Amdo) and Tenzin Jamyang (U-Tsang) stated that the decision for the Deputy Speaker not attending the ceremony also contradicts the Standing Committee’s own recent announcement that the file of impeaching the three justices is a closed one and not to be considered again.

The Standing Committee members who took the decision of not attending the ceremony are the Deputy Speaker Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok, the two Kham representatives and the five religious representatives.

After administering the oath by Chief Justice Sonam Norbu Dagpo will be handed the seal of authority Kadham Sishi Deki by the out-going Lobsang Sangay. The Dalai Lama will make his presence and speak on the occasion online.

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