NEW YORK CITY, US, 16 November 2017
Last March the auditing staff from Dharamshala CTA visited the Office of Tibet, Washington DC, to do the accounting. The staff asked the representative Penpa Tsering for the record of a $1.5-million loan taken by his office from Tibet Fund to purchase the building to house the Office of Tibet. Penpa Tsering told the staff that there is no record whatsoever for the loan since he took office in August 2016.
The auditor reported this discrepancy to the Auditor General in Dharamshala. Penpa Tsering also stated it to Sikyong and asked legitimate questions. Sikyong ordered the Auditor General to his office on two occasions and told him to remove any mention of the loan in the report.
This is not how democracy works. When transparency and accountability are missing, corruption is inevitable.
Penpa Tsering stood up to Sikyong — the highest Tibetan office — and said it is morally wrong to pressure the Auditor General to remove any mention of this loan.
Why is Sikyong hiding the loan trail from the Tibetan public? To me, the answer is simple and yet two-pronged.
First: During the 2016 election, Sikyong claimed that it was his achievement that during his tenure he bought the building, without mentioning the source of the loan. I think that this was to boost his campaign resume to impress the Tibetan voters. Since Penpa Tsering raised this question as a responsible representative, Lobsang Sangay did not appreciate his integrity and terminated him. This is not a transfer.
Second: A few days before Sikyong fired Penpa Tsering, Sikyong’s supporters shared a two-minute video clip (on social media) where the Dalai Lama said he trusted Samdong Rinpoche and Lobsang Sangay as his representative or emissary. Nothing came in so handy as this clip; it was the opportunity to fire Penpa Tsering as it was unlikely for the Dalai Lama to say anything on the firing of Penpa Tsering for two reasons:
- The Dalai Lama just said he trusted Sikyong as a representative.
- Anything the Dalai Lama says on this firing issue; the Cabinet could see as interference with Sikyong business. Sikyong knew this, and he seized the opportunity. Also, the next Parliamentary session is months away, within which time this controversy would likely die down for the public memory is always short.
Had Penpa Tsering kept mum about this loan issue, the Parliament would raise the question in the future why he left the Tibetan public in the dark. Had he spoken up, as he rightfully did, he would, and did, get fired!
Why did Sikyong use Minister Youthok as his spokesperson?
During the 2016 Kalachakra controversy, Sikyong left Dharamshala, I believe to avoid questions from the media, and used the DIIR secretaries Tashi Phuntsok and Sonam Dakpo to deliver a two-minute press release. Well, this time again he left Dharamshala and used both the Cabinet secretary and the Religion and Culture Minister Youthok to face the music from the media. From his body language, it seems evident that Youthok was doing the press release under pressure. He appeared disoriented, hardly maintaining eye contact with the media. He was mentally not present.
Just after the resignations of both former Security Minister Dongchung Ngodup and DIIR Minister Dicki Chhoyang, Lobsang Sangay found out that Cabinet secretary Youthok was also going to resign. Sangay saw this as a blow to his image as a leader. So, in the Parliament, Sikyong announced that the Cabinet secretary was not going to resign. The backdoor deal was Sikyong promising him the ministerial post of religion and culture. This time Sikyong settled the score by using him to tackle the media. Did you notice how uncomfortable Youthok was?
Kashag said in the press release that the Office of Tibet in Washington is very important. This implies that the person holding the post in this office is very important too. The question then is “Is Penpa Tsering not fit enough to hold this post? And if not, why not?” Detail clarification is required.
The fact of the matter is that Penpa Tsering is far more fitting than any other representative from the past. Just one example: He is the only Representative who conducted the Tibetan population census under his jurisdiction and visited all the Tibetan dharma centers in North America to solidify our connection.
Where is the money?
As Tibetans, it is our right as well as our duty to be watchdogs. That’s the least we can do.
It may be the prerogative of Kashag to terminate representatives, but this situation is different for several reasons:
- Penpa Tsering is the Chief Representative recommended by the Dalai Lama himself.
- Penpa Tsering was Lobsang Sangay’s arch-rival during 2016 election so we see a revenge motive.
- This situation is not normal. For the first time in our exile history, humble Tibetans are rising up in protest because they need to know why in detail.
- HH Private Office fired Tenzin Dhonden from the post of emissary. The man who blew the whistle on the character and conduct of Tenzin Dhonden is none other than Penpa Tsering.
- When the Dalai Lama asked Kalden Lodoe how Penpa Tsering was performing as the representative, Lodoe said Penpa Tsering is always drunk in the office.
- The Dalai Lama, being a human being, has no way of knowing the motive behind Kalden Lodoe’s words so he took them at face value.
Given the seriousness of the situation here, Sikyong must explain each and every reason in depth, failing which he must reinstate Penpa Tsering, or resign for playing the politics of revenge and regionalism.
All I am demanding is transparency and accountability.
Since there is no record of the loan, we the people demand to know: Who actually pocketed the money?
You can make your voice heard!
Now, along with the protest, flood the Kashag (and cc to HH Private Office and the rest) with letters, faxes, emails, and phone calls demanding an explanation, failing which Sikyong must apologize and reinstate Penpa Tsering.
This is how democracy works!
Office of the Sikyong
Private Secretary to Sikyong
Kashag Central Tibetan Administration
Dharamshala – 176215 H.P., India
Tel: +91-1892-222218, 222713, 223546
E-mail: [email protected]
Central Tibetan Administration
Dharamshala – 176215 H.P., India
Tel: +91-1892-222218, 222713, 223546
E-mail: [email protected]
Central Tibetan Administration
Dharamshala – 176215 H.P., India
E-mail: [email protected]
The Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
P.O. McLeod Ganj
Himachal Pradesh (H.P.) 176219
E-Mail: [email protected]
Remember: 27 November 2017, Monday 10 am sharp!
If Kashag refuses to reveal the reasons for the firing, then I suggest to boycott the December 10 event in New York which will be presided over by Lobsang Sangay and speaker Sonam Tenphel. The purpose being, not to protest the event itself, but to make our feelings clear to Lobsang Sangay and Sonam Tenphel.
About the author
Mila Rangzen is a US armed forces veteran serving the New York Community as an immigration translator. He can be reached at [email protected]
More articles by Mila Rangzen on Tibet Sun.
In the name of seeking and defending truth, I watched my brothers and sisters on social media, chat groups and various platforms and community gatherings – comment and justify their point of view on the issue of $ 1.5 million loan/grant from Tibet Fund. The CTA and Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay la in particular elaborated in depth about the nature of the loan.
It was extensively commented upon and explained how the tax system works here in the United States. Some sounded like a real tax professional at work, while others sounded more sarcasm than value. I am shocked and dismayed how everyone missed to do their due diligence. In this era of digital information, everything is available out there on the WWW – World Wide Web. As the saying goes “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it’s not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance”.
The white elephant in the room is the $ 1.5 million in question. An amount that was loaned from Tibet Fund in 2014 to purchase an office building in Washington, DC where the current Office of Tibet is located and functioning. Audited IRS tax statement from Tibet Fund for the years 2014, 2015 & 2016 clearly show $1.5 mil as “RECEIVABLES”. So I am assuming the problem arose when this same amount could not be found anywhere in the record books of OoT, DC.
As the great leader Dr. Martin Luther King stated, “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity”. It is here or from here, my brothers and sisters forgot to do their due diligence. One of the golden rules of accounting is: Debit The Receiver, Credit The Giver. In this case, debit the receiver being TIBETAN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT FUND, INC, 1228 17th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036 established in the year 2000 in NY, and credit the giver being TIBET FUND, 241 East 32nd Street, New York, NY 10016.
If Tibet Fund gave or loaned money to Tibetan Community Development Fund, Inc. how in the world one can find the said amount as payable in the account books of OoT. These are 2 separate entities in the eyes of IRS. The financial statements are available online as required by law for any non-profit entity in the United States.
So, rather than dwell in the mudslinging and causing irreparable damage to our unity and cause, please do your due diligence before commenting or posting misinformation.
Please, please… let’s all work together and stand as united.
Who so ever this Milan Rangzen is, please remember you are trying to divide the Tibetans which you will never succeed. We have decent means of expressing our views by writing to the authorities and individuals instead of making false misleading propaganda through social media. First think of any positive contributions to the cause of Tibet by you. I guess it could be none.
I urge all right-thinking Tibetans to ignore such divisive messages and try to prove that we are better than that. You are trying to do more harm to Mr Penpa Tsering than help. Persons like Mila Rangzen should know that they are helping the Chinese and create divisions among the well-knit Tibetan community.
This does not look good neither to Lobsang Sangay nor to Tibet Fund. The more we delve in to this uglier it will get.
According to US laws, Title and Section
Title 26 USC § 7201
Attempt to evade or defeat tax:
Any person who willfully attempts to evade or defeat any tax imposed by this title or the payment thereof shall, in addition to other penalties provided by law, be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof:
Shall be imprisoned not more than 5 years
Or fined not more than $250,000 for individuals ($500,000 for corporations)
Or both, together with the costs of prosecution
first of all you are not a lithang tashi.
you want to defame lithang people, who will never write such things to our exile-govt. CTA.
you egoist people, don’t think of our CTA, without CTA, many who write here would not have got any education, because like Mila Rangzen, who is one of the mastermind of current protests belong to the CTA aid beneficiries, from kollegal, his name is dhondup chomphel.
May these problem creaters get to hell as soon as possible. palden lhamo
I know it is the right of every people to express themselves in democratic society and remain vigilant to protect interest of our people. If any discrepancy is noticed in any department of CTA, people have the right to pinpoint and seek further clarification. We may or may not be satisfied with whatever explanations being given by the concerned authority, but we can still disagree and ask for more clarification. This is the right we enjoy in democratic system and I am happy that was what His Holiness the Dalai lama had wished for future Tibet.
At present, we are in exile and we must restrain ourselves from fully exercising those rights in view of our being in delicate situation. We need to first use all other internal channels to address any case of wrongdoing by officials without openly airing views in public. I think Mila Rangzen has all the good intention of serving his people and exposing the corrupt practices one sees in public life. Basically, there is no wrong in doing this, but given the precarious situation of our people, I request him to look for other options to expose such malpractices in CTA. The interest of our people and the respect to HIs Holiness should always be taken care of.
I am a Tibetan and it pains me when hostile forces take advantage of this internal conflict in society.
Dhondup Choemphel, I-Village, Kollegal, alias Mila Rangzen.
Be careful of the side effects your political articles will do for us Tibetans in India, Nepal, and Bhutan. We are fully looked after and cared for by our Kashag (CTA) with all the efforts they can bring from various donors. Your article will make our donors think about, and for no valid reason. You think you can write and damage our Kashag (CTA), as you and some others who are writing about Loan issues in social media, as you are now living in foreign countries and enjoying the new citizenship, and you people no longer care for the other beneficiaries here. If our funds get reduced then the person to blame is firstly PT as he never want to believe, and then you and Lobsang Gyatso, who are damaging our Kashag with these issues.
For us Tibetans, Tibet Fund and Tibet Bureau are same, both are doing work to look after us here, although they may not be of the same office. They have worked and negotiated in such a good way that both offices arranged this deal for sake of us Tibetans in India, Nepal and Bhutan. How shamelessly you are bringing this out and blaming so harsh as if the funds went to private person. Please be ashamed, you all have the responsibility if we fail to get funds. Since you people have never worked and sacrificed your money and time for the Tibetan cause, it is easy to write and defame the people who are working hard for us. Be careful.
The Kashag has answered your question about Office of Tibet Loan record. You can read it on Tibet.net, which is the official website of CTA. The title of the article is “Kashag’s Clarification on Decision to Replace the North America Representative”
The article says:
[8. At the meeting of the Representatives of the Offices of Tibet held in Brussels in September 2016, Representative Penpa Tsering asked whether USD 1.5 million dollars from Tibet Fund used to purchase DC office building was a loan. In the presence of all other Representatives, Sikyong clearly explained that it was not a loan, but an amount that Tibet Fund had contributed and did not expect to be paid back. Despite Sikyong’s clarification and without consulting and seeking guidance and approval from Kashag and DIIR, Representative Penpa Tsering reported to CTA auditors that a loan payment for OoT DC office was outstanding. All the funds received and spent towards the purchase of the Office of Tibet building in Washington, DC is clearly documented, audited and fully accounted. CTA has all the relevant documents. This incident again demonstrates Representative Penpa Tsering’s lack of trust in Kashag’s leadership and led the Kashag to serve the final advisory in July 2017.]
I think you were barking up the wrong tree! LOL!
Mila’s writing is backed by many unpleasant facts. All Tibetans should think of the following points:
Misuse of power in Gaden Podang should be stopped. (By this I mean misinformation fed to HH the Dalai Lama or not passing the information by the office staff for fear of retribution from Lobsang Gawa.. one monk center of power in Gaden Podrang.)
Kalden Lodoe from RFA and Lama Tenzin, who is involved with sex, money while using HH the Dalai Lama’s name were students and product of Lobsang Gawa in Gaden Podrang. Since this Lobsang Gawa has so much power over everyone including the secretaries at Gaden Podrang some opportunist like Lama Tenzin and Kalden Lodoe take advantage of situations.
Lobsang Sangay knows that Gaden Podrang office won’t be happy with PT because PT is the whistle blower who exposed Lama tenzin.
So in brief. Firing of PT has lot to do with speaking the truth and nothing to do with whatever the kashag explained.
His Holiness and Ngodup’s photo has been making the round. But what would a photo matter?
Is His Holiness aware of Sangay’s double standard treatment for his best friend Kaydor Ukatsang and arch rival Penpa Tsering? Did the officials in Ganden Phodrang give a complete picture to His Holiness?
It is high time that officials in Gaden Phodrang are held responsible if they had withheld any information about this from His Holiness. The officials especially the two brothers (both former Dhonchoes) serving in Gaden Phodrang must be careful considering their relation with Sangay and the corrupt Namgyal monk Tenzin Dhonden. At least, after having held such prestigious position in the name of His Holiness, they must inform everything to His Holiness so that His name is not unfairly misused into our dirty exile politics.
This author is a one-man crusader against nepotism and corruption at highest level. No Tibetan talks more sense than he does. I didn’t know U-Tsang people have the guts to draw Bihari politicians into the open. My salute to him!
To Mila Rangzen,
Quote from Phayul’s article
“The new man in that seat, Education minister Ngodup Tsering today said he has gotten the blessing of His Holiness the Dalai Lama for his new role in Washington.” http://www.phayul.com/news/article.aspx?id=39805
How could Kundun bless New Ari Dhonchoe without approving Kashag’s dismissal of the old Dhonchoe- Penpa Tsering?
Mila Rangzen, you have called for a demonstration against Kashag and CTA for dismissing Penpa Tsering.
What you have actually done is to call for a demonstration against a decision which has KUNDUN’s approval.
If I were you, I would be very careful with my words.
This mess directly relates to Sikyong Lobsang Sangay and Gadeng Phodang; sooner the concerned people clean this up or otherwise more heads may fall besides Tenzin Dhonden and Penpa Tsering. This has to do with how our young democracy would survive in the near future and the cause of Tibet is also in stake here. If Lobsang Sangay and people in Gaden Podrang office doesn’t act immediately more and more dirt will come in the near future. It would be too late if His Holiness’s name is dragged by these corrupt people in Gaden Podrang and Kashag. Mark my words.
Ho ho ho, for me till now not consider singey as sikyong, though i m same khampa. He is just a failed jokers. In any public meetings, there is nothing hear progress of tibet cause in present and futures. He speaks always momo, muttons and others silly child jokes. After hh dalai handover all right in public hands, i felt myself just name of tibetan n buddhist, but never felt part of new govt. cos there is no transparency of truth.
Mila rangzen, are u serious to boycott 10th December, it’s a celebration day for us in nobel peace prize for his holiness 14th Dalai Lama. if you wanna boycott then do yourself but don’t drag people into this d. there is tomr certain way to object and search for justice. can’t beleive it that u have appeal for people to boycott if sikyong or kashag didn’t respond for ur demand. do more writing like this against china govt.
The points in this opinion article regarding Kalden Lodoe La’s replies and the questions from His Holiness is in itself new to me. How did the writer of this article knew of this exchange between Kalden Lodoe La and His Holiness? I want to ask the media that there was an audio clip interview from RFA tibetan asking about the Tibetan people’s reaction to Penpa Tsering La’s dismissal, in which Mr Penpa Tsering La while answering questions to the media anchor he talked about the possibilities of reasons of his dismissal, i.e 1)his nature of straightforward attitude in calling out the mistakes on the other side directly, 2) reporting of the discrepancy in accounts to the discipline committee (sic).
I cannot find the the audio clip interview of RFA Tibetan about the Tibetan people’s reaction to Penpa Tsering La’s dismissal. Can somebody provide the link here?
Mr Penpa Tsering said he has no response regarding the dismissal at this stage (so may be after the handing over of his duties as a respectful servicemen of Tibetan Administration, i.e., after Nov 30?). Also will he file a grievance case against the Kashag at the Tibetan Judiciary?
One more request here I want to know from the Media if Penpa Tsering La is posted at the recommendation of His Holiness or by Sikyong Lobsang Sangay La. I request the three bodies of Tibetan democracy Legislature Executive and Judiciary to check and balance each other’s power and with the help of the media give awareness to the public about the incidence. Right now the picture seems like the Kashag is knowingly not disclosing the fault of Penpa Tsering la for which he is dismissed or on the basis of insubordination as reason told by Ven Karma Yuthok La (acting Sikyong).
On the other hand Penpa Tsering La might be holding on his response till the smooth transfer of the post of representative in the greater interest of Tibetan cause as there is no clearcut reason from the kashag for his dismissal, and also resigning silently as a respectful obedient servicemen as contrary to the accusation of insubordination levied by Kashag during the brief 12-13 minute press briefing done by Ven Karma Yuthok La (acting Sikyong), since his dismissal is the command from the higher authority, the Kashag.
Sikyong la, we are waiting for you and your response.
No one is demanding transparency and accountability about Tibet and Tibetan cause, but you guys are too brave on our Central Tibetan Administration. Why? Think about it, still our belove one His Holiness is alive. IF there is any evidence if Kashag did mistake, then just prove it. Other wise than don’t bring gossip and rumor in our Tibetan community.
Demanding transparency and accountability about Tibet and Tibetan cause from China should start from Sikyong and his Kashag. We elected you to do the job of solving Tibet’s problem through negotiation for us. Where are we on this? Zero negotiation and 100 focus on dirty internal politics. Sikyong promised to welcome His Holiness in Potala. All we see so far is a Potala road sign in Dharamsala. Look within deeply and look far ahead.
Where r those money?
I am hearing that over the last many months Lobsang Sangay has grown very fond of Dhardon Sharling. Gangky rumour also has it they are having a secret affair which I wouldn’t rule out because Dhardon Sharling is very attractive and single and young. So now the logical theory is that with Penpa Tsering off the radar, the pathway is clear for Dhardon Sharling for 2021. Well I needn’t say more or less on this.
Karma la, just because two highly intelligent people get along very well, does it necessarily have to be an affair? Please be sensible. Thanks to Dhardon Sharling and Sikyong as Kalon, DIIR is soaring heights of success.
I have never understood why some people think Sangay and Dhardon are “highly intelligent”. Probably they mean “highly intelligent” by social media standards. It only goes to show the largely low standards of our society. Real intelligent people are those who do not believe in promoting themselves and making a show for publicity’s sake. Dhardon is young and single but “attractive”? I beg to differ […] because I simply believe in calling a spade a spade.
The “high intelligence” of LS and Dhardon is now on display for all to see these days. A lady so intelligent that she will now be remembered in Tibetan history as the one who brought this current disunity and god-knows-what consequences in the near future. A sikyong who is our Donald Trump given the nuclear code and thinks only of power, prestige, and ego. Agree on the part of Dhardon being single but young and attractive? Maybe her beauty only lies in the eyes of our mad Sikyong. Being a spinster nearing 40 could be the new young these days. Shameless two! Sick with their political affairs!
I just read another comment to news related to this topic stating the same. So probably the Loan maker stands to own the property. Current honourable ambassador can request to see the Title papers or such stuff for Amount clarification Etc for his satisfaction.
“Since there is no record of the loan, we the people demand to know: Who actually pocketed the money?”
“Where is the money?”.
The Representative OR Ambassador’s office is “housing” the money. Isn’t the Office of Tibet building purchased outright with the Loan? But I may be mistaken.
Lobsang Sangay gave a big lollipop to Kalon Karma Yuthok
Sangay had all the time in the world to dine and wine, go hiking in the wood and dance to the beats of Phur. Yet he did not have even 10 minutes to give an interview. So he popped a lollipop in Karma Yuthok’s mouth and said, “Chalo beta, ab tum abhi se Sikyong ban ja”. Yuthok tried to act strong but he fumbled and mumbled.
Looking back, Karma Yuthok could have wished he had not eaten the lollipop. What if Karma Yuthok had said that he wanted to go to Mentseekhang to get some Loong medicine and skipped the interview. What if Yuthok pretended to be busy and that he, like Sangay, did not have 10 minutes.
Who then could be the next lucky Kalon in line to get the big lollipop?
It will be certainly you next of the next and next of the next and last Kalon who gets biggest lollipop, that too made in Tibet.
T Woser, from Dharamshala
Ha! Ha! You have a marvelous sense of humor! Enjoyed reading it.
Big lollipop indeed!