MCLEOD GANJ, India, 2 April 2018
People have been waiting eagerly for months for the latest session of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile, saying that there will be a great show. It turns out that this just-concluded budget session gave the people just what they were expecting … drama!
During the session, which went from 14 to 24 March, some business did manage to get done and a budget was passed of more than India Rupees 265 crore (2.65 billion) rupees (40.7 millon USD approx). The budget session sets the funds for various projects and activities of the seven departments and a few autonomous bodies of the Central Tibetan Administration for the financial year 2018-19.
But at centre stage was the Penpa Tsering dismissal issue, and the ten days saw the Parliament oscillating between mild comedy to outright melodrama. The issue was discussed every day, by the majority of the 44 out of 45 members in attendance.
Members were divided into two almost equal parts which followed the unwritten regional divisions: Khampas (including all the religious representatives) habitually taking one side, and U-Tsang and Amdo taking the other, with the representatives of the Western countries usually staying neutral.
One bloc supported the dismissal decision made by Lobsang Sangay’s Cabinet, and the other supported the demand to appoint a committee to investigate the Cabinet’s charges against Penpa Tsering.
Tsering had been dismissed from his post as Representative of the Dalai Lama in Washington DC on 7 November. Tibetans everywhere have protested his dismissal, saying that the 10-point charges against him were baseless, and that Sangay is misusing power. Protests dogged Sangay during his visits to Europe and the US in the following months. They compared him to a “dictator” and demanded his resignation.
As the members debated in the Parliament, close to a hundred people protested for days at the nearby basketball ground. Sangay rejected the call to appoint a probe committee which was demanded by the protesters and supported by some of the members of the Parliament. He stated that it was the Cabinet’s right to appoint or dismiss any representative, just as he appointed Penpa Tsering to begin with, and that anyone feeling unsatisfied with the decision could approach the court for respite.
Not seeing any hope of resolution of the melodrama despite so much time debating it every day, the Speaker convened an internal discussion session among the members, which is not normally made public. It was decided then that the Parliament would wait for actions of the Cabinet, and that there was no need to meet with the protesters as the Cabinet promised to make some decision. However 14 members of the Parliament visited the protesters in their personal capacity as they were about to disperse after the Parliament session ended.
The Cabinet tried to meet a representative from the protesting group, but this didn’t work out as they demanded that media be allowed to cover the meeting. The Cabinet rejected this demand. The protesters then demanded that someone be allowed to film the meeting, but this was also rejected by the Cabinet. In the end, no meeting took place.
With no action from the Cabinet, the protesters pledged to continue with their fight for justice.
What can we read from this continuing deadlock? There could be several things, but two stand out. One: The protests don’t bother Sangay and the Cabinet. Two: The protesters can choose to go to court.
Now, Lobsang Sangay, the president of the Central Tibetan Administration, will visit the US in the coming days. He will be at the Emory University School of Law to deliver the 2018 Berman Lecture at 7pm on 9 April at the Tull Auditorium. He will speak on “The Tibetan People’s Transition to Secular Democracy”. Should there be a protest, that shouldn’t bother Sangay.
He will be in Germany in the second week of May for a “Thank You Germany” event in Frankfurt on the 12th, and a meeting with German leaders in Berlin on the 14th and 15th. Any protests at these places shouldn’t bother him either.
As to the idea of approaching the court, if the protesters decide to go to a US court appealing to investigate the 1.5-million loan issue, what would Sangay do if the court gives a verdict in their favour? Would he step down then, for lying and misleading his people? It was he who insisted that the protesters go to court, and the protesters, having tried all other means, will see this as the only option left.
Sangay has consistently stated that the 1.5 million USD that came from the Tibet Fund in New York City in purchasing the new Office of Tibet building in Washington DC was not a loan but a grant. The protesters say that the amount was a loan, shown clearly in the successive yearly accounting reports of the Tibet Fund, but the Office of Tibet doesn’t show this as a loan. The protesters have consistently said that going to court would only be the very last resort if the Cabinet absolutely refuses to find any solution.
The stalemate will be resolved, sooner or later. The ball is still in Sangay’s court, if he chooses to try to resolve it internally. But if he really is unwilling to budge, and insists on throwing the ball to the protesters, they might be forced to go to court.
Should the issue end up in court, it will not only be about Lobsang Sangay and the protesters, but will reflect badly on Tibet, as well as the Dalai Lama.
About the author
Lobsang Wangyal lives in McLeod Ganj, and edits the Tibet Sun website.
More articles by Lobsang Wangyal on Tibet Sun.
LS himself recommended to go to court to settle the case if there is such. Some Tibetans never grow up no matter what. Remember the hate against our honorable Samdhong Rinpoche? Hate against LS is nothing unexpected. No matter who becomes next Sikyong, hate and regionalism will surely dominate the politics. It is just sad.
As the fourth pillar of democracy, LW and Tibet Sun presented both the sides of the story. He did not reject any posts or articles from both sides.
Fortunately or unfortunately, there were more people writing for PT and against LS, because they felt PT was unfairly wronged. It is not just Tibet Sun. It is everywhere like this. These supporters left no stone unturned to show LS as the most unpopular leader in exile Tibetan administration history.
If LS supporters feel bad, they should pull up their socks and advise LS to stop his insincere, narcissist, self-serving, publicity-driven ruling style. You guys shud not lay the blame on Tibet Sun or LW. LW is doing his DUTY.
Lobsang sangay what a disaster. So disappointed. Only thing he ever managed to do so far is to divide the community in two. Never takes responsibility for anything. And I even voted for this guy. What the hell was I thinking.
LS has nothing to do with Penpa Tsering’s downfall. Lama Tenzin Dhonden of Dalai Lama Trust persuaded HH Dalai Lama to dismiss him because PT spoke against the monk’s corruption in the parliament.
Gaden Phodrang insider Thubten Thokmey exposes the monk. Check the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRQBYN0wXJs&t=72s
I am afraid you all got it terribly wrong. This is a case of mass hysteria at the wrong person.
To Lobsang Wangyal – There will be no differences between Sugdhen follower and rest of the protestors if you do such protest outside Gangkyi because we must understand the bigger cause here. PT issue is just an internal issue and need to be solved internally. I think you are creating enough bits of spark in our community and its my humble request to stop writing such article. Did you forgot your wrong doing with dennish girl with your T bulletin editor friend during miss Tibet event? Did you forgot your wrong approach with 1st miss Tibet? Do you really want us to come to McLeod ganj and protest against you for involving in molestation????????????? Please respond so that we can freely talk if you don’t stop writing anything about our community to disunite.
Appeal is done now – one more crazy writing will lead us to come to Dhasa. please mind it.
What is Lisa doing here? How is it ok for Lisa (a non-Tibetan) to poke her nose in Tibetan affairs.
Apparently she knows LW well. May be he tried to get her also. Is that so? LW is quite popular for getting many women. He even had said that in an interview many years back. There is nothing new about that.
The way you want to blacken his image, may be you missed to say LW is anti-Dalai Lama, Chinese spy and Shugden follower.
Your comments are so clear that you are a LS stooge. That’s ok. But do not try to silent dissent.
oh yeah! Do you have …
[Not able to publish this comment. It’s way out of context. Please read our comment guidelines] — Admin
KIHI KIHI KIHI! Shoot the messenger! Your comment is typical of what LS and his Khampa stooges including the Khampa and Choluk chithues from Dorjee Tsetan, Sertar Tsultrim, Yudon Aukatsang, Atuk Tsetan, Lobsang Phende, Monlam Tharchin to Pema Delek, have done in the just concluded Tibetan parliament session. The only exception was the lone non-Khampa LS stooge in the Tibetan parliament was Tsewang Rigzin, but less said about him the better, he is another egomaniac and a mini Trump or Losangay in his own right. His tenure as TYC president more or less brought TYC to its current pathetic state, an organization now sadly used covertly by Delhi based Chushi Gangrduk for its own sinister motives.
When you don’t have anything in your brain to argue logically and rationally, what do you do? You shoot the messenger and indulge in character assassinations. LS and his fellow Khampa chithues resorted to smear campaigns against on the august floor of Tibetan parliament against Amdo Chithue Lobsang Chonjor, and protester Thinley Kelsang. Now you like a true LS stooge, instead of countering Lobsang Wangyal’s opinions logically, you resort to smear campaign. Good luck, you pathetic slimy Khampa, a stain on the generally upright and honest Khampa warriors.
Start the probe with Lesli Butterfield.
I find Tibet Sun to be the most active, accurate and fearless in informing the Tibetan public. Other Tibetan media are not as close.
Therefore, I would say, Tibet Sun represents freedom of speech, journalism of courage and democratic Tibet society. It is all because of hard work of Lobsang Wangyal. Keep up the good work LW. It is in no way sounding a PT mouthpiece, this particular article.
I do not see this article to be biased, but rather seeing LW’s sincerity and love for his people and country. He has made it clear the consequences if the protesters go to court. It’s not just LS who will get negative coverage, but it will also drag Tibet and the Dalai Lama.
Here is the question: What if the protesters bring Lobsang Sangay to court?
Answer: Should the issue end up in court, it will not only be about Lobsang Sangay and the protesters, but will reflect badly on Tibet, as well as the Dalai Lama.
Is the consequence ok with LS?
Court here is the Tibetan court in Gangkyi. HHDL has established this court to settle issues amongst ourselves instead of going to Indian courts.
LS is confident. So why would a US court be a problem? It shouldn’t be a problem to approach any court. Yes? The case the protesters are talking about is the 1.5 million US$. So that should be cleared in a US court. No?
What is the core purpose of giving that money in that way? this benefit the Tibetan people right?and there are no harm in doing this way because this is all abide by host nation law and order so please talk something that make sense and not nonsense.
Protesters are not after 1.5 Million USD they are on behalf of PT and wanted to help him get his job back.
Looks like Lisa Madam is not clear about why the protesters are protesting. Their protest is not about reinstating PT, but about the ten-point charges against him which they say are baseless.
Hence, they say that Sikyong is misusing his power, and his actions are like that of a dictator. He doesn’t need reason or logic, but everything depends on his mood. Such things has no place in democracy and rule of law.
With regard to the 1.5 million US$, Sikyong has said PT was messing up about it, and made this as one of the charges against him. Sikyong consistently said that 1.5 was a grant, whereas PT said it was a loan citing records. Sikyong then said that those who do not trust him should go to court to get the issue cleared. The way Sikyong asked to go to court multiple times, he was confident about the issue. So the protesters may get it cleared from the court, and clear their doubts once and for all. Is there is problem to go to court like Sikyong suggested?
Daveno, are you one of the LS stooges scared that LS would be fully roasted in a real court of law? If LS, the steel faced (chakdong) liar (hamchen), can make an outright challenge to the protestors and PT to go to hell or court during his official March 10 statement, LS should prove he is worthy of being an upright rather than a slimy Khampa.
He have no right to speak on behalf of our community because he is an indian citizen and hold no responsibility and that’s one of the reason he don’t want to organize the Miss Tibet event even though it was a joke and revenue making for himself and no good for any cause right after he getting the indian citizenship.
What name and fame he have by the way that we need to believe his thoughts and writing?
He is a struggling human being personally and what can be expected from such bull?
Every Tibetan has the right to speak in a democracy. When an American citizen Lobsang Sangay can become the Sikyong of the Tibetan community, Lobsang Wangyal with Indian citizenship can speak on anything relating to the Tibetan community. No more double standards, please!
The bullying and autocratic behaviour that truth seekers have been up against, seen in the parliamentary proceedings, and also in online forums clearly indicates why the people’s movement is a must to check the misuse of power and authority at the highest levels. Escape from parliamentary rebuke due to the uneven strength of one region is no indicator of innocence on the part of LS and his kashag. Blasting off others with unsubstantiated allegations will not help regain the credibility, trust, and standing that Kashag has lost with the Tibetan public.
This is preposterous. We are still mired in the PT termination, etc. World’s greatest power has lost dozens of government staffers as wells as cabinet members in the course of about a year but no biggie. Clock of execution keeps on ticking while taking a licking.
Don’t our educated gangchenpas have better things to do than taking pot shots at those in the CTA who are endeavoring to do something productive in the face of many odds?
Chinese have no interest in the mishmash of b.s. distractions. No wonder they have achieved so much in forty years, hitherto unparalleled in world history.
Tsewang Ngongpa Sir,
Pray tells us what LS Kashag is “endeavors get to do something PRODUCTIVE in the face of many (self-created?) odds”?
1. Molesting women supporters?
2. Winterizing his residence with far better amenities than the one His Holiness the Dalai Lama has, at cost of exile treasury?
3. Found money / shady sponsors to pay off his half a million mortgage?
4. Appoint his unqualified in-laws for ministerial post?
5. Work hand-in-gloves with Gelukpa (read Kundun) hating sectarian Chithues like Tenpa Yarphel to undermine Kundun’s position?
Let me leave it here otherwise the space will run out. I know when it comes to Tibetan community issue and cause, you are a Rip-Van-Wrinkle. But please don’t try to pull the wool in people’s eye by pretending to be Rumpel-stillskein character. May be you forgot to take your pill.
Hi Tenpa Yarphel,
what category of 10 year visa?
General 10 year multiple entry visa doesn’t entitle the holder to enroll children in American schools. You have no welfare payments, and such other rights.
I suspect PT holds diplomat category visa. But validity expires as soon as the relevant diplomatic service has terminated.
Therefore, I believe prez Sangay is right to warn that Penpa Tsering could be eking out an underground life as an illegal Asylum Seeker. If this is true (I mean ‘if’), then this drunkard will sink the prestige of CTA official into a sea of rubbish.
Legal scholars believe past behavior is an indicator of future conduct. Remember PT is yet to clear the rumours about not only murdering a restaurant-owning Lama, but keeping his wife as his own, and running the business as his own.
Of course, PT will denying the murder – who would, anyway? China has invaded Tibet, but it says it didn’t do so.
The question is – if PT is clean, where are there such rumours in the first place?
The Khampa leader Juchen Thupten did not have the balls to print his pathetic life-story when he was alive and kicking. A Khampa Chithue named Sonam Topgyal, a pet dog of Juchen, objected to the nomination of Penpa Tsering to Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche’s cabinet, alleging Penpa Tsering is a murderer. Later, as part of 2016 Sikyong election, another Juchen petdog Tenpa Yarphel, alleged in the Tibetan parliament that Penpa Tsering is a murderer. The point to be noted here is that the two Khampa chithues did not have the balls to say anything outside the parliament. WHY? Because whatever they said in the parliament cannot be taken to a court of law. This is a parliamentary privilege, the same reason why the Khampa chithues and Lobsang Sangay has the balls to say whatever they feel like without the fear of being taken to a court of law. So, if you are really concerned that PT should clear his name, then please ask your Khampa uncles and brothers who cowardly indulge in smear campaigns against Penpa Tsering to grow some [guts] in the name of their fierce Khampa valor and utter a word to the Tibetan media that PT is a murderer? Then we will see how PT clear his name.
Stop talking about Juchen Thupten and go to your super market job before you get fired. Sad person – You living in poverty lifestyle in USA and barking like an English bulldog? Don’t think your life is ok if you can look nicely then you are living a life under $3000 per month which is actually my budget on my two pet dogs for 3 months.
Stop barking and go and work so to pay your loans.
Very well said. Where is PT anyway and why we are giving him so much understanding. I believe CTA must send the letter to USA Consulate about his termination ASAP. Understanding must come from both sides which in this case from one side (CTA) we must cleanse such citizen from taking CTA for granted.
He spark the rumors and gone under ground – that is the beggest question. If he have truth then why he is hiding now. why cant he come out openly?
This clearly shows that he is the culprit.
Meanest living Tibetan on earth trying to show magnanimity and large heartedness is the biggest joke of the century. People believe in what they see and they have seen enough of Sikyong to know what to believe.
Time is a precious commodity. We can’t waste months on a single individual.
Let’s move on! ‘Past is past’ as HHDL reminds us, and, let’s focus on future.
I am a PT supporter. But I was deeply disheartened by his obstinate refusal to urge peace amongst the anti- CTA insurgence.
I can’t imagine how our HH Dalai Lama is disappointed by Penpa Tsering’s power-hungry behavior. If PT is a buddhist, he should forgive and forget, and wish well for LS, so that good merit is earned for a prosperous next life.
But PT looks more like an atheist compared to LS who is religious enough to even thank ‘ god, oracles, and protectors’ when the weather was good in Dharamsala. This shows that being a man of God, LS is unlikely to engage in any sinful acts, whilst PT has questionable morals who takes refuge in bottles of whisky.
Religious & L Sangay. You are in fool’s world. Loseng is full of I, me and myself. Who is always on self promotion spree with Chamcha like Dhardon to follow up. He wasted crores of CTA money to fulfill his boisterous attitude. Compare him with his immediate predecessor Professor Samdong Rinpoche. Who did so much for Tibetan Community. Yet very humble. That is what we call humble and religious. Unlike him, Rinpoche always give credit to HH.
Lobsang Wangyal is not the problem. Problem is the problem made in the society by Sikyong and Kashag. Since the time of PT’s termination, all Sikyong and Kashag has done is to accuse somebody else for the problem. Either it is PT or the PT supporters and even the press.
Let alone taking any steps to correct the present problem, Sikyong and his kashag did not even acknowledge any problems in the community and also did not say sorry. This is becoming similar to Holocaust denial where healing is difficult without any acknowledgement.
Also this rumor about PT being illegal asylum seeker is not true. PT already has 10 year US visa. So he cannot become legal and illegal based on any letter from Sikyong to the US embassy. So, better be truthful in facts rather than stretching rumors. It is because of such and similar purposefully created confusions and misunderstandings in the Tibetan community that I believe warrants a court case either in here India or the US. Some sort of verdict will clear the air once and for all.
Sir which world you are in do you even know the clause of this 10 year visa? Getting visa is nothing if the purpose is denied by the creator. ok
He might have 10 years on his IC but if CTA confirm his termination from his post then that visa can be revoked because then the purpose is not served and will decline the visa what so ever the years on it. Do you want to try if this is truth. We as a citizen have the right to whistle blower to US consulate and inform about the PT termination which is then send verification from US Consulate and if this is done then even CTA cannot save PT. Do you want to see if this is true or not???????????? Please confirm in your next message and I personally will initiate this case.
A very good example of power misuse can be seen here. Lobsang Sangay is elected to the post of Sikyong by the people. His Sikyong post and the kashag is not Trump Tower politics. Always keep in mind that this sikyong phase is just a phase in life, not a life-long position. Don’t be too drunk with absolute power.
There is no problem. PT was dismissed, and Kashag is moving on to solve bigger things like return of Dalai Lama, self-immolation and human rights violation in Tibet.
Cabinet cannot, in any meaningful sense, spend a minute more on woes of a disgruntled ex-employee. Anyway, where is PT?
LS stated in parliament that he spared reporting PT to US Immigration department out of compassion for his children who were then enrolled in an American school. But prez subtly implied that PT might have now become an illegal immigrant after losing his job, and hence, the work visa attached.
Rumour mills are doing the round that Penpa Tsering had gone underground in USA, and has been preparing to claim asylum, citing human right violations by Sangay-led government and serious risk to his life from state-sponsored thugs.
I tend not to lend too much credence to such claims. But, as His Holiness reminds us constantly, we have to keep an open mind, and prepare for the worst.
It’s very shameful of the protesters because you guys only again [pointing] Lobsang Sangay for 1.5 million US$. But Penpa Tsering has the responsibility for all that issues. If this case go to us court, it’s definitely shame on Tibetan people and they never gonna help for Tibetan people. If this case go to us court I am never be proud to be a Tibetan. Minority protester is ok, but they are very dangerous for Tibetan issue. If it goes to US court. Tibet will never be free.
If Kashag did according to the rule book they shouldn’t fear to form independent committee to look in this particular matter and also shouldn’t fear to allow the media or third party to film the proceeding that they had suggested. That clearly shows they had committed wrong decision and fear of exposing the misdeed.
Learn to speak pure Tibetan first and throw Sikkim subject and then talk about Tibetan cause otherwise don’t shit around here ok you butey manchi – half cooked.
I agree with you. It seems very much favour of pt which is not fair at all. 99 percent Tibetan are with kashag. so why he thinks he is doing the right.
Lowangla is not only a journalist but like us also a private person. And as such he too is entitled to his own opinion. I welcome his open attitude than any hidden taking side in articles as some other people do.
Yes you are right but it is wrong to maintain a news portal and use it as a mouthpiece for someone in particular.
Since Sikyong and his supporters are calling for the truth seekers to go to court to seek conclusion, maybe this is the only way out now. Otherwise, that inquiry committee was a better option but Sikyong was totally against it. I have a feeling that our Justice Commission might turn out to be same as our parliament which is unfortunate but true. I guess the truth seekers will somehow seek the truth and bring the matter to some sort of end.
Lobsang Wangyal in the name of being a journalist who are supposed to be neutral in their writing had always been one sided when it comes to Penpa Tsering (for) and Lobsang Sangay (against) right from their election days. I think he doesn’t understand the ethics of journalism. I have supported some of his viewpoints in the past even with regards to criticism of LS but I have now noticed that it is always one sided. Tibet Sun is a mouthpiece of Penpa Tsering.
Very well said. He is a rapist and molestor so what can be expected from such a low class man.
Remember Lobsang wangyal, you are not far from me ok you can meet me anytime when you come around delhi. I have a office in CP – Come to Tolstoy marg.
In democracy all have rights to protest and disagree and Sangay has a right to disagree too but he being the leader has a moral responsibility to respond adequately. Here not responding is his fault, yet constitutional power rested upon him empowers him to appoint and dismiss anybody irrespective of any background. Lobsang Wangyals contention that he be tried in US court has no basis because the accounts do not reflect the understanding between the Tibet fund and the CTA. The accounts reflect the numbers as it is, and numbers unless carry fictitious transactions have no legal bases to contest. And Lobsang Wangyal saying this episode will soil the name of HH the Dalai Lama is too childish. Bringing in division between members on the basis of their provinces in parliament reflects the current mindsets in social medias and this will not be much help in finding solutions. Ideal situations would be for Sangay to meet Penpa Tsering and sort out the matter in private. Debating on this issue for long benefits nobody.