NEW YORK CITY, US, 2 September 2018
Today 2 September is Tibetan Democracy Day. I write this piece in hopes that the ideas here will find their way onto our Parliament floor, to help promote fair, transparent, and rational debate as part of our budding democracy.
Exile Tibetan parliamentary sessions are held every six months in Dharamshala. Members of the exile Parliament represent Tibetan people from all over the world. Its role is to hold the Kashag (cabinet) accountable for its actions and policies. Members discuss and make laws. This platform is crucial because thousands of Tibetans watch the proceedings on YouTube, with questions such as what issues our MPs are talking about and how they are communicating and if any solutions are found. The next session is this month, 18 to 28 September.
Why is the Khampa faction attacking only Dawa Tsering?
After school graduation, Pawo Dawa Tsering served as peon cum sweeper for TYC centrex, Dharamshala. From 1979 to 1986 he served as Rupon of Regional TYC, Dharamshala, during which time he pioneered the construction of a cemetery near McLeod Ganj as per the need of the community.
In 1983, the korlam [sacred walking path around the hill of Dalai Lama’s residence] had fallen into poor condition, especially near lhagyal ri [the prayer wheel and prayer flag area]. Many elderly people were injured due to falls. Dawa Tsering took charge of upgrading this path.
In 1985, with financial help from the Private office, Dawa Tsering led the initiative to improve the road between Tsuglakhang and Jogiwara.
In 1982, with initiative from RTYC and the parents around McLeod Ganj, he worked towards building a school, which was called གཅེས་འཛིན་ཕ་མའི་སློབ་གྲྭ། (Chezin Phamai Lobda). This project was later handed over to TCV, as they agreed to build a Day School for the Tibetans of McLeod Ganj.
Yongling Kindergarten, his greatest contribution
In 1984 Yongling Kindergarten was started as per the advice from Jetsun Pema la, on TIPA road in a wooden house of Choepa Lhakpa. It was moved to the present location in 1985, but due to lack of funds between 1985 and 1987, the classrooms were without a roof. (At that time nobody from the Khampa faction came to ask if the school belonged to private or public). The inception of the school to the present level of improvement is purely due to Dawa Tsering’s struggle and hard work. Over 10,000 students have benefited from this school in the past well over three decades.
Since most of the people around McLeod Ganj go out of the area for the sweater business, they had no place to keep their school-going kids in their absence. Hence the need for a hostel was felt. There had been no hostel facility till then.
Then, in 1989 new arrivals from Tibet began pouring into Dharamshala. Now a hostel was also needed to keep the infants of new arrivals who go to work, as well as 3 months of the year for sweater-sellers’ children. In admitting these children, no distinction or discrimination was made based on the children’s regions or cholkhas.
The land on which Yongling Kindergarten exists was bought in the name of a local Indian, and Dawa Tsering has the Power of Attorney to work on it.
Dawa Tsering was elected as the welfare officer of Dharamshala in 1992, whereas Yongling Kindergarten was started before he took that post. Hence, the allegation that he did not hand over Yongling to his successor is a completely wrong notion. He took over the work of welfare officer from Tsewang Tashi and later handed it over to Sonam Choephel.
There is no truth in the allegation that he has not respected the office of the Supreme Justice Commission (SJC) of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA). Abiding by the rule of law he agreed to hand over all the properties of the school to the CTA, barring the land and house, as these come under the jurisdiction of Indian law.
When Dawa Tsering asked the SJC if they were taking the case against him alleging he claims to own public property, he was told that they are taking the case on the basis of how the donation was given and taken, which is in the recorded cassette of SJC.
If you listen to the then [14th Kashag] DOE Kalon Thupten Lungrig’s talk on this issue in the house, you will get a clear picture of the case.
The allegation that Dawa Tsering has dragged the Tibetan Government-in-exile to court is also incorrect.
Since his opponent Passang Tsewang has nullified his life-long service to society and defamed him in the community. Dawa Tsering has filed a defamation case against Passang Tsewang.
If Dawa Tsering has in any form shown disrespect to the SJC of CTA, the commissioners should have by now taken away his election rights. But as he still enjoys the right, it clearly shows that he did abide by the rule.
Most social activists apply for a grant from the government, and Dawa Tsering too applied for financial help from Sherig [Department of Education of Central Tibetan Administration]. The donor Yoko Goto from Japan after looking into the condition of Yongling accepted to donate funds to finish the construction of Yongling through Sherig.
By giving a donation to the projects, if the property goes to the Central Tibetan Administration then there should be a much longer list to deliberate in the Parliament House.
Why single out Dawa Tsering?
Why is it only Dawa Tsering’s case that is in the forefront is a big question to be answered by the Khampa faction. It seems they have been after him for 17 long years — and yet they could not take the school away from him. Why? Dawa Tsering does not have an army guarding the school but why can’t CTA take the school from him for good? It’s obvious CTA lost not only the battles but the war too on hero Dawa Tsering. Well, we have bigger fishes to catch before Dawa Tsering!
Norbu Lingka Institute is a CTA property, but since 1997 Kasur Khampa Kelsang Yeshi seized this property, and all the profit from this venture goes into his pocket. Norbu Lingka Institute has three hotels, namely Chonor House, Norling House, and Serkong House. Each hotel has more than 20 rooms. Each room cost Rs 6,000 to Rs 20,000 per night. Norbu Lingka also has three restaurants and each restaurant has a seating capacity for more than 50 diners. It also has stores both online and on land making a huge profit. Then there are large amounts of donations pouring in from individuals, NGOs, governments, and the international community. And the proceeds from hotels, restaurants, stores, and donations end up in this one man’s pocket. This is broad daylight robbery and yet the Khampa faction is silent. Why?
Phuntsok Wangyal, a Khampa man who was the Representative in London Office of Tibet, did not hand over the NGO Tibet Foundation to his successor when his tenure was up. He kept the NGO with him. He seeks donations in the name of all Tibetans and also claims he helps all of Tibet, but the raw fact is 98% of the proceeds go to his Kham province. Only 2% of the proceeds go to U-Tsang and Amdo. Is this fair? And this discrimination on the basis of region has been going on since 1985. This is corruption and yet the Khampa faction led by Tenpa Yarphel is silent. Why?
Lobsang Rabgyal, a Khampa woman, seeks donations for her NGO Machik in the name of all Tibetans since 2002, and claims to be distributing the proceeds to all of Tibet, when the fact is she is spending the donation money only on her Kham province, not in U-Tsang and Amdo. This is downright discrimination.
Why is the Khampa faction led by Monlam Tharchin silent on this in the Parliament?
Yes, the Khampa faction is silent because they are all Khampas. They are all phayul chikpa [same province] supporting one another no matter what the circumstance. This is negative regionalism.
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]
Author writes ‘ …The land on which Yongling Kindergarten exists was bought in the name of a local Indian, and Dawa Tsering has the Power of Attorney to work on it….’
That way of puchasing land is called ‘ Benami Transaction’, which is criminal under Indian law. (check wiki at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benami_Transactions_(Prohibition)_Act,_1988 )
So, Dawa Tsering cannot sell the land. Why? It is not his land in the first place. Why is it not his land? Cos Benami deals are null and void.
So, Yongling School cannot be sold, nor bought. This is an illegal structure waiting to be demolished or confisticated.
All I want to say is kudos to those people doing great work whether in Tibet or anywhere else. It seems many of the names cited here are Khampas and in positions to do good work and doing in their familiar area of phayul. I hope others also can do more good work in their remote areas in Phayul where Chinese don’t care much to do.
Now this author Mila Rangzen wants dawa tsering to sell Yongling for 10-20 lac rupees, and use the proceeds to give scholarship to outstanding Utsang students.
Bravo for saying black is black. Not many has such guts to do that.
But I feel that what Dawa Tsering has done is obvious and proven by law. He indeed took Yongling illegally.
By this, it means that he has lost the criterion to be a MP. Why the TPiE or the Election Commission is not taking action against him? Who will follow the Tibetan exile Charter?
Mila to criticize Tibet Foundation and Machik sounds a bit out of track. They are doing the best they could. What’s so wrong if anybody is getting help from them. I am sure people will welcome if you as an Utsangpa start an NGO and help people in Utsang. Khampas and Amdowas will surely not criticize for doing that. They will welcome that.
Let’s be a bit more logical.
There are rumours that someone gifted a car in return for mocking hh dalai lama. Otherwise, how can Lukar buy a car? Same for tenpa yarphel. he got two cars.
I suspect Mila Rangzen wants a CAR from Utsang Dawa tsering in return for sycophantic support for the don’s theft of Yongling school. It is also heard that Dawa tsering gave 5 lac rupees each to gyari thar and sharchok khutta to stay in India and defend him instead of going abroad for some time. so, dawa tsering does have a habit of playing gift politics to survive and thrive.
This man loves money.
Please author, give justification by figures calculation for the allegation that Tibet Foundation’s expenditure has been 98% in Kham and 2% elsehwere. I have supported TF since its inception being a Londoner and am astonished at this allegation of undue regional bias. So please provide audited figures to substantiate this allegation, thanks.
That’s a very important question you asked. I looked around for so long and couldn’t find even a single instance of help rendered in Utsang and Amdo. This 2% came out just in case I missed a fact or two. Every penny of the Tibet Foundation was spent in Kham which is his region or province despite claiming it is spent all over Tibet. Sad. Bad. His only justification is CCP doesn’t give a permit to help in Utsang. This is a lie. Some Utsangs in exile built schools, hospitals, and stupas in Utsang with money from their own wallet. Negative regionalism with Tibetans is what negative racism is in the West.
This Khampa negative regionalism has been going on for six decades and now Utsangs are beginning to say enough is enough. it has turned me into a hardcore Utsang. There is no turning back now. If negative regionalism is cancer, let both the parties suffer. Until now we Utsangs tolerated it by keeping the Tibet-under-China tragedy in view. But no more. It’s their time to taste their own medicine. The war has begun.
You “looked around”, Mila Rangzen? That isn’t a very convincing rationale for starting a “war”. TF has carried out hundreds of projects over the last 30 years, I have asked you for the basis of a detailed breakdown to justify your quoted figures and all you can say is you “looked around”. Not very convincing!
For many years in the early years of Tibet Foundation, from 1986 onwards, when it was practically impossible for western NGOs to run projects in any part of Tibet, ALL of the Foundation’s projects were carried out in India and Nepal. Many of them are still carried out in India and Nepal, and they are benefiting Tibetan exiles from ALL parts of Tibet.
This completely false claim of yours also therefore discredits all the rest of your arguments.
Your disproven and made-up figure that 98% of TF’s project funding was spent in Kham is shown to be a complete fiction; in other words, it shows you are a liar, making up nefarious and slanderous accusations in order to harm your fellow Tibetans and set them against each other. It is not only dishonest but also divisive.
When a Tibetan says he looked around it means he researched. Just answer one question honestly. Show one instance of help TF rendered in Utsang and Amdo from 1985 to 2018. Nothing. So Don’t jump to conclusions.
When some Tibetans “look around”, they are just trying to show off their new earring.
So, I have to refer to one project only? How about the very long-running and major project to provide yaks to numerous needy families in Amdo?
That well-known project, funded by Tibet Foundation, comes to mind without even having to show off my new earring.
….. and you preach about “INTEGRITY”, while writing sooooo divisively…. you evidently don’t even know the meaning of the word …
Sean, don’t bother. This Mila Rangzen is from Utsang province, and he sees Khampas as oppressors of his tribe, for some strange reasons. And he wants to pull down all khampa people.
There is an Utsang man called Dawa Tsering who stole Yongling School from Dalai Lama and Tibetan people in broad day light. The school premise is said to carry a yummy price tag of $1.5 million.
Dawa Tsering still refuses to hand back Yongling School.
Now, what if –
Sikyong doesn’t handback CTA buildings after his tenure?
Delek Hospital Director Dawa Phunkyi doesn’t hand back Delek Hospital?
Upper TCV School director says the school is his personal property?
WE have to discuss these ownership issues in the parliament this time.
All this talk is BS. If you have a prove of corruptions or dishonesty than it is better to bring it out in the open ; just throwing allegations on the basis of regionalism is total BS. Anyway , if any group is working to help any region in Tibet is helping your own brothers and sisters . Where is the fight ? We should be happy and admire such actions . Here small minds fights over non issues and forgets our real enemy . So sad …. . It is time to check and cleanse our own minds before it causes too much damage.
No disrespect to Machik founders but there are people like Sonam Jamyangling, founder of the Swedish Tibetan Society for School and Culture who is an U-Tsangpa. They have established 108 schools inside Tibet, not just in Kham but also in Amdo regions. These schools educate over 13-14 thousand students!!!
And there is Tibetan Village Project which is again established and ran by U-Tsangpa who have done wonderful works inside Tibet with regional and sectarian biases.
It’s no doubt great to have Machik as well doing great works in their parents village. However, I genuinely hope they do not have regional biases. I am proud of all; Lobsang Rabgay, Tashi Rabgay and Sonam Jamyangling. They are Tibetans first and then they must be Khama or U-Tsangpa.
Mila Rangzen has not yet justified his tarring of all Khampas by a handful of Tibetans he dislikes:
He attacked Khampas rather than the actions of some who may be Khampas.
The Machik ladies are half Khampas and half Utsangpas–which makes them more Tibetan than Mila I suppose by his blinkered standards.
When Rinchen Dharlo spent millions in Utsang I don’t remember Khampas attacking UTsagpas.
Still waiting to hear Mila’s justification for attacking Tibetans on provincial prejudice.
This is where we need a multiparty system of elections rather than being based on regionalism and monasteries. It would not be the perfect system but will help reduce the tensions between, Amdo, Khampas, and Bhopas (U-Tsang, as the other two regions, would call the TAR). About the alleged issues that senior Mila mentions in this article, I am not aware of, however, I fail to understand why this is an Amdo, Khampa, U-Tsang issue. If the allegations are proven true they would be considered an individual criminal acts and not regional based. By dividing these alleged crimes and misappropriations as Khampa and U-Tsang based you a Tibetan patriot are falling into the divide and rule game of China and other unscrupulous individual adventurers. Not all U-Tsang, Amdo and Khampa are honest, patriotic and kind. We all are a kettle full of good fish and bad fish and as a Tsampa, I thank you for your dedication but please don’t divide us all with labels. Thank you.
don’t blame khampas for so-called khampa tribalism. Amdo and utsang regularly team up to demolish Khampas out of vindictiveness in the parliament. Obvious example is the parliamentary fight in 2014. Khampas stood behind khamapas, Utsang and Amdo stood behind utsang and Amdo. So Utsang and Amdo are equally seething with tribalistic and cave-men instinct as are Khampa tribes.
Oops! You forget around 50% of chitue are khampas. U-Tsang and Domey have only 25% each. Do your maths. 10 Dotoewa + 10 Choelug Chitue = All Khampa.
And even among U-Tsang and Amdo Chitues, there are people like Tenzin Jamyang (former Health Kalon’s brother and Sikyong’s relative), Lhagyari Namgyal Dolker, Tsewang Rigzin, Zamdho Jampa (Europe Chitue) and Tsering Youdon. All these have always sided with LS and Khampa team.
That makes the balance almost 50-50% between the two parties. LS led khampa team is the party in the government, and Amdo-Utsang Party is in the opposition.
We just have to name them as two parties.
You missed to count the defectors in U-Tsang and Amdo camps. Leytong defectors. Namgyal Lhagyari is nothing more than empty words. She was Lukaejam’s deputy and it seems she try to maintain closeness to LS and Khampa camps as she have already lost her supporters in the U-Tsang community.
Then there is Tsering Youdon la, Amdo Chitue mother of Mr. Tibet organiser. It seems Tashi or DJ Tashi, organiser of Mr. Tibet with loan of over. 30 lacs for his extravagant lifestyle was recently locked in a hotel in Delhi for non-payment of dues (around 2 lacs) for food n lodge with his gf over 2 weeks. He even released videos on social media asking for donations to pay off debts! At last, it seems TseYoudon’s closeness with LS saved the boy with TWO Delhi sending help.
Very true what he said about the mismanagement and corruption at Norbulingka institute by Kelsang Yeshi, his inji wife and kids. Thanks to the inept Kelsang Yeshi, his inji wife Kim Yeshi has been controlling everything at Norbulingka almost in a feudal manner. Look at how she and her unemployed daughters and a son managed to build their careers using charity money at Norbulingka. Not just Norbulingka and the many other enterprises connected with it in India but also the vert lucrative company called Norlha Textiles her daughter Dechen Yeshi runs in Amdo, Tibet. Employees at Norbulingka are paid peanuts but required to work for long hours and not allowed holidays during Tibetan festivals and other national common Indian holidays. More than Tibet Foundation and Machik, many believe the management at Norbulingka are bigger culprits. What is happening at Norbulingka can aptly be described as modern-day feudal exploitation and capitalist exploitation all in the name of a charity to preserve Tibetan culture. The audit reports of CTA’s auditor general office on Norbulingka is filled with financial mismanagement and shady deals including also lavish spendings of Kim Yeshi and her daughter Sonam Yeshi.
Dear person hiding behind ‘democratic voice’
As a friend of Tibet since 1977, I’ve closely followed the Norbulingka project here and Norlha in Amdo from their inception.
The envy that colors your slanderous allegations will harm only you.
Instead of being proud of people like Kalsang Yeshi and his wife Kim, who devoted their time and money to creating sustainable projects to help preserve and display Tibetan culture, you have served up some sorry tabloid fodder.
Will you give proof or even sign your name ?
What about Pema Delek taking over the Tibetan Cooperatives (Nyamdrel) of Bylakuppe? There are examples galore.
dharamsala toepak people hate khampas. i have experienced it many times
Nonsense! Slug heads!
So there are Tibetans who dislike khampas: I know from personal experience in Dharamshala. If this hatred of Khampas did not exist then this pundit would have identified the so-called khampa faction as if all khampas were not worthy of having individuality.
This lack of honor extends to comment on machik’s summer Tibetan cultural program: two young Tibetan women brought up in Canada are condemned because they found support from people in their parents village but not from officials in TAR.
Do document tarring all khampas with your prejudice and I’ll be happy to respond.
a compilation of toing and froing about ownership of yongling premise https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgM1dx_TiIk
Wow!! Now this is some direct writing. I hope it hits the right target. Am sure LS and Tenpa Yangphel’s supporter will bicker with nonsense.
Am shocked to learn about Machik, I hope Lobsang Rabgay la will come out clean. I heard her of justifying these by saying that it is almost impossible to get access to U-Tsang province and people with aids and projects.
Norbu Lingka is people’s project hizacked by few individuals. You forgot the project for ‘Khampas only’ undertaken by Gyari Dolma and Lobsang Sangay in Bir with CTA funds.
” Abiding by the rule of law he agreed to hand over all the properties of the school to the CTA, barring the land and house, as these come under the jurisdiction of Indian law.”
But Khampa faction is saying the land and the house belongs to CTA. Chattels inside them are worthless.
Author writes DT improved Yongling School to the present state. He then says therefore the school belonged to him! DT worked like all good managers did – he improved the school enormously. But that doesn’t mean the school should pass the ownership to him just because he worked so hard.
land is expensive. How does the LAND and the HOUSE legally belong to him? What legal deeds and municipal registar does he have? Did the woman who funded the school improvement meant the fund for him as a person or for CTA and Dalai lama ?
Tibetans should do a review of all properties with uncertain ownership before dalai lama dies. Otherwise the managers, directors, head-masters will all say ‘ TCV is mine.’ ‘ Handicraft centre belongs to me ‘cos i improved it.’
If lobsang sangay follows utsang dawa tsering’s logic, then the prez can declare, ‘ CTA is my personal property now. I built new, Tibetan style office quaters and a stupa. Nobody came to say CTA doesn’t belong to me. So it belongs to me. ‘
What sort of logic is this?