Bir, Himachal Pradesh: A five-day workshop aimed at enhancing democracy at the grass-roots level started today for the Local Tibetan Assemblies and Settlement Officers of Bir Tibetan Society, Bir Dege, Bir Chauntra Nangchen, Kullu, and Mandi at Bir Tibetan Society. This workshop was hosted by the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile and funded by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom.
Under the guidance of resource persons, Parliamentarians Serta Tsultrim and Geshe Lharampa Gowo Lobsang Pende, this workshop will impart rules of procedure and conduct of business for the Local Tibetan Assembly and the Rules and Regulation of Budget to the participants.
The first day of the workshop began with a brief inaugural function where both parliamentarians addressed the gathering and explained how they were shouldered with the workshop responsibilities as per the directive from the Parliamentary Secretariat.
Welcoming the parliamentarians and participants of the workshop, Settlement Officer of Bir Tibetan Society, Karma Namgyal, thanked the parliamentarians and Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile for conducting the workshop. He emphasised the significance of this LTA workshop to have a better understanding of the rules and regulations related to the parliamentary proceedings and budget of the LTA. He urged the participants’ active engagement throughout the workshop.
Parliamentarian Serta Tsultrim, in his opening address, stressed the importance of such a workshop. He mentioned that there are now competitions for such positions in our democratic system, so it is important to offer workshops to prepare the populace for the future.
Under the direction and advice of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the importance of locally based representatives with the Local Tibetan Assembly was introduced in the Tibetan Constitution Redrafting Committee in 1991. His Holiness stressed the importance of having Tibetan local elections and positions to sustain the democratic polity of Tibetan society. The parliamentarian committed to explaining the legislative process to the best of his knowledge and welcomed any doubts and questions. Besides, he urged the participants to use this session to its fullest potential without wasting the funds provided for it from outside and the time invested by the parliamentarians.
While Parliamentarian Geshe Lharampa Gowo Lobsang Pende lauded the members of local Tibetan assemblies who have served the Tibetan community for a long time by being elected continuously, He explained that this workshop will serve as a reminder to the LTA about how to conduct legislative business. He encouraged openness from the participants and invited any inquiries, clarifications, or doubts. He will be responsible for conducting the Budget Rules and will explain certain systems and methods of this rule.
LTA Chair Gyalpo Dhondup expressed his appreciation on behalf of all the participants to the parliamentary secretariat for organising the workshop and extended his gratitude to the parliamentarians for taking out their precious time to conduct the workshop. He thanked the participants for attending the workshop.
Thereafter, Parliamentarian Serta Tsultrim explained the functioning of the Tibetan Parliamentary Secretariat, and then the participants introduced themselves by expressing their gratitude to the parliamentarians.
The first day of the workshop proceeded with parliamentarian Serta Tsultrim imparting the parliamentary procedures, mandates, and structures to be followed in the assembly while raising starred questions, passing resolutions both official and private, making calling attention motions, and tabling legislative amendment proposals.
The Chairpersons and Settlement Officers of Bir Tibetan Society, Bir Dege and Bir Chauntra Nangchen, as well as the Representative of Bir Lily Tibetan Colony, gave Parliamentarian Geshe Lharampa Gowo Lobsang Pende a cordial welcome upon his arrival at Bir on May 21, 2023. On the morning of May 22, 2023, Parliamentarian Serta Tsultrim was also welcomed.
This is the eighth LTA workshop organized by the 17th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile since its constitution with previous LTA workshops held at Dharamshala (Himachal Pradesh), Phuntsokling (Odisha), Sonamling (Ladakh UT), Gangtok (Sikkim), Salugara (West Bengal), Dalhousie (Himachal Pradesh), and Dehradun (Uttarkhand) respectively.
The LTA workshops are aimed to strengthen democracy at the grass root level by imparting the participants with detailed information of the Central Tibetan Administrative, the Budget Policy, proceeding of the Parliamentary session, and others to make informed decisions and to hold public offices accountable.