Gangtok, Sikkim: A five-day workshop organized at Gangtok in Sikkim by the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile from 17th to 21st Oct 2022 on strengthening democracy at the grass root level for the Local Tibetan Assemblies, Settlement Officers of members of Local Tibetan Assemblies, Settlement officers, and members of Regional Tibetan Freedom Movements of Gangtok, Ravangla, Darjeeling, Kalimpong, and Sonada has successfully concluded on 21st of October.
First two days of the workshop focused on teaching parliamentary procedures and budget rules to the registered participants by the resource persons Deputy Speaker Dolma Tsering Teykhang and parliamentarian Geshe Monlam Tahrchin. Whereas, the third day of the workshop was dedicated to the preparation of mock sessions to be held on the last two days of the workshop.
Under the observation of the two resource persons, the mock session started following proper parliamentary procedures and mandates. Starting with the serving of Tibetan ceremonial sweetened rice and butter tea, followed by the singing of the Tibetan National Anthem, the Chairperson’s commencement announcement, and commencement speech. The two-day mock session was presided over alternately by the LTA Chairpersons of the previously mentioned settlements and scattered communities.
Participants participated actively in preparing solidarity resolutions, obituary references, starred questions, calling attention motion, annual reports, legislative amendments, private member’s bill, appropriation act, and other documents related to the budget. They were exuberant to enact the workshop like a real Local Assembly session. The resource persons intervened between the sessions to provide necessary suggestions to improve the Assembly proceedings.
The Deputy Speaker in the closing ceremony applauded the workshop attendees for their active participation and at the same time reiterated the importance of sticking to the resolutions passed at the Local Tibetan Assembly and bringing them to actual practice. She advised the attendees of the workshop to do their bit in spreading awareness of the historical facts of Tibet being an independent country before China’s invasion and the current critical situation inside Tibet. The Deputy Speaker also advised the participants from five Tibetan settlements and scattered communities of Sikkim and West Bengal to bring their collective effort in raising matters related to Tibet in their respective State Legislative Assemblies.
While parliamentarian Geshe Monlam Tharchin also lauded the participants’ active involvement during the workshop, especially at the mock session, and asked them to keep in touch with the rules and regulations of budget and parliamentary procedure taught at the five days workshop. He further advised the participants to share the knowledge acquired during the workshop with others as well.
After a brief closing ceremony, the workshop on Strengthening Democracy at the grass root level to the Members of the Local Tibetan Assembly was successfully concluded with participants expressing their appreciation for organizing the workshop and urging for similar workshops in the future.
This is the fourth LTA workshop organized by the 17th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile since its constitution with previous LTA workshops held at Dharamsala, Odisha, and Ladakh respectively. The LTA workshops are aimed to strengthen democracy at the grass root level by imparting the participants with detailed information on Central Tibetan Administrative, the Charter of Tibetans-in-Exile, the Budget Policy, proceeding of the Parliamentary session, and others in an effort to imbibe them with the capabilities to understand and raise issues concerning the general public, to make informed decisions and to hold public offices accountable.