Dharamsala: As per the rules and regulations of the Tibetan election commission and under its administration, members of the 17th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile elected Ven. Khenpo Sonam Tenphel as the Speaker, and Ms. Dolma Tsering as the Deputy Speaker by casting their votes in a secret ballot in accordance with the rules set for the purpose at around 2 pm today.
Ven. Khenpo Sonam Tenphel was elected the Speaker with 23 votes against Ms. Dolma Tsering who received 22 votes. While Ms. Dolma Tsering was elected the Deputy Speaker securing 23 votes against Ms. Lhagyari Namgyal Dolkar with 18 votes, Ms. Youdon Aukatsang with 2 votes, and 2 null votes.
Ven Khenpo Sonam Tenphel was born at Rekhe in Kham on 18th July 1974, and started primary school education there. He then joined Nari Tashi Choeling monastery and studied preliminary Buddhist teachings, meditation and rituals. He fled to India in 1993 and received an audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Later, he joined Ngagyur Nyingma Institute (Shedra) of Namdroling monastery, located in Bylakuppe, South India. He received a Higher Secondary Degree, a Bachelor’s Degree, and a Master of Buddhist philosophy in Buddhist sutras and tantras from the institute. After completing his intensive Buddhist studies in 2003, he was appointed as a disciplinarian at Namdroling monastery by Kyabje Drubwang Penor Rinpoche for three years. He was honoured with Doctorate in Buddhist Philosophy (equivalent to Ph. D) in 2011, and received the transmission from numerous Lamas including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Kyabje Dubwang Rinpoche, Kyabjey Taklung Rinpoche, Kyabjey Shichen Rabjam Rinpoche, and others. He was elected to the 14th, 15th and 16th TPiE. He was the Deputy Speaker of the 15th TPiE, and the Speaker of the 16th TPiE. Ven Khenpo Tenphel is currently a member of the 17th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile from Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism.
Dolma Tsering was born on 1st July 1956 at Dagne, Tibet. She completed her school education, followed by her bachelor’s degree and teacher training course with the kind help and blessing of His Holiness the great 14th Dalai Lama, and the Central Tibetan Administration. For 26 years, she has worked as a teacher in various Tibetan schools for which she was facilitated by the Department of Education of the Central Tibetan Administration. She has served as the President of the 9th and 10th Utsang Central Executive Committee and is currently an advisor to the committee. She is also a recipient of the Fulbright Scholarship, the USA of 2001, where she studied Special Education and seized the opportunity of spreading awareness on Tibet’s issue to the American and international students studying there. Ms. Tsering was previously elected to the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile and has been a member of the Standing Committee and many other parliamentary committees numerous times. As a Parliament Member, she has always been very vocal in apprising the general public’s aspiration in the house and has taken active participation in the official visitation, and Tibet outreach programs in India and abroad. She is currently a member of the 17th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile from Utsang province.