Dalhousie: Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile organized a five-day workshop aiming to strengthen democracy at the grass-root level for the members of the Local Tibetan Assemblies, Settlement Officers, and members of the Regional Tibetan Freedom Movements of Dalhousie Phuntsokling, Shimla and Dolanji Bon Tibetan Settlement at Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh.
Parliamentarians Dorjee Tseten and Geshe Atong Rinchen Gyaltsen are the resource persons for the workshop.
On 15th May, a brief inaugural ceremony was held before the commencement of the workshop where Dalhousie’s Tibetan Settlement Officer Phurbu Tsering gave his welcome address, followed by addresses of the resource persons, thank you note by Dalhousie’s LTA Chairperson Phurbu Dratul, and agenda introduction by TSO Secretary Passang Choekyi.
Addressing the workshop participants, parliamentarian Dorjee Tseten highlighted the invaluable contribution of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in establishing the Central Tibetan Administration which is one of the most unique democratic exile setups in the world. Further informing how the Central Tibetan Administration moulded into a system with a rule of law following the adoption of the Charter of Tibetans in exile by the 11th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile.
The MP also informed of the increasing numbers of international parliamentarians supporting the Central Tibetan Administration and its stand, and briefed the gathering on the current situation inside Tibet including the increased restriction, absence of basic human rights like right to gather, and others.
As Tibetans living in a free country, the lawmaker advised the participants, especially youngsters, to make the most out of this opportunity and educate themselves on the history of Tibet and current political affairs of various democratic countries.
Parliamentarian Dorjee Tseten concluded his address advising the participants to improve the proceedings of their Local Tibetan Assemblies and their capabilities to understand and raise issues concerning the general public with this workshop.
Thereafter, parliamentarian Geshe Atong Rinchen Gyaltsen explained the aims and objectives of organising this workshop and thanked the gathering for their participation at the workshop. He spoke on the importance of coordination between a settlement officer and a LTA chair for the welfare of the settlement and explained the brief agenda of the five-day workshop.
Encouraging the participants to ask as many questions as possible, he spoke on the evolution of democracy in the Tibetan community which was bestowed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and advised them to work in accordance with the advice and aspirations of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
He emphasized the importance of the public knowing the functioning of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile and roles of parliamentarians as they are representatives of the general public and a bridge connecting people with the executive (kashag).
On the first day of the workshop, parliamentarian Geshe Atong Rinchen Gyaltsen imparted the rules of procedure and conduct of business of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile.
While parliamentarian Dorjee Tseten, on the second day of the workshop, imparted the details of the rules and regulation of the budget rules.
The five-day workshop from 15th to 19th of May is attended by a total of 18 participants.
This is the sixth 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), and Salugara (West Bengal) 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.
This workshop is funded by the USAID and the National Democratic Institute (NDI).