Dharamsala: The ninth day of the sixth session of the sixteenth Tibetan Parliament-in-exile proceeded today with the continuation of debate and discussion over the legislative amendment bill at 9:30 am.
Following the day’s first agenda, Parliamentarian Mr. Serta Tsultrim introduced the amending bill on the official legislative amendment of clause (vii) Article 24 under ‘Rules and Regulations of Electoral System’ and Parliamentarian Ven. Geshe Lharampa Atuk Tsetan tabled his support to the same. The private member’s amending bill was taken into consideration as it secured the simple majority and floored into the House for its first and second reading. The amending bill, securing the requisite 2/3rd majority of the members present, was passed in the House.
Thereafter, Finance Kalon Mr. Karma Yeshi introduced the Cabinet’s amending bill on the official legislative amendment of clause (iv) Article 67 entitled, ‘Process of Electing Sikyong in the Preliminary and Final Election’ under ‘Rules and Regulation of Electoral System’. This bill was supported by Education Kalon Dr. Pema Yangchen. Securing the requisite simple majority, the amending bill was tabled for further debate and discussion in its first and second reading. subsequently, securing 2/3rd majority of the members present in the House, Cabinet’s amending bill was passed.
The essential amendment in the bill states, ‘If, in the preliminary election, a candidate secures above 60% of the total votes, then, without going the process of Final Election, it be announced that such candidate recognized as Sikyong, elected. ’
The House then proceed to continue with remaining debate and discussion over the 2017-18 report of Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR) as Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay, Kalon of the same department, provided all requisite answers and clarifications.
During the tea-break in the morning session, Speaker Ven. Khenpo Sonam Tenphel received Timothy Paul Loughton, MP, Britsh Conservative Party and his spouse Elizabeth Loughton, Christopher Murray Alexander Law, MP, Scottish National Party, Kerry Gillian McCarthy, MP, British Labour Party, Gloria Montgomery, Tibet Society, who were the members of the UK Parliamentary group for Tibet Delegation. During the brief meeting, Speaker expressed his pleasure over having them in the Tibetan Parliamentary Secretariat and discussed on issues of Tibet ranging from historical ties between Britain and Tibet before the Chinese invasion to the recent testimony by Tibetan Parliamentary delegation before Canadian Parliament’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development on 12 June, 2018. He also briefed them on the deteriorating human rights situation in Tibet and on the ongoing Tibetan parliamentary session.
They also met with Deputy Speaker Ven. Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok, who, after expressing his gratitude for their support to the cause of Tibet, briefed them on the principal cause of Tibet and Tibetan parliamentary delegations’ visit to different countries to meet their leaders, parliamentarians, think-tanks to advocate for Tibet’s cause and garner their support for the same. He further briefed them on the different support groups of Tibet as well as on self-immolations inside Tibet. He solicited them for their continued support in the future and answered the questions asked.
Thereafter, they were taken inside the parliamentary hall to observe the ongoing session and were accorded due welcome by the Speaker and members in the House.
Members of International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) also visited the Tibetan Parliamentary Secretariat and were received by Deputy Speaker in the Library cum Conference Hall. During the brief meeting, he thanked them for their support and solicited them to strive hard to make their parliament adopt resolutions on Tibet, in particular. He expressed his gratitude to them for their undeterred efforts in spreading awareness on Tibet amongst their people and garnering their support. He then briefed them on Tibetan parliamentary delegations’ visit to different countries to meet their leaders, parliamentarians, think-tanks to advocate for Tibet’s cause and garner their support for the same. While briefing them on the urgent situation inside Tibet, he requested them for their continued support.
Thereafter, they were taken to the parliaemntry Hall to observe the ongoing session. Speaker and members present in the House welcomed them.
Similarly, at 3:30 in the evening, coordinated by Dharamsala India-Tibet Friendship Association and Dharamsala Tibetan Welfare Office, local Indian Tibet supporters belonging to different association and unions, visited the Tibetan Parliament as well. They were received by Deputy Speaker, who after welcoming them, expressed his gratitude to the people and the government of India. He then spoke on various threats over India’s safety, culture, and environment posed due to the policies introduced in China-occupied Tibet. He also briefed them on the urgent situation inside Tibet and solicited their continued support for Tibet’s cause in the future as well.
They were taken to the Parliamentary Hall, where, they were accorded welcome by Speaker and the members inside the House.
The session was extended from the scheduled 5 pm to 6:30 pm by Deputy Speaker, who chaired the session afterwards, as the House continued with its third agenda, which was the presentation of précis 2017-18 report of Department of Health by its Kalon Mr. Choechung Wangchuk.
Following him, Parliamentarian Mrs. Juchen Kunchok Chodon tabled the questions and doubts raised in the reviewed report of the aforementioned department by Standing Committee. Parliamentarian Ven. Tenpa Yarphel motioned for debate on the said report and Parliamentarian Ven. Geshe Monlam Tharchin supported it.
With the answers and clarification by Health Kalon over the questions and doubts raised in reviewed report of Standing Committee, the House was left open to elicit opinions, questions, clarification etc., from the legislatures and the Cabinet respectively.
The session shall resume tomorrow morning at 9:30 am.