DHARAMSHALA: The 1st session of the newly elected 16th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile began today, expressing solidarity with the sufferings of the Tibetans inside Tibet and pledging to exert concerted effort to resolve the issue of Tibet peacefully.

In his opening remarks, Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel greeted the parliamentarians and reaffirmed the Tibetan Parliament’s resolve to fulfill the aspirations of the Tibetans inside Tibet and maintain morality and unity as per the advice of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

“I extend my warm wishes to all of you today on the first day of the 16th Tibetan Parliament. The composition of this new parliament is a perfect blend of new and familiar faces. In fact, familiar faces constitute 22 while new faces constitute 23,” he said, and lauded the rich combination of modern education and traditional values that the new house brings.

He further urged the parliamentarians to respect each other’s opinions and to refrain from making divisive remarks for the harmony of the Tibetan community.

Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay also greeted the new members of the Parliament and said that the 16th Parliament is competent and representative of the diverse sections of the Tibetan community including NGOs, newly-arrived Tibetans from Tibet, settlement officers, social workers and women.

Sikyong also assured the Tibetan Parliament of the 15th Kashag’s wholehearted co-operation in its endeavors to amplify the Tibetan movement and resolve the Tibet issue.

The first day of the session passed three resolutions of mourning and four resolutions of solidarity with the Tibetans inside Tibet. The first day of the session also saw the approval of Kalons nominated by Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay for his 15th Kashag.

The three-day session will conclude on 3 June 2016.