Dharamshala: Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel and Deputy Speaker Dolma Tsering Teykhang of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile alongside the Chief Guest Sikyong Penpa Tsering and other guests Yangten Rinpoche (Secretary of the OHHDL) and Geshe Lhakdor (LTWA director) launched two books offering gratitude to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and honoring His vision and insights.
The event was organized by the Dhomey Cholka Association in collaboration with the writer Sherab Dhargye on 22nd May 2023 at the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives (LTWA) and attended by Tibetan parliamentarians, writers, scholars, and the general public.
While offering her gratitude to His Holiness, the Deputy Speaker underscored the significant role of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in empowering the women of Tibet including conception of awarding Geshema degree (highest degree in Buddhism) for nuns and providing reserved seats for women in the Tibetan Parliament as early as 1966.
From shouldering Tibet’s temporal and spiritual leadership at a very young age to bringing positive changes in the societal and political setup for a democratic and just society, the Deputy Speaker highlighted His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s blessing and effort in establishing the democratic setup in exile.
The Deputy Speaker further noted that a historical milestone in empowering Tibetan women was achieved with the encouragement and effort from His Holiness the Dalai Lama when Tibetan nuns received equal right to achieve the highest level of Buddhist studies and earn their Geshema degrees (equivalent to PH.D) and Tibetan women had reserved seats in the parliament and right to hold the highest political position in the diaspora.
With the blessing of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, women in the present Tibetan community are holding significantly notable positions in the Central Tibetan Administration’s Kashag, Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, and other offices by making their valuable contribution to the common cause of Tibet.
The Deputy Speaker then provided some data showing girls in the Tibetan diaspora are doing better in studies than their counterparts including receiving more scholarships, reserved medical seats, and Department of Education’s excellence award which she credited to His Holiness the Dalai Lama for His lifelong commitment in providing quality education to Tibetan children.
Finally, the Deputy Speaker extended her heartfelt gratitude to His Holiness the Dalai Lama for His lifelong effort in empowering the Tibetan women and applauded the writer and sponsors for their valuable contribution in publishing the books.
Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel offered his gratitude to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and spoke on His Holiness’s irreplaceable role in uniting the three provinces of Tibet and in guiding different schools of Tibetan Buddhism and Bon.
The Speaker explained that societal and political reforms in Tibet were initiated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama right after shouldering the political responsibility of Tibet at the tender age of 16. Unfortunately, the process of reform was interrupted due to China’s invasion in 1949.
Following His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s escape into India in 1959, Tibetans offered a long-life prayer to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and pledged unity among themselves and to follow His Holiness’s advice in Bodhgaya.
His Holiness formally outlined an introduction of a democratic polity in Bodhgaya, India in February 1960 and advised the exile Tibetans to set up an elected body comprising three exile representatives from the three traditional Tibetan provinces and one each from the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism.
Elections were duly held and 13 representatives termed ‘Deputies’ from the three provinces of Tibet and four religious schools were elected and designated as the ‘Commission of Tibetan People’s Deputies (CTPD) on 2 September 1960.
Speaker also highlighted that His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s preaching people to be a practical 21st century Buddhist and his constant advice of unity amongst Tibetans has brought different schools of Buddhism and Tibetans of three provinces of Tibet under one big umbrella.
Finally, the Speaker concluded his advice applauding the writer and the sponsors of the books for their valuable contributions.
Sikyong Penpa Tsering, the Chief Guest of the event, and other guests Yangten Rinpoche and Geshe Lhakdor also gave their valuable talks regarding the book launch event.