Dharamsala: The general session of the 17th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile for the fiscal year 2020-21 scheduled from 14th to 18th of March 2022, commenced today at 9:30 am.
The Parliament Hall assembled with Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel and Deputy Speaker Dolma Tsering Teykhang of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, Sikyong Penpa Tsering of the Central Tibetan Administration along with his ministerial colleagues as well as the parliamentarians, sang the Tibetan national anthem after the session commencement announcement by the Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel.
Ascertaining the requisite quorum of the House, the Speaker in his session commencement address introduced the brief agenda set for the scheduled days of the general session for the fiscal year 2020-2021. He spoke on the current political situation inside Tibet including the destruction of the 99-feet Buddha statue and 45 huge prayer wheels in Kham Drakgo, imprisonment of Tibetan author Go Sherab Gyatso, and many others. With changing political scenarios around the world, especially in China, the Speaker advised striving best in all the campaigns for Tibet’s issue, be it at the official level or individual level.
Highlighting the past notable occurrences, the Speaker spoke of the Tibetan Parliamentary delegation’s visit to Himachal Vidhan Sabha, the revival of All Party Indian Parliamentary Forum for Tibet, and the appointment of the US Special coordinator of Tibetan issues by the US government. He then advised the Parliament Members to be observant of the words and speeches used in the Parliament and urged their cooperation in delivering collective effort for a smooth operation of the Parliament session.
Thereafter, in accordance with the ‘Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of Session,’ a panel of Chairpersons and an Ad Hoc Committee were appointed.
Following the list of business, Parliamentarian Choedak Gyatso paid the official obituary reference to late Tsewang Norbu, the 25-year-old popular Tibetan singer who set himself on fire in a protest against the Chinese government in front of the Potala Palace in Lhasa on 25th February 2022 and later succumbed to death. Likewise, official obituary references to long-time Tibet supporters Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Shri Virbhadra Singh were paid by Parliamentarians Tenpa Yarphel and Khenpo Kada Ngedup Sonam respectively. Parliamentarian Phurpa Dorjee Gyaldhong presented the official obituary reference to Tridu Pon Chime Namgyal, former Deputy Speaker of Tibetan Parliament, and Parliamentarian Choedak Gyatso presented the official obituary reference to Drogmey Tseten Norbu, a former Parliamentarian. A minute of silence was then duly observed in the House to mourn for the official references.
Parliamentarian Geshe Ngaba Gangri presented the 7-point official resolution on solidarity with the Tibetans inside Tibet, which was supported by Parliamentarian Lhagyari Namgyal Dolkar. The proceeding continued with Parliamentarians deliberating over the aforementioned resolution which will continue in tomorrow’s session with two proposed amendments before its adoption.
Sikyong Penpa Tsering, the incumbent Kalon of the Department of Religion and Culture, thereafter, presented the précis 2020-21 annual report of its main ministry office as well as of institutions under it. Parliamentarian Geshe Lharampa Gowo Lobsang Phende tabled the motion for debate on the report of the Department of Religion and Culture while Parliamentarian Tenpa Yarphel supported the motion. Parliament Members participated in the deliberation over the undertaking of the Department of Religion and Culture raising questions and giving suggestions to which Sikyong Penpa Tsering provided requisite answers and clarifications.
Thereafter, following the list of business the Parliament session continued with the presentation of précis 2020-21 annual report of the Department of Home by the Department’s Kalon and incumbent Sikyong Penpa Tsering which will continue in tomorrow’s session.
The first day of the second session of the 17th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile was adjourned at 5 pm.