The Seventh Day of the Budget Session of the 16th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile

Kalon Choekyong Wangchuk answering questions to the questions raised in the house


Dharamsala: Chaired by Speaker Pema Jungney, the seventh day of the 10th session of the 16th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile convened at 9:30 am with Question-Hour, devoted to the questions raised by members of the parliament on any aspect of administrative activity of the concerned department. In view of the Covid resurgence in the state of Himachal Pradesh, the Speaker informed the house of possible state restrictions on public gatherings. Therefore, the house decided to go ahead with the sanctioning of budgets of the remaining departments & offices under the CTA and then, if time permits, continue with the deliberations.

Parliamentarian Ven. Geshe Lharampa Atuk Tsetan raised a starred question to Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay on Kashag’s policy with regard to the restrictions imposed in monasteries in Tibet, especially the three seats of Gelugpa (Drepung, Sera, and Gaden) and other cases. Sikyong gave the necessary reply to the concerned parliamentarian as well as to the supplementary question raised by the Parliamentarian. Sikyong clarified that the Kashag stands firm in opposing the CCPs restriction in Tibet, and has been making timely clarifications as well as taking necessary actions against it. He further urged individuals involved in wrongdoings to restrain from such actions.

The session proceeded with debate and approval of the 2021-2022 proposed budgets of the Department of Health from the previous sittings. Similarly, proposed budgets of the Tso-Jhe hospital (hospitals under DoHe); Delhi Health Clinic (under DoHe); Sonada Health Clinic (Under DoHe); Ngeonga Schoola (a school for Tibetan Children with Special Need under DoHe); Tibetan Reception Centres of Nepal, Delhi, Sonauli & Dharamsala; the Department of Education (DOE); Sambota Tibetan Schools (STSs) under DOE; and the Department of Home.

The motion of increment to the Surkyol budget of the Chief Representative Office of South Zone and 5 Tibetan Settlements without Local Tibetan Assembly, tabled by Budget Estimate Committee, was presented by Parliamentarian Mr. Tsaneytsang Dhondup Tashi and supported by Parliament Mr. Gewatsang Ngawang Tharpa. Likewise, the motion of reduction to the Special Recurring budget of the Election Commission was presented by Parliamentarian Mr. Serta Tsultrim and supported Parliamentarian Ven. Geshe Lharampa Atuk Tsetan. The motions of increment and reduction were unanimously approved by the house.

A total of 11 Parliamentarians participated in the deliberation, many of them appreciated the Department of Health and all other frontline workers for their immense contribution during the time of the pandemic. While many of them extended gratitude to the government of India, individuals, Tibetan organizations like Delek Hospital, Men-Tse-Khang, etc, for providing necessary assistance during the peak of the pandemic.

Kalon Choekyong Wangchuk (Department of Health) provided answers to the queries made by the Parliamentarians on actions taken to tackle COVID-19, substance abuse, SORIG immune boosters, Tibetan Medicare System (TMS), Tibetan National Sports Association (TNSA), COVID-19 vaccination, and others.

The Zero Hour (used by Parliamentarians to raise issues of public importance) of the sitting was taken by Parliamentarian Ms. Pema Chagzoetsang, extending her heartfelt appreciation to the Tibetan youths who are outshining in the field of social work, politics, & education, and are making their valuable contribution to the Tibetan struggle. The Parliamentarian further called for unity among the Tibetans, prayed for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and pledged to fulfill all the aspirations of His Holiness.

Following the third list of business, the session proceeded with (Kashag) cabinet clarification by Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay. The Sikyong enlightened on the legislation procedures involved in the passage of the ‘Tibetan Policy and Support Act 2020’, which he said was successful with the blessing of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and under the responsibility taken primarily by the CTA along with support from the Tibetan community of the US, organizations, and others, and others. Sikyong further spoke on the QUAD Group, an informal strategic dialogue with four members, namely, India, Japan, Australia, and the US, sharing objectives to ensure and sustain an open, free, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region and on other various important issues.

Thereafter, a motion for debate on the cabinet clarification tabled by Parliamentarian Mr. Gewatsang Ngawang Tharpa and supported by Parliamentarian Mr. Serta Tsultrim was passed for debate. The debate on the cabinet’s clarification was participated by 19 Parliament Members. Appreciating Sikyong’s dedication to the passage of the ‘Tibetan Policy and Support Act 2020’, Parliamentarians suggested striving for a similar Act in India, Europe, and other countries.

Answers to the questions raised on the Sino-Tibetan dialogue, CCP’s meeting on Tibet’s, condition of Tibetans in Nepal, the US Special Coordinator for Tibetan issue, and so forth will be provided by the Sikyong in the next sitting.

The session adjourned at 4:30 pm until 9:30 am of the next morning.

Parliamentarian Geshe Lharampa Atuk Tseten reading Starred Question today

Speaker Pema Jungney making an announcement in the house

Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay reading answer to the Starred Question

Parliamentarian Pema Chagzoetsang raising matters during ‘Zero Hour’

Parliamentarian Tsaneytsang Dhondup Tashi presenting the proposed budget

Parliamentarian Gewatsang Ngawang Tharpa presenting a motion

Parliamentarian Serta Tsultrim supporting a motion