Lobsang Sangay, See You in Court!

Wherever Lobsang Sangay has turned up for public engagements, he has been greeted with protestors who are unhappy with the corruption exhibited by the Tibetan leadership.

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By Solaray Kusco

It has been a trying few months for the President of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) Sikyong Lobsang Sangay. Since he trounced political rival Penpa Tsering in the 2016 Sikyong elections, nothing has gone right for him. Post-election tensions ran high between the former candidates so to pacify him, Penpa Tsering was given the consolation post of North America’ donjo (the Dalai Lama’s representative). This position is highly coveted amongst the upper echelons of the Tibetan leadership because it comes with wealth and privilege, thanks to plentiful opportunities to meet liberal American sponsors and donors.

However, in November 2017, after Sangay’s sudden and unexplained dismissal of Penpa Tsering from the donjo post, his ratings took a real nosedive and have not recovered since. Things continued to go from bad to worse as nearly one hundred Tibetans, calling themselves the “Truth Seeking Volunteers”, have been protesting Sangay wherever in the world he has travelled to.

Most recently, they camped outside the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile for ten days (March 14th to 24th), protesting against Sangay while the Parliament inside debated about the Penpa Tsering issue, although they were supposed to be discussing budgetary concerns. The protestors’ demands include greater clarification regarding Penpa Tsering’s dismissal, as well as an explanation for the US$1.5mil which went missing from the Tibet Fund and appears to have been mis-accounted for at best, and embezzled at worst.

It was not until the tenth day that 14 members of parliament met with representatives of the protestors, appearing in their personal capacity to listen to the concerns of their constituents. The fact that the target of the protests, Sangay himself, refused to meet with anyone is a clear indication that he would rather attend to more financially lucrative endeavors, and he has no interest in resolving issues that actually concern those who voted him into power. Not only did Sangay snub his constituents but he added salt to the wound when he haughtily challenged them to take him to court if they were unsatisfied with the Cabinet’s decisions.

Sangay’s behavior confirms the opposition’s claims that he does not behave like a democratically-elected leader of the people, but is more akin to an arrogant, self-serving dictator who sees no need to be answerable to the electorate. Hence, due to Sangay’s ego, he is willing to waste even more Tibetan taxpayers’ money and time in fighting his own Tibetan people in court. Has he not done enough damage already with his other divisive policies like the ban on Dorje Shugden, and his refusal to given equal parliamentary representation to the Jonangpas?

One of the nine hunger strikers of the followers of the Jonang sect. They are outside the CTA’s (Tibetan Parliament) office in Dharamsala demanding for the discrimination against their sect to end. The CTA or Central Tibetan Administration are well known for their corrupt and unjust ways of handling their people. The Jonang sect was banned in Tibet by the 5th Dalai Lama for over 400 years until recently. Now they want representatives in the Tibetan Parliament which is not allowed to them. The same discrimination and much more is also targeted against Dorje Shugden followers.

Would it not just cost less for Sangay to answer his people’s questions face-to-face, or is honesty really that difficult for him? This kind of typical behavior from the Tibetan leadership shows Sangay’s lack of foresight and care for the CTA’s image as a whole. As it is, the Tibetans in exile are facing more challenges than ever before, with their main sponsor and host country India dumping them in favor of relations with China. Yet, instead of uniting the Tibetan people, Sangay chooses to divide them further by challenging his own people to sue him. Does he not think something like this will reflect badly on the Tibetans, not to mention the Dalai Lama, when everyone sees Tibetans fighting one another so publicly, forever airing their dirty laundry?

Now we see the truth about the Tibetan leadership’s undemocratic ways. Real democracy allows the people’s voices to be heard and good leadership means facing these voices and answering them. Unfortunately, the Tibetan leadership has no experience at being held accountable for anything since no one has ever dared to speak up against the injustices they commit. But that was in the past, at a time when it was unthinkable for Tibetans to protest against their leaders.

The world nowadays is a very different place and protests have become commonplace. If the once-unthinkable protests show no signs of abating, then Sangay would do well to realize it is only a matter of time before he will be forced to make good on his fighting words. There are plenty of Tibetans who are angry with him, and who possess the resources to take him up on his challenge. And let’s not forget the ever-watchful eye of the Dalai Lama, who may just step in and oust Sangay if the protests grow too large, and the protestors grow too vocal.

It is time for Sangay to step up to the plate and start making real amends or step down as leader, because his behavior is, to put it simply, bad for business. Yes, the world and the Dalai Lama are watching so Sangay, it is your move.


Tibet Sun: What if the protesters bring Lobsang Sangay to court?

Click to enlarge. (Source: https://www.tibetsun.com/opinions/2018/04/02/what-if-the-protesters-bring-lobsang-sangay-to-court)


Phayul: Protestors demand impeachment of President Sangay, MP Yarphel

Click to enlarge. (Source: http://www.phayul.com/news/article.aspx?id=40270)


The Siasat Daily: Tibetans protests against government amidst strained relations with India

Click to enlarge. (Source: https://www.siasat.com/news/tibetans-protests-against-cta-president-amidst-strained-relations-india-1330963/)

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  1. More and more Tibetans are expressing their dissatisfaction with the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA). This even extends to accusing them of ruling without legal precedence. This is a serious matter as their management of funds, administrative procedures, and even their governing constitution are all flawed. From the simple of choice of words used for the translation of a title, the CTA have exposed the way in which they run their “nationless government” in an egotistical and self-serving manner. The CTA simply do things based on their personal agendas and needs, using the title of democracy as a cover.

    Clearly, there is no system of governance for what the CTA do and how they spend the money they gain from people sympathetic to the Tibetan plight, aid from their host and donors from around the world. Since law is at the core of any administration, their underhanded tactic of finding loopholes and bending the rules to suit their individual needs has failed the Tibetan people. As an ex-Senior Fellow of Harvard Law School and a self-proclaimed expert in international human rights law, Sangay deters people’s faith in the integrity of a leader and the legal system, instead of upholding the cause of justice. After the public apology during his swearing in ceremony in 2016 and his firm pledge not to repeat his misconduct, it looks like Sangay is at it again.

    The title “President” for Sikyong is not legal
    By Sharchok Khukta
    McLEOD GANJ, India, 14 May 2018
    Since there have been many who have put forth questions regarding the usage of the title “President” in English for “Sikyong”, I will answer in one presentation for all.
    It would become a long talk to give answer as regards this. Nonetheless, because, to keep the public in the dark is objected to in a democratic system, I will try to present insight that is complete and not mistaken.
    Initially, the exile Tibetan Parliament had established through general consensus that the title “Sikyong” is to be used instead of “Kalon Tripa”. In connection with that a resolution was passed by the members of the 15th Tibetan Parliament-in-exile during the fourth sitting of the second session on 21 September 2012, that “Sikyong” solely is to be used in writing, as phonetically, without the need for using the translation “Political Leader”.
    The first stage of this process took place with the publication in 2015 of a compilation of rules and regulations of the exile Tibetan administration by the office of the Parliamentary Secretary of the Tibetan people’s deputies, where it appears on page 181 in Appendix 8 [Zur-hzar nya], of sub-section 3 of article 66 of the electoral rules of the exile Tibetans.
    Then, on 26 April 2016, the exile Tibetan administration made the announcement on its official website tibet.net that “when the term ‘sikyong’ is to be translated into English it should be written as “president”, and that has been used up to the present day.
    It is the honourable Kashag which says that “it was established [formally decided] that ‘president’ is to be the term to be used,” and the honourable Kashag claim that they had decided thus on the advice of His Holiness Dalai Lama. The Kashag had cited many other reasons, but I will not refer to them at this time. Everyone knows that at that time there was much expression of displeasure regarding this from the public.
    In the second stage, as regards the usage “President” there was guidance by His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the reception ceremony accorded to the high-level Representatives’ Committee of the United States, at Tsuklagkhang Temple on 10 May 2017.
    The third stage is that the Kashag have, both orally and in writing, said insistently that such guidance by His Holiness the Dalai Lama was as per the provision of Article 1 of the Charter of the Tibetans in exile. I am not able to know whether His Holiness the Dalai Lama has advised thus as the intent of Article 1 of the Charter. I do not consider that to be case, because if there had been the guidance advising “President” to be appropriate for the title of Sikyong, as per Article 1, then even after 25 famous amendments to the Charter such a guidance would have a procedure of discussion in the Parliament, as in the past, a procedure that has been clearly laid out.
    It has been laid out in the sub-section 1 and 2 of Article 17 of clause 6 of the rules for procedure of meeting and carrying out of works by the the deputies of the Tibetan Parliament. For example, to cite the sub-section 1: “As per the sub-section 2 of Article 1 of the charter, the Speaker, in discussion with Sikyong, is to set aside time for discussion on the suggestion of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.” But, without going through any recommendation from the Parliament or legal process, the Kashag said that the title in English as “President” has been decided on and designated as such, and they continue to use this title. As such that title has not became legal title. That is stage three.
    Then, the fourth stage is that it may be assumed that the Sikyong and the Kashag continue to do so as it is known clearly only by most government service personnel, former and present, and People’s Deputies, former and present. Yet since the public do not know the details, when we put forth questions on the this issue in the Parliament it may be conjectured that it is an electoral grudge. Besides, when the honourable Sikyong also talks of it to the public by attaching it to electoral grudge, we are not able to have at the matter a valid rule by law. Instead everything is stirred here and there into dirty politics, so that eventually when there is too much dwelling on personal name and prestige, the common administration incurs losses.
    If things go on like this there is the danger of the collapse of rule by law. From that point of view, for this issue to be clearly sorted out, the Secretaries of Gadhen Phodang must make it clear whether or not that guidance — as per Article 1 of the Charter — was given by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. If it was, since it would be related with the rules, the messages, advice, notice and so on be bestowed to the Parliament, and then whatever is to be established (passed as resolution) by the Parliament when implemented by all the central and regional branches of the administration, it would become concordant with the law.
    So that is the issue if explained clearly.
    In the end, nowadays at Gangchen Kyishong the administration relies upon one person and makes changes to the Rules; while there are able staff members in all sorts of appointments, through equal qualifications and pledges, and so on; such instances are taking place many times, not just once. In such a situation it appears that there is not sufficient supervision and watching, by the public and writers, of whether or not this Administration — set up with such effort by His Holiness the Dalai Lama — is being administered by rule of law.
    I request all to put more effort and power as regarding this issue.

    The title President for Sikyong is not legal

  2. I can accept that the Tibetans, would want to evict the Lobsang Sangay. But to also remove Kagyu Representative Tenzin Yarphel for speaking the truth about the Nechung oracle, is quite silly in my humble opinion.

    Hope the Tibetans in exile can really ensure their rights are protected and demand clarification of whats going on in politics.

  3. India tightening its grip on the Dalai Lama and Tibetans

    The Indian Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has directed Himachal police to tighten its grip on Tibetans meeting His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Those Tibetans without paperwork showing individual identity and establishing legal credentials of their arrival in India will be turned away from seeing the religious leader. Undocumented Tibetans have been arriving in India, usually from Nepal, where they are aided by the Tibetan communities there. India seems to clamping down of Tibetan activity, from cancelling Thank You India events in Delhi and now restricting Tibetans from seeing the Dalai Lama. What else with the Indian government do next?

    Norms tightened to meet Dalai Lama

    DHARAMSHALA: Following directions from the ministry of home affairs (MHA) in recent past, the Himachal Police government has tightened the norms to meet the Dalai Lama, even for Tibetans coming from Tibet. The move was aimed to ensure the security of the spiritual leader at McLeodganj near here.

    Well-placed sources said that there were many Tibetans, including monks, who enter India through the porous border of Nepal to meet the Dalai Lama. The MHA has directed Himachal Police that no one could meet him without having his individual identity established from his documents.

    When contacted about this development, Kangra SP Santosh Patial confirmed that a letter had been received in this regard. But he refused to divulge the details of the same. “Police has received a letter and this is for the security of the Tibetan spiritual leader only, which says that we can only allow a person to meet after his individual identity and legal credentials of his arrival to India are established,” he said.

    Inquires revealed that the Tibetans generally arrive in Nepal from Tibet. They were received by the refugee centres there and further assistance was provided to them by Indian and Tibetan authorities for their visit to India.”


    Norms tightened to meet Dalai Lama

  4. Things are going to be very different for Tibetans in India from now on as Sino-Indian relations get warmer by the day. India has vowed to firmly adhere to the one-China policy and ensure Tibet-related issues are handled ‘properly’. This means India will tighten her grip on all Tibetan-related activities. So, the trouble-making Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) better watch themselves and not create further problems that may antagonise China. This is something India will no longer tolerate.

    China, India Vow To Strengthen Ties
    China and India have extensive common interests and they have far more consensus than differences, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.
    All India | Indo-Asian News Service | Updated: June 06, 2018 17:05 IST
    PRETORIA: China and India working together will accelerate their common development and contribute to the progress of human civilization, Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.
    Mr Wang made the remarks on Monday in South Africa’s capital Pretoria during a meeting with Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on the sidelines of the formal meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday.
    China and India have extensive common interests and they have far more consensus than differences, Mr Wang said.
    The two sides should take bilateral relations and people’s fundamental interests as a starting point at all times, properly handle problems and differences and prevent the interests of one party from affecting the overall interest, Mr Wang said.
    The two sides should earnestly safeguard peace and tranquillity in the border areas in accordance with the consensus reached by their leaders and avoid taking actions that might complicate and aggravate the situation, Mr Wang said.
    China and India should strengthen coordination and play a constructive role in promoting the development of BRICS cooperation, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and other multilateral mechanisms, he said.
    Sushma Swaraj said the informal Wuhan meeting between the leaders of India and China enhanced mutual trust between the two countries, strengthened cooperation, made the parties more comfortable with each other and achieved unprecedented success.
    She said India will firmly adhere to the one-China policy and properly handle issues involving the core interests of China such asTaiwan and Tibet-related issues.
    India and China, as the two largest emerging markets and developing countries, share a common position in safeguarding the international political and economic order and promoting the improvement of global governance, the Indian Minister said.


  5. Ex-Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche caught sleeping in a meeting

    The representative of the Dalai Lama and former prime minister of the Tibetan government in-exile Samdhong Rinpoche during an important meeting having a nice sleep. The Tibetan government in-exile are run by people like this who have no control over their body and manners. They only stay awake in the meeting if there is FREE aid money coming their way to line their pockets. Shameful how Samdong Rinpoche is sleeping in the middle of a meeting and he represents the Tibetan government in-exile. This is why after 60 years Tibetan leaders have failed to get Tibet back but blame others for their failures. Shame!


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.…Instead of turning away people who practise Dorje Shugden, we should be kind to them. Give them logic and wisdom without fear, then in time they give up the ‘wrong’ practice. Actually Shugden practitioners are not doing anything wrong. But hypothetically, if they are, wouldn’t it be more Buddhistic to be accepting? So those who have views against Dorje Shugden should contemplate this. Those practicing Dorje Shugden should forbear with extreme patience, fortitude and keep your commitments. The time will come as predicted that Dorje Shugden’s practice and it’s terrific quick benefits will be embraced by the world and it will be a practice of many beings.

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