Author Topic: The Dalai Lama Resigns from Political Role  (Read 26366 times)

DharmaDefender

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Re: The Dalai Lama Resigns from Political Role
« Reply #30 on: April 05, 2011, 10:23:46 AM »
Good points you raised, Dharma Defender. Thank you.

If only there were more courageous Tibetan heroes who would stand up and uphold compassion not just for themselves but more importantly, for those who are being prosecuted. Isn't that what Dharma is all about? Caring for others as self, not seeing the difference between self and others?

I think to say 'courageous' next to 'hero' leaves the situation wide open for all sorts of martyrs to arise, and the last thing that the Tibetan movement needs is martyrs! But I know what you mean and that kind of attitude will really help to free us from the ban. An "If I am you, how can I harm myself" kind of thing...but you're asking the Tibetan population to realise non-duality! Haha

DSFriend

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Re: The Dalai Lama Resigns from Political Role
« Reply #31 on: April 08, 2011, 11:12:25 AM »
Part extracted from :  http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Dalai-Lama-s-decision-to-quit-final--says-aide/761465/

Dalai Lama’s decision to quit final, says aide

The Dalai Lama is unlikely to go back on his decision to step down as political head of the Tibetan government-in-exile, according to his aides.

Even as the Chinese have termed the Dalai Lama’s announcementas “an old lie, trick and political show”, those close to the Tibetan leader believe he would not budge from his decision.

“We know it’s the final decision and he is not going to retract from this,” outgoing Prime Minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile S Rinpoche told The Indian Express on Friday.

The Dalai Lama’s decision to step down as political head and set the process for evolving a self-sustained ‘democratic system’ of electing new political leadership will be debated by the Tibetan parliament, Kalon Tripa, which begins its last session next week in McLeodganj, the headquarters of the Tibetan government-in-exile.

Rinpoche, who is considered next to the Dalai Lama in the Tibetan political hierarchy, and is himself a scholar of repute, said, “I am going to meet His Holiness before the parliament session starts and will try to persuade him to continue his role.”

He said almost 95 per cent of Tibetans all over the world are not in favour of his retirement. Earlier this week, the Tibetan cabinet, Kashag, had tried to dissuade him, but the Dalai Lama was firm on his decision, he recalled.

Although the Tibetans’ movement for autonomy will not die with the Dalai Lama shedding his political role, Rinpoche said there is no substitute for the leader. “It will take some time for electing and building up a leadership of that kind..,” he said.
...

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"95% of Tibetans all over the world are not in favour of Dalai Lama's retirement."

I must say Lobsang Sangay is one courageous guy to have taken up office in TGIE! It is understandable thought as Tibetans have always been ruled by the Dalai Lama's many incarnations.

This sure is one big change for Tibetans.

My wish is that Tibetans will have the freedom they have been wanting,..religious freedom. Isn't this the reason so many exiled into India??

Helena

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Re: The Dalai Lama Resigns from Political Role
« Reply #32 on: April 08, 2011, 04:55:00 PM »

My wish is that Tibetans will have the freedom they have been wanting,..religious freedom. Isn't this the reason so many exiled into India??



DS Friend, you are so right! They all exiled into India, even lived together as ONE when there was no land, houses and communities. All the different schools lived as under one flag, "Tibetans-In-Exile". It was not important at that time whether one was from Kagyu, Nyingma, Gelug or Sakya. They were all dharma brothers and sisters.

What happened after 50 years on? They have forgotten why they are in India in the first place. How quickly humans forget and how fast they turn on one another!

As long as they are squabbling over who gets to rule over what, and what ban must still be enforced - these Tibetans will never be free. They are prisoners of their own limited minds.

Very sad....
Helena

DSFriend

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Re: The Dalai Lama Resigns from Political Role
« Reply #33 on: April 25, 2011, 06:26:48 AM »
Source : http://mangalorean.com/news.php?newstype=local&newsid=234683

Tibetans wait for their next Kalon Tripa

Dharamsala, April 25 (IANS) The Tibetan community is abuzz with excitement and anticipation ahead of the April 27 crucial election result of the next Kalon Tripa, or the prime minister-in-exile, who they believe will play a greater political role following the Dalai Lama's announcement to retire from active politics.

The parliament-in-exile last month formally accepted the Dalai Lama's proposal and decided to hold a special session by May-end to amend its charter for the smooth transition of power from the elderly Nobel laureate to an elected political leader.

Election official Jamphel Choesang told IANS that the results concerning prime minister-in-exile and 43 members of the parliament-in-exile would be declared April 27.

Three candidates were in the field for the post of prime minister-in-exile -- Lobsang Sangey, Tenzin Namgyal Tethong and Tashi Wangdi.

Sangey is a senior fellow of Harvard Law School. Tethong also lives in the US. Wangdi has been the Dalai Lama's representative in Brussels, New York and New Delhi. Sangey emerged as the frontrunner in the primary balloting. He polled 22,489 votes.

Voters in India, Nepal, Bhutan, the US, Europe, Australia, Japan, Russia and other countries took part in the election.

"We are compiling the results as the ballots came from all 56 Tibetan regional centres where the polling took place March 20," Choesang said.

He, however, refused to divulge details of the poll conducted in Nepal and Bhutan.

The votes polled in these two countries during the Oct 3, 2010, primary poll to nominate candidates for the prime minister-in-exile, were not counted.

At that time the Nepal police seized 18 ballot boxes at polling booths in Kathmandu. Similarly, the Bhutanese government had ordered Tibetans there not to send the ballot papers to the election commission in Dharamsala.

Choesang said the newly elected members of the 15th parliament-in-exile would take oath of office May 30 as the tenure of the current parliament is going to end next month.

"The prime minister will take oath only after the tenure of the present cabinet expires in August," he said.

Tsewang Rigzin, president of the Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC), said: "We all are excited about the outcome (of the elections). But we have to respect the decision of the majority and now more than ever all the Tibetans should work together to sustain, strengthen and ultimately regain Tibet independence."

Lhasang Lhamo, a shopkeeper at McLeodganj, said: "We are keeping our fingers crossed as the key responsibilities are going to be shifted on the next Kalon Tripa. The new incumbent should have to perform two roles - one team leader and another a good administrator."

Pema Dorjee, general manager of Tibetan Handicraft Cooperative Society Ltd, said: "We are quite excited and a little bit perturbed over the outcome. Since we believe in democracy, we will respect the mandate."

Incumbent Samdhong Rinpoche became the first directly elected prime minister-in-exile for a five-year term in September 2001 after the Dalai Lama called for a directly-elected political leader of the exiles.

Rinpoche could not re-contest as the Tibetan charter bars any individual from holding the office for more than two terms.

The Dalai Lama, 75, has lived in India since 1959 when he fled his homeland after a failed uprising against Communist rule. His government-in-exile is based here but is not recognised by any country, including India.

Some 140,000 Tibetans live in exile around the world, over 100,000 of them in India.

thaimonk

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Re: The Dalai Lama Resigns from Political Role
« Reply #34 on: June 01, 2011, 11:32:53 PM »
Dalai Lama Rejects Ceremonial Head of State Role
New Delhi  May 25, 2011


Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has categorically rejected a role as ceremonial head of state for the Tibetan exile administration in India. Tibetan leaders have been urging him to accept the role, two months after he abdicated his political duties and two months before a new Tibetan exile prime minister is scheduled to be inaugurated.

From virtually every corner of the world, members of the Tibetan exile parliament convened in Dharamsala, India, to make a plea to their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

In a similar meeting in March, the Dalai Lama indicated he would step back from formal political duties he has fulfilled for half a century, to make room for democratically elected officials.

Tibetan lawmakers and other leaders hoped to convince him to retain a role as a ceremonial head of state, similar to that of the Queen of England.

The president of a Tibetan exile group in Italy, Kalsang Dolker, said the Dalai Lama flatly refused.

"He said he will never be the head of the state," said Dolker. "And he did not accept our proposal."

It is difficult to overstate the personal importance of the Dalai Lama to the Tibetan exile community. He has set not only the tone for a non-violent struggle for an autonomous Tibetan homeland, but has served as the head of a government that cares for more than 130,000 Tibetans in India and around the world. 

A Harvard legal scholar named Lobsang Sangay was elected as the Tibetan exile prime minister earlier this year, but few believe he can replace the Dalai Lama's global celebrity appeal anytime soon.

A member of the Tibetan exile parliament representing North America, Tenzing Chonden, said the Dalai Lama explained his rejection of the ceremonial head of state role. "He felt that the Tibetan people need to stand on their own feet through democratically elected leadership. "

While many Tibetans understand the rationale of the leader they call "His Holiness," Tenzing said they are disappointed nonetheless.

"Everyone is very sad. The devotion and the reverence that we all have for His Holiness, as not just as our political leader, but also our spiritual leader," said Tenzing. "That connection certainly makes it very difficult for everyone, all Tibetans, inside Tibet and outside, to accept this decision that his holiness has come to."

The Dalai Lama has long stated his goal to delegate his political powers to democratically elected officials. Part of that may have to do with the fact that he is 76 years old, and may not be around as long as his followers may like.

from: http://www.voanews.com/english/news/asia/east-pacific/Dalai-Lama-Rejects-Ceremonial-Head-of-State-Role-122589294.html

« Last Edit: June 01, 2011, 11:39:13 PM by Mana »

thaimonk

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Re: The Dalai Lama Resigns from Political Role
« Reply #35 on: June 01, 2011, 11:37:34 PM »


China Defends Tibetan Development Plan
Stephanie Ho | Beijing  May 19, 2011


China is defending its economic plan in Tibet by saying development has brought prosperity to all people living in the region. At the same time, Tibetan activists outside of the country denounce what they see as Beijing’s broader plan to wipe out their culture and religion.

Tibetan activists have long accused China of promoting development policies that mainly benefit migrants from China’s ethnic Han majority.

Padma Choling, the chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region, rejects the claim and says his main goal has been to oversee economic development and social stability - for all people in Tibet.

He says his government will make sure people in Tibet enjoy prosperity and what he called a “well-off” life. He said his government will ensure the safety of their lives and property.

Padma Choling’s comment was apparently in reference to the government action aimed at putting down ethnic riots in March 2008, when demonstrating Tibetans became violent and attacked Han Chinese shops.  About 21 people were killed in the demonstrations.

Mary Beth Markey, president of the advocacy group, International Campaign for Tibet, says raising living standards can be a positive development for the region. But she disputes that development has equally benefited native Tibetans and Chinese migrants.

She says recent unrest in Tibet and other ethnic Tibetan areas in China are indications of the deep problems that persist despite economic progress.

“What we’re seeing in Ngaba, at the Kochi monastery and the surrounding area is endemic throughout Tibet.  It is a demonstration of the underlying tensions that exists and the underlying problems that China, by ignoring Tibetan priorities, is failing to address,” said Markey.

Tibet’s top spiritual figure, the Dalai Lama, fled into exile in India in 1959 where he has lived ever since. Earlier this year, he stepped down as the Tibetan exile movement’s political leader.  In April, exiled Tibetans voted to elect 42-year old Lobsang Sangay to replace the 75-year old Dalai Lama.

But the Dalai Lama’s retirement from political life apparently has not changed China’s stance toward him.

Padma Choling told reporters in Beijing that the man he referred to as “Dalai,” has - in his words - never done a good thing for the Tibetan people. At the same time, Choling said the Chinese government will only have talks with him and his representatives.

He says there is no basis for contact between the Chinese government and the Tibetan government in exile, which he says is an illegal organization.

Markey calls China’s position a mistake, because it does not take into account the fact that Tibetans get much of their identity from their culture, not from the Dalai Lama.

“When his holiness passes away, which is going to happen, there is going to be a Tibetan leadership in exile, and there are going to be voices inside Tibet who are still pressing for this kind of political reform," she said. "So I think it’s folly on the part of the Chinese to think that when his holiness the Dalai Lama leaves the planet, that their problem with Tibet is over. That’s just simply not the case.”

Although the Chinese government constantly vilifies the Dalai Lama and bans public displays of his picture, many ethnic Tibetans inside China still revere him.



from:  http://www.voanews.com/english/news/asia/east-pacific/China-Defends-Tibetan-Development-Plan-122221519.html

DharmaSpace

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Re: The Dalai Lama Resigns from Political Role
« Reply #36 on: June 02, 2011, 08:46:41 AM »
Quote
Dalai Lama’s historic move

The Dalai Lama has finally succeeded in introducing changes in the Tibetan Constitution for which he has been working for over 50 years. Last Sunday morning he appended his signature to these changes, bringing to an end a 469-year-long chapter of theocracy in world history. Now he is neither the Head of State nor the Chief Executive of the Gaden Phodrang — the Tibetan Government.
Ironically, after giving up his political and executive powers to elected representatives, the 76-year-old ‘Humble Monk’ has emerged as a far stronger match for his Communist detractors in China than he used to be until a week ago. The Tibetan ‘Government-in-Exile’ now has a much more powerful Prime Minister and Parliament to take Beijing head on.
The Communist rulers of China cannot but be frustrated and miserable to find that in one stroke this monk-statesman has knocked out their hopes of finding a ‘permanent solution’ to their Tibetan problem by installing a puppet as the successor to the Dalai Lama. That move would be meaningless now.
The Dalai Lama’s colleagues in the ‘Government-in-Exile’, who are used to taking commands from him and have been pleading with him since March 14 not to give up his temporal powers, will take their own time to understand the real impact of his decision. From Monday, May 30, onwards, Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, will have only an advisory role as far as the ‘Government-in-Exile’ is concerned and much more time for international travel and meetings.
The Gaden Phodrang has been in place since 1642 when the second Dalai Lama was made the spiritual and temporal head of Tibet. Under this system the Dalai Lamas enjoyed enormous powers, collectively equivalent to those of the British Monarch, the US President, the Prime Minister of India, the Pope and the North Korean Communist President in their respective systems.
The latest reform concludes the first of the two historic tasks the Dalai Lama had set for himself in 1959 when he fled his occupied country and became its exiled ruler. His next task will be replacing the current reincarnation-based selection process for his successor as Dalai Lama to one by nomination.
As per his plans, his successor will be nominated during his own lifetime and will be an acknowledged scholar and an enlightened monk. This means that unlike the previous 14 Dalai Lamas, the 15th Dalai Lama will not be a child discovered through a traditional religious process and certified by a team of designated senior lamas as the reincarnation of the 14th Dalai Lama.
In the amended Constitution the provision of the traditional all-mighty ‘Council of Regents’ — a group of senior monks, Ministers and bureaucrats that takes over all powers of the Dalai Lama in the event of his death — also stands abolished. This change will automatically protect the ‘Government-in-Exile’ from any possible machinations by the Chinese during the 20-year-long ‘bardo’ — the period between the death and rebirth of a person. There are instances when China interfered in Tibet’s affairs using its influence on individual members of the ‘Council of Regents’.
The real significance of these developments would be better understood from China’s reaction since the Dalai Lama announced the changes on March 10 and 14. Angry and almost abusive statements emanating from Beijing reflect the level of the Chinese leadership’s nervousness and helplessness. China has been hitting at the Dalai Lama, the ‘Government-in-Exile’ and the Prime Minister to vent its anger.
On the Dalai Lama’s plan to change the system of selecting future Dalai Lamas, Beijing used its most prominent Tibetan collaborator, Pema Choeling, Governor of Tibet Autonomous Region, to talk to the international media during the National Congress. Pema Choeling chose to give the Dalai Lama a lesson in Tibetan culture and tradition.
Advising the Dalai Lama to honour “Tibetan traditions and rituals”, he said, “We must respect the historical institutions and religious rituals of Tibetan Buddhism... Tibetan Buddhism has a history of more than 1,000 years, and the reincarnation institutions of the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama have been carried on for several hundred years... I am afraid it is not up to anyone whether to abolish the reincarnation institution or not.”
Reacting to the Dalai Lama’s decision to hand over his political and administrative powers to elected representatives, a Chinese spokesperson declared the ‘Tibetan Government-in-Exile’ an “illegal entity which was formed only to split China...” Commenting on the election process among exiled Tibetans and the prospects of Lobsang Sangay becoming the new ‘Prime Minister’, the spokesperson branded him a “terrorist” as he was an active leader of the Tibetan Youth Congress during his days in Delhi University.
These reactions reflect China’s anger and frustration over the Dalai Lama preempting and jeopardising their future plans on Tibet. Following the 1989 Tibetan uprising in Lhasa and their subsequent strategy meeting on Tibet in 1991, Beijing has been pursuing a dual policy on religion in Tibet. In addition to maintaining controls in Tibet, it has been promoting China’s “pro-Buddhism” image abroad by presenting Tibet as an international tourist destination; aggressively sponsoring and participation in international Buddhist conferences; sponsoring Buddhist events in Buddhist countries; winning over as many as possible Tibetan ‘living Buddhas’ (incarnate lamas) inside Tibet; and, making inroads among the Tibetan religious institutions set up in foreign countries.
As part of this strategy, Beijing has already undertaken an exercise to select two prominent Tibetan incarnate lamas – the Karmapa (1993) and the Panchen Lama (1995) in Tsurphu and Shigatse respectively. Although the Karmapa has since sought shelter in India, five-year-old Gedhun Choeky Nyima is till under arrest. Tibetans have refused to accept the Chinese sponsored Panchen Lama. But that has not deterred Beijing from undertaking a similar exercise to find a successor to the present Dalai Lama.
Beijing today enjoys the privilege of having two Panchen Lamas under its physical control. It is in a position to parade dozens of ‘living Buddhas’ in front of Chinese and international TV from Tibet. It can also secure the services of senior Buddhist scholars and leaders from client countries who would happily endorse any Chinese sponsored ‘reincarnation’ of the Dalai Lama whenever the necessity arises.
But by giving up his temporal powers and proposing to change the succession system, the Dalai Lama has demolished the hopes of Beijing.

-- The writer is a commentator on Tibetan affairs and the author of several books on Tibet.
Source: The Pioneer


Quote
His next task will be replacing the current reincarnation-based selection process for his successor as Dalai Lama to one by nomination.


The Dalai Lama is amending the constitution to make the next Dalai Lama to be nominated and not reincarnation based anymore. Well this is really side stepping the Chinese in a big manner.

This probably spells the end for Gaden Phodrang as we have known for the past 469 years. For me this shows the Dalai Lama in the light of this has no attachment to the power that he holds, as criticised by many factions and people. It feels like the Dalai Lama is not only undermining his own office but destroying it as well. What power hungry deluded being would do that?

DSFriend

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Re: The Dalai Lama Resigns from Political Role
« Reply #37 on: June 02, 2011, 09:50:27 AM »

The Dalai Lama is amending the constitution to make the next Dalai Lama to be nominated and not reincarnation based anymore. Well this is really side stepping the Chinese in a big manner.

This probably spells the end for Gaden Phodrang as we have known for the past 469 years. For me this shows the Dalai Lama in the light of this has no attachment to the power that he holds, as criticised by many factions and people. It feels like the Dalai Lama is not only undermining his own office but destroying it as well. What power hungry deluded being would do that?


Interesting point you brought up DharmaSpace.

Just this lifetime alone, Dalai Lama has created so much reasons for the world leaders and organisations to acknowledge his works, notice his character who stands for World Peace. This "Humble Monk" has undeniably caused Tibetan Buddhism to be known throughout the world.

Now the 469 years of rulership is no longer needed. His role as political head is no longer needed. HHDL no longer needs the political vehicle. What's next? I will certainly be watching closely..how fascinating!

Positive Change

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Re: The Dalai Lama Resigns from Political Role
« Reply #38 on: June 03, 2011, 07:23:54 AM »
In my mind, whether or not His Holiness resigns as political head or not is irrelevant, as some of you have mentioned here. His Holiness IS the head as far as most Tibetans and non Tibetans alike think. It is really like the situation whereby a President stepping down to become Prime Minister (shall not mention names as I am not into political debates but merely using this as an example of perceptions vs actuality).

I do humbly believe however that His Holiness is merely opening the channels and creating the causes for a much larger change to happen. Surely, the perceived void is inevitable. So who can really fit into His Holiness's shoes (so to speak)? Very interesting times ahead and we are blessed to be part of this, often said, Renaissance period of Buddhism.

Interesting extract from Sify News 4 days after the announcement:

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama is expected to submit his resignation as the political head to Tibetan Parliament in exile.

The Dalai Lama had announced on Thursday his decision to retire to pave the way for a democratically elected political leader. The announcement came, following a march by Tibetans in Kathmandu to mark the 52 anniversary of the failed uprising against China.

Last October, an election was held to find a successor to the spiritual leader. The front- runners for the post are:

1.   Dr Lobsang Singe - who has studied at Harvard University.

2.   Tenzin Namgyal- who has already served the Tibet government-in-exile several times.

3.   Tashi Wangdi - who had once represented Dalai Lama's office in Delhi

On March 20, Tibetans across the world will cast votes to decide their new political leader.

The Dalai Lama and several Tibetans arrived in India in 1959 after an unsuccessful uprising against the Chinese rule in Tibet. (ANI)

WisdomBeing

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Re: The Dalai Lama Resigns from Political Role
« Reply #39 on: June 03, 2011, 08:53:12 AM »
thanks Dharmaspace for that news update re the Dalai Lama's changing the succession plan. That is quite a monumental change - and i am sure it is whipping up a frenzy in China - and Tibet!
Quote
As per his plans, his successor will be nominated during his own lifetime and will be an acknowledged scholar and an enlightened monk. This means that unlike the previous 14 Dalai Lamas, the 15th Dalai Lama will not be a child discovered through a traditional religious process and certified by a team of designated senior lamas as the reincarnation of the 14th Dalai Lama.

In the amended Constitution the provision of the traditional all-mighty ‘Council of Regents’ — a group of senior monks, Ministers and bureaucrats that takes over all powers of the Dalai Lama in the event of his death — also stands abolished. This change will automatically protect the ‘Government-in-Exile’ from any possible machinations by the Chinese during the 20-year-long ‘bardo’ — the period between the death and rebirth of a person. There are instances when China interfered in Tibet’s affairs using its influence on individual members of the ‘Council of Regents’.

This is really the Dalai Lama's master stroke. If the TGIE is to develop AT ALL, i think this is the only way forward. Amazing that it is finally stated that there will be NO 15th incarnation of the Dalai Lama.

What an end to an era.

So there will not be a political NOR a spiritual incarnated head after the Dalai Lama passes...

this is the light at the end of the tunnel for surely then the ban on Dorje Shugden practice will fade away...
Kate Walker - a wannabe wisdom Being

dsiluvu

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Re: The Dalai Lama Resigns from Political Role
« Reply #40 on: June 03, 2011, 05:05:21 PM »

What an end to an era.

So there will not be a political NOR a spiritual incarnated head after the Dalai Lama passes...

this is the light at the end of the tunnel for surely then the ban on Dorje Shugden practice will fade away...


Exactly my thoughts too WB... no more BAN!!!

This is exactly what this website has been encouraging everyone to think and be open about... that there must be a bigger plan for the future HH Dalai Lama has. And this sounds to me that everything was premeditated long long ago and well planned out by His Holiness. This gives me more conviction that H.H. Dalai Lama is certainly no ordinary being. In fact if we take a real good look at what H.H has achieved, it is very much in line with the goals of someone with the agenda of spreading the Dharma far and wide...what I know and the world can see is that His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama has

1. HH has single single-handedly made Tibetan Buddhism world famous, He has used His name, fame, power to spread Dharma to the masses
2. In pleading for human rights issues for Tibetans in China has highlighted and brought the human right issues to another level, bringing this issue to world media attention not just for China but other parts of the world too I believe
3. HH has spread the Dharma to thousands around the globe when HH does His yearly tours
4. HH has raised indirectly by banning Dorje Shugden made Dorje Shugden's name famous around the world
5. Now HH has abolished the system of the Dalai Lama as the head of TGIE he is rewritting history
6. HH is now changing even the system of finding his successor by saying he will be nominated during his own lifetime and will be an acknowledged scholar and an enlightened monk (highlighted by Dharmaspace - thanks)

The reasons above and I am sure there are more... does not show me a "power hungry" ruler with personal agendas but instead it is amazing to me each time I think... how only someone very wise could have achieved and planned all this out.

It is only a matter of time that the Dorje Shugden ban will be lifted. This makes me realise even more how well the Dalai Lamas of the past, present and future have worked hand in hand with DS to bring Dharma to the world as that is their sole purpose and real agenda at the end of it all.

There were discussion in this forum before about "what if" the Dalai Lama steps down and change the whole system and why is it that only Tibetan Govt does not allow democratic votes in choosing a leader, well looks like it does now. The tide has change and what a huge 360 degree turn it is!

WisdomBeing

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Re: The Dalai Lama Resigns from Political Role
« Reply #41 on: June 07, 2011, 05:39:29 AM »
I thought this was a good article to summarise the current political state of the TGIE (or OTP - organisation of the the Tibetan people??!)...

The questions that struck me from the article were:

1. If the TGIE is no longer a government in exile but an NGO, does that mean the Kalon Tripa is no longer prime minster but the CEO? Does this name changing exercise highlight the lack of power of the TGIE - that it actually has been simply a paper tiger?

2. If TGIE is an NGO, can it still grant Tibetan citizenship via the green book? Since there is no country - what does citizenship mean anyway?

3. There doesn't seem to be democracy in Tibetan decision-making... like the Shugden ban which was instituted without democratic vote (the yellow stick vote was pure farce)

Do have a read and see what you think. Why do you think there was such a rush to pass these amendments? Is there something interesting coming up soon?


http://www.phayul.com/news/article.aspx?article=Not+Quite+People%E2%80%99s+Aspiration&id=29619&t=1&c=4

Not Quite People’s Aspiration
TPR[Tuesday, June 07, 2011 08:45]
By the Editorial Board of The Tibetan Political Review

The recent changes to the Tibetan Charter have potentially changed the very foundation of Tibet’s political struggle, and yet these changes happened so quickly that many questions are left unresolved. Some are practical questions about what exactly these changes mean. Others are deeper questions about whether these changes were carried out in a properly democratic manner.


What Happened?

On 14 March 2011, His Holiness issued a statement to the exile Tibetan parliament stating his wish to devolve all his political authorities. His Holiness expressed that this “all the necessary steps must be taken, including the appointment of separate committees, to amend the relevant Articles of the Charter and other regulations, in order that a decision can be reached and implemented during this very session.” As a result the Parliament unanimously passed a resolution to form an ad hoc Drafting Committee to propose amendments.

The five-member Drafting Committee presented their proposals, which were discussed during the Second Tibetan National General Meeting (21-24 May 2011). Over 400 Tibetans from around the world gathered in Dharamsala to discuss key issues related to amending the Tibetan Charter to implement the devolution of His Holiness’s political authorities among the elected Tibetan leadership. In order to have better discussions and to come to manageable conclusions, the participants were divided into ten groups, which then debated and discussed the entire proposed amendments for two days.


The General Meeting was an important landmark in Tibetan history. It would hardly be an exaggeration to compare its importance to the founding of the Ganden Phodrang Government of Tibet by the Fifth Dalai Lama in 1642, the declaration of Tibet’s independence by the Thirteenth Dalai Lama in 1913, and the Tibetan people’s re-assertion of their independence in 1959.

Some of the key issues that received overwhelming majority support were to maintain the name of the exile administration as Tsenjol Bod Zhung (Central Tibetan Administration, a/k/a Tibetan Government-in-Exile), specifically rejecting the proposed change to Tsenjol Bod Meyi Zhung gi Driktsuk (Institution/Organization of Government of Tibetans in Exile). Eight of the ten groups said that Tsenjol Bod Zhung must be used to maintain continued legitimacy, unity, and hope of all Tibetans in and outside Tibet. This was the Tibetan people’s aspiration and their collective decision through their representatives to the General Meeting. In addition, the General Meeting also voted to maintain His Holiness as the Head of State, while delegating executive political powers to the Kalon Tripa.


The Results: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

On the morning of 27 May 2011 (four days before its term was to expire), the 14th session of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile met in a special session. In attempting to judge its actions in a balanced way, it should be said that the Parliament blatantly violated the expressed will of the Tibetan people on one critical point, but did better on two other points.


1. Name Change: Most importantly and most negatively, the Parliament decided to rename the exile Tibetan administration Bod Meyi Drik Tsuk (Institution/Organization of the Tibetan People). This not only goes against the Tibetan people’s aspiration and collective will, it also compromises on the long-term vision of Tibet as a nation. His Holiness clearly expressed in his statement that “I wish to devolve authority solely for the benefit of the Tibetan people in the long run. It is extremely important that we ensure the continuity of our exile Tibetan administration and our struggle until the issue of Tibet has been successfully resolved” [emphasis added]. It is beyond imagination how re-naming the exile Tibetan administration Bod Meyi Drik Tsuk would help ensure its continuity.

On the contrary, the name change reduces the administration’s historical legitimacy and lessens its power as a unifying element around which every Tibetan, in and outside Tibet, revolves around to struggle for our freedom and to protect our culture and identity. This new title not only implies the end of the Ganden Phodrang Government of Tibet, but also the end of the legitimate Tibetan government-in-exile. In effect, it appears, the 14th Parliament has voted to dissolve the Tsenjol Bod Zhung and turn it into a non-governmental organization (NGO).

If so, there is danger that Bod Meyi Drik Tsuk may no longer be able to represent the Tibetan people as a whole, or represent the continued existence of the occupied country of Tibet. Indeed, it may no longer be any sort of government at all. In all this, the 14th Parliament has acted contrary to the democratic wishes of the Tibetan people as expressed by the General Meeting.

2. Head of State: On the issue of His Holiness as head of state, the Parliament did about as well as could be expected. His Holiness made emphatically clear that he would refuse to sign any Charter amendments that made him the ceremonial head of state that the people wanted. By calling His Holiness the “protector and symbol of Tibet and the Tibetan people,” this is about as close to His Holiness being a de facto head of state as one can hope. Was this result enough to excuse Parliament’s terrible blunder on the name change? In our personal judgment: no.

3. Other Changes: The Parliament should be congratulated for rejecting the unwise proposal to do away with term limits for the Kalon Tripa, and the unwise proposal to eliminate the Parliament’s right to approve Kashag (Cabinet) ministers. Again, in our judgement this result is vastly overshadowed by the terrible name change blunder.


Some Important Questions:

The truly troubling thing about this process has been the lack of democratic informed consent by the Tibetan people. Parliament’s rushed decision demands many questions to be asked, most importantly why the changes were pushed through so quickly and against the people’s expressed wishes. Were the changes because of pressure from India, an attempt to further the Middle Way, or something else?


1. Indian Pressure? There are indications that the name-change may have been motivated by pressure from India. It may be that some in the Indian government (to improve relations with China) are becoming less hospitable to having a Tibetan "government" on their soil. If this is true, we sympathize with the Tibetan leadership's dilemma. However, the solution should not have been to force through a change that was emphatically against the wishes of the Tibetan people. Surely some middle ground could have been found that did not reduce the Tibetan government to an "organization."

As an example, Palestine is not yet a state, so the government there is called the Palestinian Authority; why not a “Tibetan Authority” (Bod Meyi Wangzin)? Given adequate time, and consulting the Tibetan people and experts in international law, surely the Parliament could have come up with a better name that satisfies Indian requirements without suggesting that the Tibetan government has become an NGO. In the unlikely event that there was absolutely no middle ground possible, the people deserve at least an explanation.


2. The Effect of the Middle Way? We also have a nagging fear that this self-inflicted wound on the Tibetan Government-in-Exile was yet another compromise in furtherance of the Middle Way. If this is true, the elected leadership should have been honest with the people and said: “we plan to give X concessions to China, in exchange for Y deal, with Z mechanism to enforce the deal.” Then the Tibetan people could have evaluated the matter and made an informed choice. With an informed decision, the apparent split between the people and the government might not have been necessary.

As part of this informed decision, Tibetans need to remember that the Middle Way approach is a political strategy that the Tibetan Government-in-Exile pursues now. But it should, under no circumstances, lead to compromise on Tibetans’ history and long-term collective aspiration to have a distinct national identity. The Middle Way approach as a political strategy could cease any time the people and their elected leaders decide it is fruitless, but any historical compromise that Tibetans are making now in order for this policy to succeed is a blunder that cannot be easily undone in the future.

3. Other Questions: There are other important unanswered questions, including:

* Is the Bod Meyi Drik Tsuk still the continuation of the legitimate government of the State of Tibet? Since driktsuk means organization or institution, has the Tibetan government-in-exile changed itself into an NGO?

* Why was the Second Tibetan National General Meeting called, if its resolutions were not to be respected? Was it simply a political exercise for people to air their opinions so that public concerns and oppositions to the amendments are dissipated?

* Is the democratic legitimacy of an outgoing Parliament, whose 5-year term expired in a few days, greater than the democratic legitimacy of the broadly-constituted General Meeting?

* If over 80 percent of the Tibetan people’s representatives (including all the members and members-elect to the exile parliament) voted to maintain Tsenjol Bod Zhung, then why did the parliamentarians vote in the opposite way?

* If the Bod Meyi Drik Tsuk is now an NGO and not an exile government, does the Green Book not grant the right of Tibetan citizenship any more?

* Are the historic 2011 elections all for naught? Have Tibetans not elected a new Prime Minister to head an exile government, but merely an executive director for an NGO?

As is clear from the above questions, Parliament may have felt it was doing what was necessary in its judgement, but it manifestly failed in its duty to ensure the informed consent of the citizenry, thereby creating a split between the people and their elected representatives.


Were the Changes Democratic?

One must ask whether the Charter amendment process was democratic, given the dramatic split between the resolutions of the General Meeting and the Parliament. As always, it depends on one’s definition of the word “democracy.” His Holiness has often been an advocate of democracy. In 2008, the Dalai Lama wrote:

“[T]he values of democracy, open society, respect for human rights, and equality are becoming recognized all over the world as universal values. To my mind there is an intimate connection between democratic values and the fundamental values of human goodness. Where there is democracy there is a greater possibility for the citizens of the country to express their basic human qualities, and where these basic human qualities prevail, there is also a greater scope for strengthening democracy. Most importantly, democracy is also the most effective basis for ensuring world peace.”

In 1993, His Holiness stated “No system of government is perfect, but democracy is closest to our essential human nature. It is also the only stable foundation upon which a just and free global political structure can be built.” In 1963, His Holiness promulgated the proposed Constitution of Tibet, which stated that “Tibet shall be a unitary democratic State founded upon the principles laid down by the Lord Buddha…” (See Art. 2 of the Constitution of Tibet). (In fact, Art. 29(2) of the Tibetan Constitution refers to His Holiness as the Head of State; or at least it used to until the Parliament voided the 1963 Tibetan Constitution.)

But what does “democracy” mean exactly?

Does “democracy” mean instituting the will of the people, as in the ancient Greek concept of rule by the demos? If so, the changes to the Charter were clearly not democratic. Or does “democracy” mean representational democracy, akin to the ancient Roman res publica, where citizens select representatives to make decisions on their behalf? If so, changes to the Charter were not necessarily undemocratic. In reality, the situation is more complex, because democracy is more than simply voting.

If one conceives of democracy as carrying out the expressed will of the people, then the 14th Parliament manifestly failed the Tibetan people. It is abundantly clear that the majority of Tibetans, including the majority of participants in the Second General Meeting of Tibetans wanted to 1) keep His Holiness as Head of State, and 2) not change the title of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile. Parliament should have followed the democratic will of the Tibetan people. Judging by the switch in the name of from people’s choice of Tsenjol Bod Zhung to Bod Meyi Drik Tsuk, it seems that there was no room to truly respect the people’s aspiration.

If, on the other hand, one conceives of democracy as the people’s elected representatives making decisions on behalf of the people, then the changes to the Charter were not undemocratic. Still, this is problematic because the people’s representatives should ultimately be accountable to the people.

What we then have, therefore, is a disconnect between the representatives and the people. This is certainly not unique to Tibetan democracy: consider Tony Blair and his Labour party’s unpopular decision to join George Bush in invading Iraq, despite the British public’s overwhelming opposition.


The Solution is More Democracy

The wonderful thing about a democracy (as opposed to, for example, a communist dictatorship) is that the system can be self-renewing and self-correcting.

The British people were opposed to Blair taking them to war in Iraq, and the people’s response was to defeat the Labour party and vote in the Tories. Today, Britain does not have any troops in Iraq. This shows that the solution to a failure of democracy is more democratic engagement by the people.

Similarly, if the Tibetan people are unhappy with the changes to the Charter, then the solution is to become more engaged in our Tibetan democracy. Citizens can lobby the incoming 15th Parliament to make corrections. There is no reason the 15th Parliament cannot change the government’s name again, perhaps to “Tibetan Authority.” While they are at it, they could also institute some better checks and balances like giving Parliament a right to override the Kalon Tripa’s veto, and make elections more frequent and give parliamentarians staggered terms. And in five years, citizens can vote for the 16th Parliament based on candidates’ stand on these issues. Democracy can be self-correcting, but only with the involvement of the people.

Perhaps, therefore, the current unfortunate gap between the people and the government is one that can be bridged through greater public participation in the democratic process. Those in the Tibetan government who believe that the Charter changes are necessary should be called upon to make their case (which they should have done far in advance). Those citizens (the majority, it appears) who oppose these changes should exercise their right to democratic participation to make their government accountable to their collective will. That is the power of democracy. Despite these major disagreements, the Tibetan people should be proud that our policy disputes can be sorted out in a democratic way. Bod gyallo, and bod zhung gyallo.

The views expressed in this piece are that of the author and the publication of the piece on this website does not necessarily reflect their endorsement by the website.
Kate Walker - a wannabe wisdom Being

LosangKhyentse

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Re: The Dalai Lama Resigns from Political Role
« Reply #42 on: June 07, 2011, 06:21:24 AM »
I thought this was a good article to summarise the current political state of the TGIE (or OTP - organisation of the the Tibetan people??!)...

The questions that struck me from the article were:

1. If the TGIE is no longer a government in exile but an NGO, does that mean the Kalon Tripa is no longer prime minster but the CEO? Does this name changing exercise highlight the lack of power of the TGIE - that it actually has been simply a paper tiger?

2. If TGIE is an NGO, can it still grant Tibetan citizenship via the green book? Since there is no country - what does citizenship mean anyway?

3. There doesn't seem to be democracy in Tibetan decision-making... like the Shugden ban which was instituted without democratic vote (the yellow stick vote was pure farce)

Do have a read and see what you think. Why do you think there was such a rush to pass these amendments? Is there something interesting coming up soon?


http://www.phayul.com/news/article.aspx?article=Not+Quite+People%E2%80%99s+Aspiration&id=29619&t=1&c=4



Dear WisdomBeing,

This is a highly interesting article you posted up. I like your thought provoking questions very much.

I feel Tibetan Govt in Exile turning into an NGO is just a clear indication of their further decline. What exile govt or govt in power in the world becomes an NGO?
Perhaps it is a face saving move towards the Dalai Lama from the Indian Govt.

Effectively Lobsang Sangay should become their CEO now.
The Tibetan Govt being an NGO should not be able to issue passports, but the Indian Govt should use them for the time being. The TGIE keeps 'good' track of the Tibetans for India. Remember India and China view eachother with suspicion. They still have border disputes and also their relationship is lukewarm because of the Dalai Lama. The Tibetan Govt in exile will do a good job to keep track of their people and activities for the Indian govt. After all, the Tibetan people are a thorn in the side of India. Without the Tibetan people's call for autonomy/Independence, if they quietly reside in India, then relations between China and India would progress further faster. The Tibetans are not the only issue between these two large neighbours, but one important factor.


Within our lifetime you will see the decline and demise of the Tibetan govt in exile. This is the first step towards the decline. Their days of dictatorship are nearing an end for sure. When His Holiness passes away, all Tibetans will have to take on Indian citizenship and their so called Freedom movements/protests for a Free Tibet will effectively end. Why should the Indian Govt tolerate this further? After all, there's 150,000 Tibetans in India and 1.1 billion Indians. The Indian govt obviously knows benefitting 1.1 billion takes importance over 150,000 thousand refugees.

Currently the Indian govt allows the Tibetans 'do as they please' out of respect for Dalai Lama. It is a legacy of the Nehru days where Nehru supported Tibet and Dalai Lama in spirit by granting assylum. Every Prime Minister of India thereafter after Nehru respected the assylum. But those days are coming to an end. The Nehru influence on politics in India are declining also. As this influence declines, so does the exceptions granted to the Tibetans and their govt in exile. Nehru will always be respected but India must make friends with China. China is growing to become a super power very fast. Many economic benefits arise from friendship with a superpower.

This movet tobecome an NGO signals the beginning to the end of Tibetan govt in exile. Lobsang Sangay winning elections for a Prime Ministership in a govt that turns NGO seems like a farce now.

TK

dsiluvu

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Re: The Dalai Lama Resigns from Political Role
« Reply #43 on: June 08, 2011, 07:08:09 PM »
WoW! Thank you WB and TK. This sure was an interesting read. It is like watching the future Tibetans in exile in the making.

Yes this sudden move, which was also a shock to me, the change that came from the Head - H.H. the Dalai Lama sure turned everything around without much consensus or warning from anyone. I'm not a great fan of politics except those that points directly or indirectly towards Dorje Shugden issues hehe...

And from what I take, if there is no official Tibetan Govt., hence there is nothing to really "Ban" is there? It will be something of the past very soon that no longer holds water and has no authority. And if we have observe like we have, thanks very much to this unbiased site, Dorje Shugden practice will soon be an open practice again and really no one can stop or has the right to stop. The current Tibet is part of China, and China allows Dorje Shugden practice....from China Dorje Shugden practice will infiltrate to the world...and that will be the great rise for the Great King to arise because "His time has come". And to know that we have played our little part in this great big picture is quite amazing and makes it so much more exciting that we are all working in own way to preserve the teaching.

Patient to our dear Dharma friends whose life have been torn and monks and nuns who have been ostracised. You will be FREE. I hope when they visit this website, their faith will be strengthen even more so.

This verse from comes to mind...
SHORT SADHANA OF DORJE SHUGDEN
http://dorjeshugden.com/wp/?page_id=57

Now is time to judge the karmic truth!
Time to clear the innocent of blame!
Time to guard weak, protectorless beings,
Time to protect your dharma children!

Henceforth until great enlightenment,
Enthroned as Guru and Protector,
Watching over us both day and night,
Ever unslackingly protect us!