May 25, 2011

Tibet: Dalai Lama Urged to Assume Role of Ceremonial Head of State

On 24 May a  landmark Tibetan National General Meeting concluded with the unanimous approval of the proposal to ask His Holiness the Dalai Lama to assume the role of ceremonial head of state

Below is an article published by the Central Tibetan Administration: 

The landmark Tibetan National General Meeting which was successfully concluded today [24 May 2011] unanimously approved a proposal to beseech His Holiness the Dalai Lama to assume the role of ceremonial head of state. 

The 4-day meeting attended by Tibetans from across the world deliberated the draft amendments to the charter on the devolution of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s political and administrative powers to the democratically elected Tibetan leadership. 

The meeting also endorsed another proposal to request His Holiness to accept the inclusion of the new Preamble and responsibilities assigned to him in Article 1 in case if he turns down the proposal on ceremonial role. The Article 1 makes him the protector and symbol of the Tibetan nation. 

In the proposed Charter, His Holiness the Dalai Lama's duties would include his "engagement in the efforts to reach a satisfactory solution to the question of Tibet", "to meet with world leaders and bodies to speak on behalf of the Tibetan people". He would also have to "appoint envoys and special envoys to serve the interest of the Tibetan people" and "to provide guidance to the exile Tibetan administration in matters of importance to the Tibetan people".  

"We will present the final outcome of the meeting to His Holiness the Dalai Lama tomorrow (25 May)," Mr Penpa Tsering, speaker of the Tibetan Parliament, told reporters after the meeting. His Holiness the Dalai Lama will address the delegates on the same day, he added. 

The meeting also discussed other amendments to the charter, which include the executive powers assigned to His Holiness in Article 19. The 9 provisions under Article 19 would be pass on to the Kashag and the Parliament. 

The Parliament will meet for a special session from 26 – 28 May to give its approval to the amendments. 

His Holiness the Dalai Lama then ratify the amended charter. 

In his closing remarks, Mr Penpa Tsering, Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament, said the general meeting has sent a very strong signal to the Chinese government that the Tibetan people are united on the fundamental issues of Tibet. 

He underscored that the newly elected Kalon Tripa and the new members of Parliament will have even greater responsibilities to shoulder in the near future. 

Kalon Tripa Prof Samdhong Rinpoche delivered his closing statement on an auspicious note by announcing the prophesy of the State Oracle of Tibet, Nechung, that His Holiness the Dalai Lama would live up to 113 years. His Holiness will live up to the predicted age if the Tibetan people could successfully maintain morality, unity and enhance their collective merit, Kalon Tripa told the delegates. 

Over 418 delegates representing Tibetan communities living across the world, including Asia, the United States, Europe and Russia, participated in the meeting.