Tibetan exiles show democracy
By Jaideep Sarin
Nov 23 (IANS) By holding a free and frank discussion on the
crucial independence versus autonomy issue that divides them
ideologically, hundreds of Tibetan exiles who assembled in
this abode of their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, have
shown how they can form a democracy that works.
the six-day special meeting Dec 17-22 called by the Tibetan
parliament-in-exile at the behest of the Dalai Lama, nearly
600 Tibetan leaders representing all exiles conducted the
meeting in the most democratic manner.
the meeting, all voices - whether for complete independence
or against the Dalai Lama's middle path policy or even against
the envoys of the Dalai Lama who have been engaged in talks
with China since 2002 - have been heard without any attempt
meeting was supposed to have free and open discussions on
the future course on Tibet," Samdhong Rinpoche, the Tibetan
'Kalon Tripa' (prime minister-in-exile), said here.
the Dalai Lama and a majority of the exiled leaders who are
his supporters do not believe in aiming for complete independence
of Tibet and are happy to accept genuine autonomy under China,
they have allowed the backers of complete independence to
have their say.
could put across my views in an open and frank manner in the
differences of opinion are bound to be there -and this is
a healthy democratic sign - I did not find any hostile reaction
to what I was saying in favour of complete independence,"
Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) president Tsewang Rigzin told
had some heated discussions in some of the groups during the
meeting but, overall, it was a good exchange of views. It
showed a true character of democracy," leader of exiles
Dawa Tsering, who supports the Dalai Lama's middle path policy,
the supporters of Tibetan independence could not muster a
majority for their cause, they are happy that their voices
were heard freely.
made ourselves heard. But till the Dalai Lama himself pushes
for some drastic changes in policy, other Tibetan leaders
will not go out and speak on their own," independence
activist Tenzin Tsundue said.