Tibetan parliament-in-exile proposes charter amendments (Lead)May 28th, 2011 - 9:03 pm ICT by IANS
Dharamsala, May 28 (IANS) The Tibetan parliament-in-exile Saturday passed a draft that proposes amendments in its charter to allow smooth transition of political powers to the new elected leadership, earlier vested with the Dalai Lama.
Ahead of a special three-day session of the parliament-in-exile from Saturday, the Dalai Lama Friday asked for an immediate decision to relinquish his political authority.
“As per the proposed amendments, powers that are presently formally vested with His Holiness will be shifted either to the Kalon Tripa (prime minister) or the speaker,” Tenzin Norbu, a spokesperson for the parliamentary secretariat, told IANS.
He said parliament also agreed upon to delegate the powers of the Dalai Lama in appointing envoys to the Kashag (Tibetan cabinet).
“The amendments say the cabinet will be authorised to appoint envoys. Even the Dalai Lama’s envoys (who have been authorised to hold talks with China to try and find a solution to the Tibetan issue) will be appointed by the cabinet,” Norbu added.
The additional session was specially called to find a way out to amend the charter.
He said the Dalai Lama sent a short note Friday asking parliament to discuss all the issues relating to it immediately.
“Now the proposed amendments in various provisions of the charter will be sent to the Dalai Lama for final endorsement. His Holiness still has the constitutional power to make necessary changes or reject them,” the spokesperson said,
Another Tibetan official said, “The proposed amendments will be sent to the Dalai Lama, most likely tomorrow (Sunday)”.
The tenure of the present parliament is due to expire May 30 and the newly-elected parliamentarians will take oath May 30.
According to Norbu, once the charter is amended the parliament speaker would be the final authority to make the act a law. Earlier, these powers were vested in the Dalai Lama.
Moreover, the speaker and the deputy speaker would be administered oath of office by the chief supreme justice commissioner, as per the proposed amendments.
A parliament member, requesting anonymity, said the Nobel Peace Prize winner made it clear during his address to Tibetan diaspora May 25 here that “off and on he will give personal advice to the Tibetan government and parliament but that will not be binding on them (after the charter is amended)”.
The 75-year-old Dalai Lama, the global face of the Tibetan exile movement, shocked many Tibetans by announcing March 10 that he would hand over power to the elected leadership.
It was half a century ago that the Dalai Lama, whom China brands a separatist, fled Tibet after an anti-Communist revolt in 1959. He has since headed the Tibetan government-in-exile here, which is not recognised by any country.
Around 100,000 Tibetans live in exile in India.
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Tags: charter amendments, constitutional power, dalai lama, deputy speaker, endorsement, exile, holiness, kalon, parliament, parliament speaker, parliamentarians, parliamentary secretariat, proposed amendments, secretariat, smooth transition, spokesperson, tenzin, tibetan issue, tibetan official, tibetan parliament