News / Asia

    Transfer of Power a Difficult Road for Tibet's Government-in-Exile

    Parliamentarians of Tibet's government-in-exile drink tea and talk during a break from a parliament session in the northern Indian town of Dharamshala, March 21, 2011.
    Parliamentarians of Tibet's government-in-exile drink tea and talk during a break from a parliament session in the northern Indian town of Dharamshala, March 21, 2011.

    The Tibetan parliament-in-exile has formed a committee to determine how to transfer political power from the Dalai Lama to his eventual successor.

    The move came after 83,000 exiled Tibetans across the world voted on March 20 to elect a new political leader. The Tibetan government-in-exile, based in Dharamsala, India, will announce the results of the election in April.

    The Dalai Lama has announced that he is resigning from politics to focus on spiritual matters. The 76-year-old Nobel peace laureate has called for reform of Tibet’s government-in-exile for decades, but says he will continue in his role as Tibet’s Buddhist spiritual leader.

    Listen to the entire interview here

    Losang Gyatso, chief of VOA’s Tibetan service, speaks with VOA’s Sarah Williams about this historic transition in Tibetan politics.

    "The Dalai Lama has started on a path of introducing a democratic system, let’s say from the early 1960’s, and that has taken shape in exile, based in Dharamsala in northern India, where a parliament was formed and where a cabinet was formed.  But it wasn’t until the 2001 election for the prime minister in Tibet, and it’s called a “Kalon Tripa” where the people directly elected the prime minister.  So, this particular time would be the third prime minister election in exile.  And I think the Dalai Lama possibly he feels that it’s moving too slowly, and the idea of him actually devolving his authority maybe a solution to the Tibetan people taking greater responsibility in electing their leaders."

    Transfer of Power a Difficult Road for Tibet's Government-in-Exile
    Transfer of Power a Difficult Road for Tibet's Government-in-Exile

    These are sort of all the reasons why this is happening now. But how do you as a Tibetan feel about this election?

    "I personally feel that this is a good and very, very insightful and very powerful step that the Dalai Lama is taking.  It’s very difficult for us Tibetans, there’s a very sizeable element of Tibetan population is probably quite traumatized by this. His statement of March 10 and his statement of March 14 to the Tibetan parliament in exile, if that were to be actually implemented, it means the Dalai Lama would no longer be the temporal leader of Tibet. This would be the first time in 350 years, there’s quite a bit of trauma associated with this for the Tibetan people. It’s a challenge to Tibetan exile electorate who are voting for leaders in exile. But it’s also a very huge challenge for Tibetans inside of Tibet. They have to start to negotiate this next phase of Tibetan leadership, so it’s a very interesting and difficult period, I must say."

    What is at stake in this election?

    "Well this election that occurred is for the prime minister of the Tibetan exiles who has the authority to choose a cabinet to run the various departments.  This election was also for parliamentarians, there are 42 parliament members, also based in India.  So, it’s like a double election and the importance of the parliament elections has been a little overshadowed by the interest and excitement about the prime minister’s election. To date, I would say, the quality of the Tibetan parliament has been spotty at best with people really paying more attention to local and sectarian issues, rather than Tibetan national interests, so I think this is another wake-up call, it’s the importance of the parliament, the lawmaking body of the Tibetan government-in-exile."

    What is the process for this election? Is it true the final results will not be known until next month?

    "Yes, I am personally puzzled also why it takes so long to announce. The elections [have taken place] throughout the world; most of the Tibetan electorate is in India, in local communities, settlements, villages and towns where Tibetans have settled in India, and also in Europe and North America and elsewhere. The process is relatively simple.  I went to vote, you choose between the three candidates and also North America has two parliament members, so we chose from amongst five candidates. And then these elections are tallied, the results are tallied, sent to New York, which forwards it on to Dharamsala. So, I’m not sure why the counting process would take that long, but in prior times, and I’m not sure how it is now because of the Dalai Lama’s statement, but after the results are tallied, they are also presented to the Dalai Lama’s office for confirmation, and then announcements are made, so it’s going to take until April 27.

    What are some of the challenges that will be facing the new Tibetan leader?


    "Well the challenges are essentially challenges that Tibetans have been facing for the last 50 years. But I think there’s acuteness to the challenges because of the Dalai Lama’s desire to depart from the political scene, because of the Dalai Lama’s age, because of the intransigence of Beijing to make any meaningful progress in Tibet or in the dialogue process with the Dalai Lama. I think while the nature of the challenges remain the same, they’re becoming compounded with time.


    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora