Democracy turns 46, democratic values still at teens
Saturday, 2 September 2006, 5:00 PM
|From left: justice and chief justice commissioner, chairperson of the Assembly, Kalon Tripa and vice-chair of the Assembly
Dharamshala: Even after years of democratic administration, inadequacies continue to blight the process of democratic maturity in exile, Kalon Tripa Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche said, speaking at an official function here today morning, celebrating the 46th year of exile democracy in great regalia, with the presence of Chief Justice Commissioner, Justice Commissioner, Chair and Vice-Chair of the Assembly of the Tibetan People’s Deputies.
Since, on 2 September 1960, a 13-member Assembly of the Tibetan People’s Deputies (then the Commission of Tibetan People’s Deputies), with representatives from the four Tibetan Buddhist traditions and three provinces (and later from Bon), took office for the first time–the day is marked as Tibetan Democracy Day.
|Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts’ band welcoming the guests
If the Tibetan populace and their elected representatives, lawfully and competently, availed themselves of the existing legal and institutional mechanisms, well entrenched in their polity, that could yield an incomparable democratic society, the Kalon Tripa said, as hundreds of people, braving intermittent downpour, attended the day-long event, of speeches, book releases and cultural shows.
The Kalon Tripa further added that the Tibetan people, especially the educated young, must come to the fore in making up for this shortage of democratic values, like free thinking, tolerance of plurality and difference, rationality and respecting the majority’s choice.
Democracy for Tibetans is not a reward of labour, but a gift of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s magnanimity–a fact that could make Tibetans vulnerable to complacency in appreciating the true value of democracy, was underlined by the chairperson of the Assembly, Karma Chophel, in his address.
Mr. Chophel also said that, in addition to various other forms of democratic governance, the Tibetan people need to know more of their own democratic polity, by actively partaking in its electoral processes.
A highlight of today’s event was the three students who topped in this year’s Senior Secondary School examinations: Tsering Rangdol, CST Mundgod (Science, 85%), Tsering Youdon, SOS Bylakuppee (Commerce, 80.8%) and Tenzin Rangdol, CST Bylakuppe (Arts, 91.4%). The toppers were awarded by the Education Department with a cash award of Rs. 5,000/- and a meritorious certificate.
(www.tibet.net is the official website of the Central Tibetan Administration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.)