London: After the successful Green Book clemency in Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris, the Central Tibetan Administration’s (CTA) Department of Finance staff Yangchen Dolkar and Choekey Dolma were in London from 18th to the 25th of October 2023 to process applications from Tibetan population in the 11 countries under the jurisdiction of the London Office of Tibet, as part of the CTA’s Green Book 90% contribution discount to Tibetans in the West, many of whom had accrued substantial outstanding contribution dues due to various reasons mostly beyond their immediate control. In London, a total of 85 cases were resolved, including onsite processing of a few regular new applications for children: United Kingdom 69 cases; Sweden 10 cases; Poland 4 cases and Ireland 2 cases.
The Green Book contribution amnesty enhanced Tibetan democracy as the thousands of these proud holders of new Green Books, hitherto inadvertently disenfranchised, can participate at the next General Election if they keep up regular payments hereafter as they now meet the Green Book eligibility clause to vote and stand for elections as Tibetan citizens, subject to meeting all other relevant conditions.
Interested applicants currently residing in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Iceland, Poland, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia who could not participate during this visit from Dharamshala, can still avail of the same discount opportunity until 31 March 2024 by submitting their completed application form and relevant supporting documents to the Office of Tibet London through the local Tibetan Community Green Book Officers.
Green Book – Tibetans’ voluntary contribution to CTA fund according to CTA’s website Tibet.net, started in early 1972 as a people’s movement to voluntarily contribute financially to build “a firm and stable Administration” that can “look after the present and future welfare of the Tibetan people”. Every Tibetan in the diaspora above the age of six years start contributing towards a Green Book”, but does not have to wait until six years of age to apply for it. Being a Green holder symbolises the allegiance of a Tibetan to CTA representing their legitimate Government and rejection of Chinese occupation.
Current contribution amounts are USD 96 per year for a full-rate paying adult, 46 for adults who can’t pay the full rate (unemployed etc.) and 12 for a child. CTA staff pay an additional four per cent of their salary every month. This programme contributes between eight to nine per cent of the CTA’s annual budget. Non-Tibetans can participate in a similar programme called the Blue Book to express solidarity with the Tibetan cause.
The visit to London was organised by the Department of Finance with local coordination and logistics provided by the Office of Tibet, London. Additionally, the Tibetan Community in Britain funded their travel cost from Brussels to London and helped daily in expediting documentation.
-Reported by OOT, London