Thursday 26 May 2011

It’s Not Over Yet

The Second Tibetan National General Meeting concluded on 24 May amidst thunderous applause. The participants took sighs of relief, patted their friends’ backs and shook hands with others. There was a general air of satisfaction and positive energy. 

All Tibetan meetings generally end with Tsog du gyal khai ngang jug dril wa yin meaning ‘this meeting has concluded in a victorious note’. We love things to be auspicious and conduct most events in our lives with lot of symbolic gestures. As a result, the leader of the Group-10 (participants were divided into ten groups for better discussions) had his group’s summary presentation done by two people so that there were eleven presentations on the final day. Any number that ends in zero is inauspicious. This group leader had some sense of humour. Even the generally sombre Kalon Tripa chuckled.

Friday 20 May 2011

Issues Regarding Amendments in the Charter for Tibetans-in-Exile

Since His Holiness the Dalai Lama initiated the democratization process in exile Tibet fifty years ago, our democratic institutions have achieved a high level of maturity. In a statement issued to the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile on 14 March 2011, His Holiness announced his decision to devolve all his political authority. In response, the exile parliament unanimously appealed His Holiness to reconsider his decision. However, His Holiness not only refused but also explained in detail the background of his decision to the general public during the Monlam Chenmo in Dharamsala. Judging by all these developments, it has become very clear that His Holiness is firm on his decision.

 As a result, the parliament passed a unanimous resolution to form an ad hoc committee to draft necessary amendments in the Charter. The members of the Committee included the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the parliament, Kalon Tripa, Kalon for the Department of Education and Pema Jungney, a member of parliament. This Committee has made public the proposed amendments to the Charter.

Sunday 1 May 2011


(a super short story) 

They brought the carcass of a dead donkey into the kitchen and ate it, including the hoofs.

It was the summer of 1968. All the prisoners, including my grandfather, were transported from the dreaded Powo Tramo labour camp to a desert near Samye Monastery, where they were forced to work for six months to turn it into a farm to grow cabbage for the Chinese army. But the wind swept the sands back into its place. Each day they began the labour anew.

Desert near Samye, the oldest monastic institution in Tibet
 Prisoners were given a bowl of thin watery porridge and a mug of water a day. The whistle blew at dawn to begin the labour and blew again at dusk to end the day. The hunger was constantly intense. They found neither insects nor wild plants in the dry sands to eat. The only comfort was to go to toilet, which gave their tired body a chance to rest and to wait for worms to crawl out of their shits.

A father and son, who formerly owned an estate near Lhasa, collected worms in a small tin can, which they ate sparingly. They were among the few who survived, and after their release they started a small but successful canned food business.