The Dalai Lama has suggested to the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile to consider amendments to the Tibetan Charter in Exile aimed at transferring the decision-making process on the passage of bills as well as administrative appointments from him to the elected leadership.

In a message to the sixth session of the 13th Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies (ATPD), the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, which began its sitting in Dharamsala on September 10, 2003, the Dalai Lama suggested changes in seven areas and asked the ATPD to take a decision, if possible, during this session. The Chairman of the Tibetan Cabinet, Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche, conveyed the Dalai Lama’s message to the ATPD on September 10, 2003.

Among the changes suggested include having the Chairman assent Bills passed by ATPD instead of the Dalai Lama; doing away with the three seats in the ATPD, which are nominated by the Dalai Lama; transferring the authority of appointing heads of statutory bodies as well as the heads of the Offices of Tibet from the Dalai Lama to the concerned organizations under the Tibetan Government-in-Exile; setting up of a high-level committee to suggest candidates for judicial posts.

In his remarks while reading the Dalai Lama’s message, Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche told the ATPD that some of the issues raised by the Dalai Lama could be implemented without discussions while others needed discussions.

Given below is the rough translation of the Dalai Lama’s message, as released by the Tibetan Department of Information and International Relations.

Statement of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the Sixth Session of the 13th Assembly

My greetings to all the deputies who have gathered here for the sixth session of the 13th Assembly of the Tibetan People’s Deputies. Following are my suggestions to this session.

  • The existing system of directly nominating three deputies appears unnecessary and the seats should be rescinded.
  • The appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner, additional election commissioners, Chairman of the Public Service Commission and its members, and the Auditor General, like the appointment of Representatives of the Offices of Tibet, be done through proper procedure and approval, and not through direct appointment by me.
  • To decide whether the Election Commission and the Public Service Commission be clubbed together, considering the nature and the workload of the two.
  • As the selection and job allocation of the staff of the Central Tibetan Administration are based on entrance exams, staff’s expertise vis-a-vis the administration’s requirement the retirement, premature-retirement, extension of retirement period, grant of resignation be also done by the Public Service Commission with the recommendation of Kashag which is most familiar with such cases.
  • Regarding the appointment of Supreme Justice Commissioner and Justice Commissioners, a high level committee be set up that will present its nomination of candidates for approval.
  • To discuss the merits and demerits of the duration of term in office for the Supreme Justice Commissioner
  • The bills passed in the house by the power of the Assembly be approved and signed by the Chairman, and not brought before me for approval and permission.

It will be best if the above points are discussed and the changes in the Charter made in this session itself. Otherwise, the changes should be made in the next session. I pray for the successful fulfillment of the assembly’s proceedings.

The Dalai Lama