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Tibetan Election Observation Mission Encouraged by Tibetan NGOs strong Engagement in the Democratic Process

The Tibetan Election Observation Mission (TEOM) returned to Dharamsala to follow up on their election observation mission conducted last year, and present the recommendations in their report on the 2016 Tibetan Elections in exile.

The timing of our visit coincided with the 58th commemoration of the Tibetan Uprising in Lhasa on March 10 and with the organization of the first Tibetan Women’s Day on March 12, in which we were honored to participate. It provided us an opportunity to discuss at length our report with local stakeholders and CTA officials.

The scope of our follow up mission was twofold:

  1. To reiterate the international support for the Tibetan democratic system in exile, which has proven effective in maintaining a peaceful yet politically active community of refugees for over 50 years, as the Chinese government continues to oppress the people in Tibet;
  2. To provide a number of recommendations in line with internationally accepted democratic standards, to continue to improve the elections process in exile;

Tibetan Parliament

The Tibetan Election Observation Mission’s follow-up visit members being recognized in the Tibetan Parliament on March 14, 2017. (Photo: TibetOnline.TV)

On March 13, we hosted a roundtable discussion with 20 Tibetan NGOs. We were heartened to see the strong and increasing engagement of Tibetans’ civil society in the democratic process in exile. We had a constructive dialogue on some of the recommendations proposed to the Tibetan Parliament in exile and to the Central Election Commission.

All democratic systems need the robust participation of citizens and organized groups to function well and ensure the constant compliance with the will of the people. In the case of a movement such as that of the Tibetans, it is even more critical that their aspirations are channeled through democratic institutions.

As the Tibetan Parliament in exile prepares to discuss the proposals for amending the election rules during its sitting on March 20, we believe that a wider consultation with Tibetan civil society could ensure strong and long-lasting support to the democratic system in exile.

The delegation wishes to thank the Tibetan Center for Human Rights for its support and contribution to the 2016 Tibetan Election Observation Mission and to this follow up visit.

The delegation was composed by Senator Lisa Singh (Australia), Senator Andre’ Gattolin (France), former Senator Consiglio Di Nino (Canada), former MP Matteo Mecacci, President of the International Campaign for Tibet and Paul Bourke, Executive Officer of the Australia Tibet Council. The TEOM has been coordinated by the International Campaign for Tibet.

Below is the list of Tibetan NGOs, which participated in the roundtable discussion on March 13 in Dharamsala.

  • Tibetan Women’s Association
  • National Democratic Party of Tibet
  • Gu Chu Sum
  • U-tsang Association
  • Middle Way Association
  • Dhomey Association
  • Ngari Association
  • Students for a Free Tibet
  • Chushi Gangdruk
  • National Democratic Party of Tibet
  • Active Nonviolence Education Centre
  • Tibetan Center for Conflict Resolution
  • Tibet Charity
  • Tibetan Legal Association
  • International Tibet Network
  • Norling College
  • Cholsum Chigdril
  • Tibetan Youth Congress
  • Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy