On Sunday, May 29, His Holiness the Dalai Lama ratified amendments to the governing Charter presented to him by the Tibetan Parliament in Exile that devolve his political powers in the exile government to democratically elected leadership headed by a chief minister or Kalon Tripa. This ends the system of governance headed by successive Dalai Lamas that has ruled Tibetans since 1642. It continues the democratization of Tibetan institutions now with the Dalai Lama “as one among six million Tibetans who continue to serve the cause of Tibet.”
Following months of passionate discussion in the Tibetan exile community, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Parliament in Exile reached an agreement on terms that fully vest the Central Tibetan Administration (Tibetan government in exile) with the powers and responsibilities of democratic governance, while allowing the elected Tibetan leadership to call on the Dalai Lama for assistance in serving their interests internationally, including through representatives and special envoys. Details of the deliberations and the amendments to the Charter are available in the following reports on www.tibet.net, the official website of the Central Tibetan Administration.
“It will be fascinating to monitor the impact of this new governing structure in terms of support for the Tibetans among the community of democracies, especially in Asia, and in terms of opportunities that could open to His Holiness, liberated from governing authority. ICT looks forward to engaging the emerging leadership, empowered by an electoral mandate and, of course, to continuing to serve the interests of His Holiness as the national leader of the Tibetan people,” said Mary Beth Markey, ICT President.