In February 2017, I visited North East India and I was in the Tibetan Market of Dimpaur, Nagaland. I noticed His Holiness Dalai Lama’s Picture in each and every shop. I was having a formal conversation with the shop owner and he mentioned about the Government in Exile of Tibet. Here are some interesting facts about Tibetan Government in Exile.

Background:

Recently, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama announced that he would be the last Dalai Lama. His Holiness is 81 years old and is a spiritual leader for the Tibetan Buddhism. China governs the territory of Tibet and Tibetans see that as an illegitimate military occupation. After Chinese invasion of Tibet Dalai Lama fled out of Tibet and established a monastery on the other side of the Himalayan Mountains.

 Purpose:

The purpose of the Tibetan Government in Exile is to rehabilitate the Tibetan Refugees and Restore “Happiness” (Not Political Power) in Tibet. Dalai Lama keeps on mentioning that he does not want autonomy; he wants a dominance status where he and his followers can have religious and cultural freedom. Although it sounds like a Government, the aim is not to gain the power in Tibet but gain religious and cultural freedom of the Tibetans living under the Socialist occupation of China.

Legitimacy:

Tibetan Government in Exile is not recognized as an individual state by any country but it is a member of Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization headquared in The Hague, Netherlands. US Congress has passed the resolution stating that Tibet is an occupied land.

Activities:

Prime Minister – Dr.Lobsang Sangay

The government is responsible for rehabilitating Tibetan refugees, providing basic necessity and education. It is also aimed at the spiritual and happiness of the Tibetans living in the Tibet. It runs schools, provides health services and performs economic development activities for the Tibetan refugees.

Political Structure:

Any person born in Tibet or a child of Tibetan parents is eligible to become a citizen of the Government.

There are about 100,000 members of the government most of them are political refugees and every year about 1,000 new refugees joins the government.
An elected “Kalon Tripa” or in simple terms a Prime Minister is elected by the Tibetan diaspora. The cabinet members of seven cabinets and a number of appointed officials support the Prime Mister.

Budget and Source of Revenue:

The government taxes the Tibetan citizens (members of the Green Book and Blue Book) as per their income. However, most of the income comes from the volunteer donations.

The Government also runs Publicly Owned small organizations including hotels, shops and employs Tibetan refugees. The employees get taxed at the source from the paycheque however; majority of taxation revenue is voluntarily. Government also gives a tax break to the citizens on occasions such as marriage or a birth of a new child.

Open Governance:

All records of Tax and Revenue are online on the government’s website.

Law Enforcement:

The Tibetan Parliament is located in Dharmashala, India. All Tibetan refuges (citizens of the Government) have to follow the law of defined by the Constitution of India. The Government also has a Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission where there are stated policies and procedures that act as a law. Most of the dispute resolution is done by the Dalai Lama way and hardly there are any disputes among the citizens.

Inquiring Minds:

In Tibet there is a socialist provincial Government who is doing governance in the province. On the other hand, the Government in Exile is responsible for the betterment of the Tibetan refugees and committed towards the “Happiness” of the people of Tibet. In Tibet, the actual government does not allow cultural practices while Government in Exile promotes it. His Holiness Dalai Lama is the universal face and Tibetans see him as their leader without power.

Is it because of the “Good Governance”? Or it is because of the religion?

After all who will decide who is the Government?

Thanks for reading!

~ Sam

Reference:

  • http://tibet.net
  • http://www.savetibet.org/documents/pdfs/2003RefugeeReport.pdf
  • http://tibet.net/finance/
  • http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/121174/11/11_chapter%204.pdf