My dear Tibetan Brothers and Sisters, I decided to address the community today because I have been witnessing an uproar within our people recently and I cannot remain silent. We need to use caution and understand, as a group, the very important notion of accountability. We have elected our leader following a democratic process and I am very proud to hear our people expressing their opinions freely.
It’s been well over a year with the campaign for the election getting, I can debate my ideas with others and I believe in the wisdom of the individuals who don’t share my views. Nevertheless, what I have observed recently make me very uncomfortable. I want to hold our political leaders to high standards no matter whether they are part of the party I supported or not. In the end, they hold the offices representing us. They hold in their hands our reputation and are there to defend our interests.
Let me ask a few questions; What is there to gain for Sikyong in this scandal apart from a headache? Why would Penpa Tsering be appointed to the office in Washington DC in the first place if the elected Sikyong wanted revenge? Would someone as accomplished as Dr. Sangay leave a comfortable life in the United States and come to India to work for the Tibetan cause if you doubt his loyalty?
I would like to encourage everyone to look at the bigger picture and understand that some matters cannot be discussed publicly. Look at other democratic governments. Can they be so transparent to the point of disclosing information that would give non-allied governments the tools to undermine them?
If you personally don’t agree with the Kashag’s statement and decide to support Penpa Tsering blindly, are you willing to put at stake the Tibetan’s People most valuable strength that is our unity. Do you think our brothers and sisters still in Tibet care about your political games when their life is an everyday struggle? The position of representative in a foreign country isn’t an elected one. It is a mission entrusted in an individual whose responsibility is to carry out duties in the name of the His Holiness and the CTA.
If the CTA cannot trust an Individual to perform his role appropriately, it is the Cabinet’s prerogative to replace the official in question. Unfortunately, this has awaken some very disturbing regional quarrels that seem extremely futile in light of the challenges we are facing. The only thing we should do at our individual level is to remain united behind the Sikyong we have elected democratically.
I personally stand beside him and I encourage my Tibetan brothers and sisters around the world to do the same. Do not stay silent if you have to speak because we are fighting for the right to free speech. Go out and protest if that is what you want to do because we have the right to circulate freely and to gather. And guess who is defending us to have the freedom to be individuals with our own ideas and our own voice? Who sacrificed their lives and family comforts to dedicate their life to serve our nation?
Dr. Lobsang Sangay may not have been the candidate you decided to support but he is the leader that will defend your rights and fight for the interests of all Tibetans. Regional rivalries should not be mentioned lightly and had it been a matter of importance, Penpa Tsering would never have been appointed as a representative in the office of Washington DC In my opinion,
I still believed in his good will until few days ago and thinking that he would have the humility to acknowledge his mistakes and call for unity. Instead, he publicly downplayed and disregarded the statement when His Holiness had recently reiterated his full trust in the Sikyong. What I see clearly now is that Penpa Tsering is willing to jeopardise our unity and our reputation to protect himself? Use your freedom smartly because in our case, division and disruption may very well serve the interests of the ones who want to silence us.
I believe the reason behind the kashag’s silence had been its respect for Penpa Tsering’s many years of service of the Tibetan cause. Exposing the reasons to the public was not the way Kashag decided to handle the transition. His dismissal from the office in Washington DC doesn’t mean that his political carrier is over. Up until his appointment to the seat of representative for the United States, he dedicated over twenty years of his life to our government and for this reason, I understand the restraint shown by the Kashag in disclosing the listed reasons for which they chose to replace him. A new representative has already been appointed and vetted by His Holiness. This should be enough to reassure everyone that proper procedure has been followed and respected. The Tibetans who are planning a protest should keep in mind that the only people to benefit from such disruptions are the same who want to see us submit and ultimately disappear.