Mr. Karma Choephel, Speaker of Tibetan Parliament in Exile has been interviewed about Special Meeting.

Therefore, the preparation for the Special Meeting will be done accordingly. The meeting will be held for six days from November 17 to 22. The number of participants is not confirmed yet, but is expected to around  five hundred to six hundred participants and it is being planned to divide this big number into 10-15 smaller groups on the first day and the respective groups will have closer and extensive discussion from 17 to 20 November. So that the opinions and ideas of every individual participant can be drafted. Eventually on the last two days, all the group reports will be read out in the general meeting and the important points will be noted down. The first day will be spent for the introduction of the agenda plus the important speeches of  the Kashag (Cabinet) and Chithue (Parliament) respectively.

TE: It seems that the opinions to come up during the Special Meeting will be from the people including Former Ministers, Former Members of Parliament, Representatives of His Holiness, Regional delegates, Civil servants like Secretaries, Presidents of Tibetan NGOs, etc. and not from the general public. So could you please tell me how the opinions of the general public will be collected?
SKC: Generally, all the members of parliament will attend the Special Meeting and all the forty three members are the real representatives of people who are composed of people who represent all the religious sects, provinces and abroad. Approximately there are around eighty five former members of parliament and all of them are coming to the meeting. They have been the representatives of the general public in the past and they are still regarded as educated and knowledgeable people in the society and also majority of them are not the government employee. They were the people whom the general public had great respect and the same respect and regard is still there for them. Similarly, two representatives from every local Tibetan assembly will attend the meeting and they are obviously elected by the respective local people. Similarly, staffs working in the Committee of Tibetan Freedom Movement are not government employees but are elected by the local people and representatives from them are also coming to participate the meeting. There is no Tibetan Settlement where there is no Committee of Tibetan Freedom Movement. Therefore, representatives of that committee and also of the local Tibetan assembly are solely representatives of common people. But there are people who are talking about and even worried about the proportion of participants in the meeting because they say that there are more representatives from Exile government than from the people. So at this juncture, everyone must know that no decision will be made by voting but the meeting is solely for the collection of different important opinions from the public. The meeting is only to see and collect the opinions of people regarding the emergency situation of Tibet along with the current status of the world and other matters related to the current plight of Tibet. So therefore, it is not at all for the collection of opinions and brings amendment to the strategy and ideology of the exile government. If such things will happen then definitely the matter of the number of participants is important but it is not at all like that. Therefore, the group reports prepared by the respective groups will be read out and compiled on the last two days and that compilation will be a healthy support to the government and not the basis to make any decision. The final decision will be made by the parliament who is the real representative of common people. Other than that, H.H.The Dalai Lama has the sole power to take any decision. Beside these two, there is no other to take any decision. So any opinion which comes up in the meeting will not be the factor to modify the strategy and ideology of the exile government. Therefore, there is nothing to worry about the proportion of the participants in the meeting.

TE: How and where the volunteers can register themselves to participate in the special meeting?

SKC: It is stated that around twenty five Tibetans from India, Nepal and Bhutan can participate  in the special meeting who are always taking keen interest and responsibility on  Tibetan issue and also are participating in any pro-Tibet activity and are willing to give meaningful opinions. Similarly, not more than twenty five volunteers from abroad can also participate the meeting. The volunteers can contact the Parliamentary Secretariat to register themselves for the meeting and both the Parliament and Cabinet will decide who are eligible to participate the meeting, otherwise there’ll be many people who’ll register themselves for the meeting.

TE: What do you think about the result that will come out from this forthcoming special meeting?

SKC: That is guessing question. Although i can’t predict that we’ll get such outcome from this meeting but definitely there will be good result at the end because H.H.The Dalai Lama has told us to discuss on the Tibet Issue and definitely all the people including the Parliament, the Cabinet, former ministers, former MPs, representatives, NGOs, etc. will take serious thought about the meeting.

TE: Tell me whether the opinions from Tibet will come for the special meeting or not?
SKC: I have talked about it earlier. I say Tashi Delek and welcome if any opinion comes from Tibet. But unfortunately, due to severe restriction in Tibet, it will be quite difficult for our brothers and sisters to send their opinions for the meeting. Earlier the opinions could reach here but especially this year, there is more restriction in Tibet so it is not possible to have any opinion from Tibet. Therefore, the exile government and the parliament are not going to ask our brothers and sisters in Tibet to send their opinion this time. It will be harmful for them if we ask them to send their opinions. They will be in trouble under the Chinese rule. Therefore, we’ll never ask them to send their opinions. But if they voluntarily send their opinions then we wholeheartedly welcome them.

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