Thank you – Tibetans in the UK and Europe

From Tsering Passang

Sunday, 10 January 2021 | London

2021 Preliminary Election Results of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile

‘Mang-tso’ or democracy is one of the major gifts to the Tibetan people by His Holiness the Great 14th Dalai Lama. Tibetans in exile have been enjoying democracy whilst experimenting with this new concept over the past 60 years. We still have a lot of good learning to do in the years ahead, in my view.

As per the Charter of the Tibetans in Exile, there are currently 45 parliamentary seats for grabs – 40 in India/Nepal, 2 in Europe & Africa, 2 in North and South Americas, and 1 in the Australasia regions. The Tibetan parliamentary elections are held every five years.

On 2nd and 3rd January, the preliminary round of the parliamentary election was conducted in the UK despite the difficult circumstances due to the COVID-19 restrictions. A week later, on 9th January, the Regional Election Sub-Commission for Northern Europe announced the latest election results – votes cast by Tibetans in the UK, Ireland, and Sweden.

This latest announcement from the Regional Election Sub-Commission for Northern Europe clearly shows that I have secured the highest votes amongst the parliamentary candidates for Europe & Africa constituency. I am deeply humbled and thankful for placing me into the highest pedestal in my home country. Regrettably, these votes are not adequate for me to be in the next and final round in April.

In Europe, the vote banks are based in countries such as Switzerland, France, Belgium, and Holland where the Tibetan populations are much higher than in the UK. So, in short, I will not be going into the final round.

During these past six weeks, I have come across some amazing people, whom I had not previously met, supporting my 2021 Chithu election campaign based on my service records, potentials, and for being issue-oriented. Many of these individuals include former and current responsible Tibetan community leaders, professionals, and Tibetans from Tibet who are residing in various European countries, the US, Canada, India, Nepal, and Australia. And of course, there are my core supporters here in the UK. I will cherish their genuine support, trust and honest conversations for our shared interest in Tibet and the Tibetan people’s just cause.

I wish to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation and thanks to all those who have supported me with their votes and encouragement in the preliminary round. I also would like to extend my warmest congratulations and best wishes to all the candidates including those who will be going into the final round.

As a concerned Tibetan, I will continue to work for Tibet and the Tibetan cause, which I have been doing over the past two decades. For me, it’s a great honour to take part in the 2021 Tibetan parliamentary election to represent the Tibetan communities in Europe & Africa and more importantly, to be a voice for the Tibetans inside Tibet. I am also immensely proud to have engaged in a positive and clean election campaign.

To conclude, our country, Tibet, is still under illegal occupation by a foreign country – China. Fellow Tibetans, we must all unite and direct our energy, resources, and efforts to challenge the Chinese regime to restore freedoms and justice in Tibet. Bhod Gyalo!

Author: Tsering Passang (Tsamtruk)

Tsering Passang is passionate about Tibet and the Tibetan issue. He was born in a Tibetan refugee camp in western Nepal. An NGO professional with nearly 20 years of experience in international development charities, Tsering has led Tibetan Community UK from 2014 to 2016 as its Chairman. Amongst his pioneering initiatives as the Community Leader, Tsering spearheaded "Tibetans Helping Tibetans" initiative and within months, it resulted in securing the sponsorship of 30 Tibetan refugee children for their education in India from 25 UK-based Tibetan families. Prior to his current appointment as the Director of Tibet Foundation, Tsering served as Special Adviser to the Tibet Society, the world's oldest Tibet support group. He also worked for Tibet Relief Fund for over eight years, raising vital funds for Tibetan children’s education in India and Nepal. From 2001 to 2007, he worked for Tibet Foundation as Art & Culture Programme Manager. Tsering has conducted multiple field trips to India and Nepal over the past two decades. After returning from his 2008 personal trip to Mustang, Tsering saw a need to provide training to those Tibetan teachers working in rural areas. Within a year, with the support of western teaching professionals, Tsering initiated the vital training programme for the teachers. Over 50 Tibetan refugees and ethnic Tibetan teachers from Mustang, Manang, Dhorpatan, Pokhara and Kathmandu attended the trainings delivered in Mustang, Kathmandu and Pokhara. He developed partnerships with the local NGOs and schools in Nepal. From 2014 to 2016, Tsering served on the boards of Tibet Society and Tibet House Trust. He also served as the Chairman and a Trustee of the Tibetan Refugee Charitable Trust. Tsering continues his advocacy work on Tibet. He has attended and engaged with parliamentarians, special advisers and officials from the UK, UN, the US and EU. Tsering has also spoken at important public and closed forums – audience included governments representatives, policymakers, rights advocates, lawyers, journalists, NGO professionals, university students and researchers. In addition to his writings on the Tibetan affairs, published in the British, Nepalese and Tibetan media, Tsering was interviewed by the BBC, Sky News and Reuters. He is also frequently interviewed by the Voice of America, Radio Free Asia and Voice of Tibet. Tsering has conducted special interviews with leading Tibetan political figures - President of the Tibetan Government-in-exile (Central Tibetan Administration based in Dharamsala) and His Holiness the Dalai Lama's former Special Envoy (Washington-based) and former Representative (London-based) for a Tibetan YouTube channel – LondonNey Production. Tsering’s personal blog: Tsering's latest initiative is the creation of the Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities (GATPM) - an advocacy group with the object of highlighting the issues affecting the Tibetans, Uyghur Muslims as well as other peoples persecuted by the Chinese regime.

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