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The Gift of Democracy

By Vasudha Bhatia  /  September 7, 2017;

Official function at Tsugla Khang
Photo: tibet.net

The 57th Tibetan Democracy Day was celebrated by Tibetans in exile all over the world and by those here in Dharamshala, on September 2. Democracy Day marks the anniversary of the day the first elected representatives took oath in 1960 to set up the democratic system of government for the Tibetan community in exile, as set up by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

A special function was held at Tsuglag Khang, the main temple in Dharamshala, which was attended by parliamentarians from the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, Tibetan Chief Justice Commissioners and the health minister of Himachal Pradesh, Mr Kaul Singh Thakur, who was also the chief guest.

Mr Kaul Singh Thakur gave a short speech on this occasion and said that democracy was the best form of government since the power in a democratic form of government lies with the people who can elect a suitable candidate to carry out the basic functions of the government. He also wished His Holiness the Dalai Lama good health and a long life so that he may continue to spread the message of peace and continue to bless us in the future, and said he wished that the aspirations of the Tibetan people come true.

Peteon school students performing a traditional Tibetan dance
Photo: tibet.net

Member of the Swedish Parliament, Mr Carl Schlyter, was the guest of honour at the event. He said in his address, “His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama did the most difficult thing which other leaders of power would not dare to do. He gave away his power to his people as a gift, in the form of Democracy”. He also said that, “There is a saying among our people, which conveys that if you understand what your adversary wants then you can always come to a mutual solution that is favourable to both sides. The saying is called ‘the golden path of the middle way’. Sweden has remained a war free country for almost 203 years. You, like us, have the right to freedom, the right to live in your country. I know and hope that you will be able to achieve that in the near future”.

The students of Peteon School performed a cultural dance programme and an award ceremony took place to recognise meritorious students and Tibetan Entrepreneurship Development investment award winners.

Campaign launch. Photo: phayul

On September 1, the day before Democracy Day, the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy and the Tibetan Women’s Association jointly launched a public awareness campaign to improve and strengthen Tibetan democracy. This campaign aims to create a bridge between the lawmakers and the general public so that the public’s suggestions will reach the authorities.


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