viernes, 25 de marzo de 2011
No se permitio votar a los Tibetanos en Nepal
Tibetans banned from voting in Nepal
Published on : 23 March 2011 - 12:15pm | By Sara Nics (Photo: tmgonzalez)
More about: Asia China Dalai Lama democracy Nepal Sara Nics South Asia Tibet
Record numbers of Tibetans went to polling stations around the world on Sunday to elect new representatives to the Tibetan government in exile. But the 20,000 Tibetans living in Nepal were not allowed to participate. The Nepalese government does not recognize the Tibetan government and considers the vote illegal.
People queued for as long as three hours to cast their votes in Dharamsala, says Consiglio Di Nino. He is a Canadian Senator who went to observe the elections as part of the International Network of Parliamentarians on Tibet. He says he was disappointed to hear that Tibetans in Nepal were barred from voting.
“It shows that Nepal is not moving towards a democratic form of government. They abrogated their responsibility and bowed to pressure from China. I call it political prostitution.”
Pressure from China
The Nepalese government supports a “One China” policy. In the past they have barred Tibetans in Nepal from protesting against the Chinese presence in Tibet. In primary elections for the Tibetan government last year, Nepalese officials allowed people to vote, only to confiscate ballot boxes once the voting was over.
Di Nino says that he and other parliamentarians around the globe are planning to write letters of protest to the Nepalese government. The Tibetan administration is asking Tibetans in Nepal to ask the Nepalese government to allow the voting to go ahead.
The Dalai Lama’s representative in Switzerland, Tseten Chhoekyapa, says no other action is planned. “We believe that we should follow the law of the land where we have sought refuge.”
The government in exile says that the deadline for sending compiled election results to their headquarters in Dharamshala is 15 April. There is still time for Tibetans in Nepal to vote, if the government changes its position.
The estimated six million Tibetans living in Chinese-controlled Tibet were also not permitted to vote. The Central Tibetan Administration set up 56 polling stations around the globe, including sites in India, Europe, North America and East Asia. The administration says that more than 83,000 people have registered to vote.
“There was definitely more interest in this election,” says Chhoekyapa. “There has been a lot of campaigning by candidates and voter registration drives to raise awareness. There has also been a lot of recent media coverage of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s wish to bring complete democracy.”
Earlier this month, the Dalai Lama reiterated his longstanding desire to fully devolve political power from his office to elected officials. The Dalai Lama has remained the stateless nation’s spiritual leader and political head since he fled Tibet 1959. Since then, he has slowly introduced democratic institutions.
“He has been working toward this for the past 50 years,” says Chhoekyapa. ” For the majority of Tibetans, this is unthinkable, for His Holiness to step back. My parents used to pray that he lived for 10,000 years, but we know that that is not possible. He wants the democratic process to be stabilized for when he is no longer there.”
In order for the Dalai Lama to hand over complete political power to the government, an act of parliament needs to change the nation’s de facto constitution. That essentially puts the future of Tibet and the Dalai Lama in the hands of elected officials. The election results naming those officials will be announced – with or without votes from Nepal – on 27 April.