By Tsewang Norbu
True to my principle of transparent public dealings I am outing myself right at the beginning that I am going to cast my vote to Lukar Jam Atsok for the post of Sikyong during the first round of election on October 18, 2015. I know Lukar Jam for some time and whenever I go to India, I always try to meet and talk with him. The more I met and talked with him, the more I was impressed by his intellectual depth, political and social understanding and of course his personal integrity.
In addition we cherish the same principles like Rangtsen and the need to change CTA back to Exile Government in Tibetan language. With great pleasure I read the following passage “We are very happy that His Holiness and his government in exile (emphasis by Tsewang) are situated at Dharamsala in my state of Himachal Pradesh”, Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister. (Tibetan Bulletin, Volume 19, May-June 2015, p.17).
In the last two weeks or so I met or talked on the phone with several prominent Tibetan protagonists of Umaylam in Europe who are closely following the ongoing election campaign. Many of them are highly impressed by Lukar Jam Atsok´s intellectual depth and clarity and the issues he is raising. Since they know me that I am a Rangtsen protagonist, some even encouraged me to go public and support Lukar Jam openly as he has so far impressed them most through his arguments.
Such positive feedbacks show how important it is to back publicly deserving candidates like Lukar Jam who are disadvantaged in their access to government media machinery. We all know that in-cumbent office holders like Sikyong, Kalöns or Chithues per se have better access to government media machinery or other official platforms. It is in this light that I welcome the following two de-velopments (a) “the code of conduct” issued by the Election Commission and (b) the postponement of the Kalachakra Empowerment 2016 which will ensure better equality of opportunities among the candidates.
What is at stake during the upcoming election of Sikyong and Parliament? Tibetans in Tibet and in exile know very well that the current repressive situation in Tibet has to be changed. The majority of the Tibetans follow Umaylam or the Middle Way Approach to achieve a genuine autonomy by staying within framework of the PR China. The protagonists of this school have entertained great hopes in President Xi Jinping that under his aegis the stalemated dialogue will be resumed and the hard-line policy in Tibet redressed. The situation in Tibet today is even worse than when Xi Jinping took over the office. Quite recently he has given a complete rejection to the Tibetan hope of any dialogue. China expects nothing less than a complete voluntary Tibetan submission.
It has always been my maxim that the demand should be higher than the result one is prepared to accept at the end. If the protagonists of Umaylam want to engage China into serious dialogue, than they need very strong protagonists of self-determination as an instrument and Rangtsen as goal. The more Tibetans support Rangtsen candidates, the greater chance will the protagonists of Umaylam have to impress Beijing to enter into dialogue. We have this card in our hand and hope that the Ti-betan voters use their suffrage more wisely this time.
Cast your vote to Lukar Jam Atsok for the post of Sikyong and all other Chithui candidates standing for Rangtsen or Self-Determination. This is in your hand and Beijing cannot deprive you at least of this right. It is time to send a clear signal to Beijing. Boe Gyallo.
Tsewang Norbu (Berlin)