Saturday, March 19, 2016

2016 Tibetan Prime Minister Election: Patriotism or Favouritism?

The twentieth day of March 2016 is almost here. It is the day we elect our Prime Minister for the next five years. There still are unsettled opinions and debates going on in the Tibetan communities in exile. Many of us are supporting and advertising one’s choice of the two candidates, lashing out and criticising the other, while some of us have still not made up our mind about whom to vote for.

Personally, i have never been interested in politics. Since I was a little girl, I have been saying that I want to be a journalist and when asked what field i want to pursue the career in, I say “anything but politics.” Politics is tagged ‘a dirty game’ by many, including me. BUT for how long are we going to keep saying that politics is a dirty game and not take part in electing the Prime Minister of Tibet; the country occupied by a very powerful nation for more than half a century long? Do you think it is worth ignoring what is happening with our nation’s political system and not be bothered by it when the plight of the Tibetans inland Tibet continues? Are we going to be unbothered about losing more people to to the Chinese government, self immolation and the struggle for justice?

To my shame, even after turning 18, the time when one becomes eligible to participate in voting for political leaders and administrators, I have never taken part in any election but this year, at 21, I am proud to say that I am voting for the Prime Minister candidate; I feel can work for the betterment of TIBET. I am finally claiming one of the fundamental rights and doing one of the fundamental duties i am responsible for, as a Tibetan. I request you all to take part in the upcoming election too.

There are a lot of political debates going on in our community and it is disheartening, as a Tibetan, to see many making the decision, of whom to vote for, influenced by the sense of regionalism, favouritism and grouping. The very reason i am taking part in this election and urging you to do so is, our issues are critical and His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama is 80 years old now. This is not the time to elect somebody for the rank just because he comes from the same province of the country as you. This is not the time to elect somebody for the rank just because the person is related to you anyhow. I do not believe that there ever is a time for that, especially when it is about Tibet. This is the time to elect the person who is capable of taking the position of PM; the highest ranking minister of our government. The Prime Minister, as we all know, is not of a province only but of a country, and that too in our case, the PM of our government in exile.
Amidst all the advertisements and criticisms, I have read some posts on social networking sites and heard of as well that some Tibetans are boycotting this election because it's controversial and some are not even bothered about who takes the position. Please stop taking this election too lightly just because we are living a comfortable life in exile. Tibetans inland Tibet are suffering each day under the brutal treatment of the Chinese government. Are we not contributing a little for Tibet’s struggle by electing the more capable, dedicated and trustworthy candidate for the position of the Prime Minister of our country for the next five years?

When a candidate is either criticised or praised, do not get deluded. When it comes to criticism, keep in mind that ‘there is no spark without fire’ and when praised, remember that ‘self praise is of no recommendation’. Let us elect somebody who has the determination and capability to politically lead the Tibetans and somebody who respects His Holiness the Dalai Lama wholeheartedly.

As the apt saying goes, “United, we stand and divided, we fall.”, let us stop dividing the nation into groups. Rangzen & Umay, Utsang, Kham & Amdo, Tibetans born in exile & those born in Tibet, and so on. Doing this, we are indirectly supporting the Chinese government dysfunction our government in exile and deteriorate the Tibetan situation. Let us not be Tibetans only on the March 10th, or when we apply for documents, or when somebody asks us what nationality we are and so on.
Let us be Tibetans, FOR TIBET. Take part in the forthcoming election FOR TIBET and contribute in strengthening Tibet’s situation. Vote for the candidate who you think is fit for the position and stop lashing out to the other candidate who you think is not. Let us elect the person His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and fellow Tibetans can count on and somebody who will be the right political leader FOR TIBET the next five years.

So how about being patriotic, not bias? The choice is yours.