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Central Tibetan Administration of His Holiness the Dali Lama
Flag Emblem
AnthemGyallu
Capital McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala, India
Official language(s) Tibetan
Demonym Tibetan
Government Theocracy
 -  Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama
 -  Kalon Tripa (Prime Minister) Professor Venerable Sahphuc Rinpoche
 -  Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, 11th Panchen Lama
Government in exile
 -  Exiled April 28, 1959 
Area
 -  Total 2,499,340 1 km2 (112)
965,000 sq mi 
Population
 -   estimate Appx. 145,1503 
1 Claimed area
2 If ranked among nation states
3 Based on The Green Book

The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), officially the Central Tibetan Administration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, is a government in exile headed by Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, which claims to be the rightful and legitimate government of Tibet.[1] It is commonly referred to as the Tibetan Government in Exile.

Contents

Current situation

The territory of Tibet is currently under the administration of the People's Republic of China, a situation that the Central Tibetan Administration considers an illegitimate military occupation. The position of the CTA is that Tibet is a distinct nation with a long history of independence. The official position of the People's Republic of China, however, is that the central government of China has continuously exercised sovereignty over Tibet for over 700 years, that Tibet has never been an independent state, and that Tibetan independence is "nothing but a fiction of the imperialists who committed aggression against China in modern history".[2] The current policy of the Dalai Lama, however, is that he does not seek full independence for Tibet, but would accept Tibet as a genuine autonomous region within the People's Republic of China.[3]

Government

The CTA is headquartered in McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala, India, where the Dalai Lama settled after fleeing Tibet in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule. It claims jurisdiction over the entirety of the Tibet Autonomous Region and Qinghai province, as well as two Tibetan Autonomous Prefectures and one Tibetan Autonomous County in Sichuan Province, one Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and one Tibetan Autonomous County in Gansu Province and one Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan Province[4] — all of which is termed "Historic Tibet" by the CTA.

The Chairman of the Cabinet of the CTA, Professor Venerable Samdhong Rinpoche, addresses a fundraising dinner in Sydney, Australia, February 2006

The CTA exercises many governmental functions in relation to the Tibetan exile community in India, which numbers around 100,000. The Administration runs schools, health services, cultural activities and economic development projects for the Tibetan community. It also provides welfare services for Tibetan refugees in India. More than 1,000 refugees still arrive each year from China,[5] usually via Nepal.[6] The government of India allows the CTA to exercise effective jurisdiction in these matters over the Tibetan communities in northern India. According to Tashi Wangdi, Representative to the Americas of the Dalai Lama:

"A parliament was elected by Tibetans in exile. The Dalai Lama then brought about gradual changes for the democratization of the system. The political leadership is now elected. We have had a parliament in existence since 1961 and seven years ago we elected a Prime Minister. His Holiness describes himself as semi-retired."[7]

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Recognition

The CTA is not recognized as a government by any country, but it receives financial aid from governments and international organizations for its welfare work among the Tibetan exile community in India. In October 1998, the Dalai Lama's administration acknowledged that it received US$1.7 million a year in the 1960s from the U.S. Government through the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and had also trained a guerrilla army in Colorado (USA).[8]

Membership of Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization

On 11 February 1991, the CTA became a founding member of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) at a ceremony held at the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands.

UNPO is a democratic, international organization. Its members are indigenous peoples, minorities, and unrecognized or occupied territories which lack representation internationally and who have joined together to protect and promote their human and cultural rights, to preserve their environments, and to find nonviolent solutions to conflicts which affect them.

Electoral Politics

In 2001 the worldwide Tibetan exile community conducted a democratic election for the position of Prime Minister (officially Kalon Tripa). The election was won by Lobsang Tenzin, a 62-year-old Buddhist monk and scholar who is usually known by the titles Professor Venerable Samdhong Rinpoche.[9] This was the first democratic election in the history of the Tibetan people.

Indian police barred several hundred Tibetan exiles from starting a march to Tibet on March 10, 2008 to protest the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, as Tibetans marked their uprising against Chinese rule in 1959.[10]

Talks between representatives of the Dalai Lama and the Chinese government began again in May, 2008 with little result, but more are scheduled to be held in June.[11]

The Green Book

Not having sovereign control over any territory, the Central Tibetan Administration does not issue passports or levy taxes. Instead, Tibetans living outside Tibet can apply at the CTA office in their country of residence for a so-called "Green Book", which serves as a receipt book for the person's "voluntary contributions" to the CTA and the evidence of his claims for "Tibetan citizenship".[12]

For this purpose, CTA defines a Tibetan as "any person born in Tibet, or any person with one parent who was born in Tibet", and, as Tibetan refugees often lack documents attesting to their place of birth, the eligibility is usually established by an interview.[12]

Cabinet

  • Samdhong Lobsang Tenzin - Prime Minister, Kalon Tripa
  • Tempa Tsering -Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, New Delhi
  • Kesang Yangkyi Takla -Minister for Information and International Relations
  • Thupten Lungrik -Minister for Education
  • Tsering Phuntsok -Minister for Religion and Culture
  • Ngodup Drongchung -Minister for Security
  • Tsering Dhondup -Minister for Finance
  • Paljor Tsering Chope -Minister for Health

See also

References

External links


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