Tomorrow is Election Day for the Tibetan exile community. The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) will be putting up candidates for Sikyong (political leader, formerly prime minister) & Chitue (member of parliament, per region). This year has been particularly contentious because of the emergence of the first candidate for Rangzen (full independence for Tibet from China) and a variety of new, young candidates vying for the various Chitue seats.
Tibetan youth, particularly those in the exile school system throughout the settlement areas of India, have been engaging more with new and increasingly popular social media tools that allow them to discuss the issues and learn about the candidates. Below is a compilation of various resources to better inform our readers throughout the diaspora as they prepare to cast their ballot for Tibetan exile elections.
Although there are a few ‘fan pages’ and an official Sikyong page, these two have the most ‘likes’ on Facebook. The first describes itself as a fan page and the second says in its description, “This is not an official page of Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay, its followed by his support.”
The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) conducted a series of panel discussions which they recorded and have shared on their website and youtube channel. Called “Youth Speak,” they’ve engaged young adults in the Tibetan exile settlements across India to get their take on the candidates and the issues in this election:
The description says, “This group is created to encourage Tibetan youth to take more responsibility in coming election by sharing ideas and views, your own candidates, its a very open plat form for youth to talk about coming election.”
The Voice of Tibet broadcast service in Dharamsala, India conducted a series of panel discussions similar to TCHRD entitled གཞོན་སྐྱེས་དང་འོས་བསྡུ། “Issues related to Youth: Tibet Election 2016.
The official Sikyong 2016 website has a thorough, comprehensive listing of resources for all things election-related this year. They are also on all the main social media channels and update the website regularly.
The Canada Tibet Committee, which describes itself as an organization that “monitors developments inside Tibet and builds public awareness in Canada through its outreach activities,” conducted a series of interviews with the Sikyong candidates and posted the videos on youtube (English language).
Official body responsible for administering and monitoring all CTA elections. The description on their website read: “The Election Commission is empowered to adjudicate any electoral disputes among its Regional Election Offices or direct appeals to the EC to settle disputes. During the General Election, the EC can if necessary, ask the Kashag to cancel transfer of any Regional Election Officers-REOs or a staff at the Office of EC and can also take disciplinary actions against any REO or a staff for non-fulfillment of any electoral duties assigned to the concerned.”