Parties and Participation

 by Dawa Lokyitsang

One outcome I’d like to see from this meeting is the realization of a true democracy in which multiple parties express the multiple views of the Tibetan people. I thought Mathieu Vernerey was right when he called for the creation of a political party espousing Rangzen. Such a party would do its own research and develop its own proposals for independence. The presence of such a party in addition to the Middle Way camp which now dominates the TGiE would cause the Tibetan people’s spectrum of views to be represented in the deliberations of their government. We can then be better prepared for any eventuality: it’s good to have more than one card in your hand.

The larger principle is that as a numerically small people we can’t afford to leave a large part of our population on the sidelines. Every Tibetan should be invited and enabled to make the contribution he or she can make best. This applies even inside Tibet. Although political activity is impossible there, we can support apolitical organizations that build schools and clinics and develop communities. Through such programs we can help people there become empowered to choose their own destiny — whether independence, self-determination, or autonomy — and work toward it themselves.