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Basic Policies and Programs of the National Democratic Party of Tibet

Introduction

Tibetan Democracy

Before the Chinese occupied Tibet in 1959, the political system of Tibet was firmly rooted in spiritual values and was not far removed from feudalism. After assuming the temporal and spiritual head of the Tibetan state, at the young age of 16, the XIVth Dalai-Lama proposed certain reform policies that were obstructed by the Chinese invasion of Tibet. The Dalai-Lama felt strongly that in the changing circumstances of the modern world the system of governance in Tibet must be modified and amended as to allow the elected representatives of the people to play a more effective role in guiding and shaping the social and economic policies of the State.

However, soon after coming into exile, he has made special efforts to establish a democratic society not only to ensure the democratic rights of the Tibetan people but also to prepare the Tibetan people to lead themselves and move at par with the international community.

Unlike everywhere, the democratic process in the exiled Tibetan community is not the outcome of pressure from below. It has been planned and pursued from the start by the Dalai-Lama himself. For Him the process of empowering the people to rule in their own right has become a democratic imperative that extends into the future. He has declared that when the exiles are able to return to Tibet, He will renounce all temporal authority.

As already envisaged a process of democratization in our society, the Dalai-Lama outlined a detailed program to set up an elected body in January 1960. Elections were duly held and the first elected representative body in Tibet's history took office on September 2nd, 1960. This historic day continues to be observed by the Tibetan community ever since as Democracy Day. Since then 12 such Assemblies have been formed.

In 1961, the Dalai-Lama prepared a draft constitution for the Future Tibet, based on the principles of modern democracy. Later, in 1963, a detailed draft constitution was promulgated.

The process of democratization was accelerated in 1990 when the assembly was expanded by increasing the membership from 12 to 46 and given independent authority. Following the changes, the 11th assembly became a full-fledged parliamentary body, with effective powers over the Executive. It was empowered to elect the Cabinet consisting of eight ministers, who were made responsible to the Assembly. The Supreme Justice Commission was set up in 1990 that functions as an independent judiciary in the exiled Tibetan government - the sole legitimate government of Tibetans both in and outside Tibet.

On February 26, 1992, the Dalai-Lama set forward his visions and plans for the future Tibet in his "Guidelines for Future Tibet's Polity and the Basic Features of the Constitution". In His own words, the Dalai-Lama said : "I believe that in future, Tibet should have a multi-party system of parliament, and that should have three organs of government, namely legislature, executive and judiciary, with a clear separation of powers between them, each independent of the other and vested with equal powers and authority".

Thus, through the long years of exile, the Dalai-Lama's sense of direction has been clear, his commitment to democracy and non-violence consistent. He has kept alive for the exiles the hope of returning to a democratic Tibet.

History of NDPT

The idea to establish the party was conceived when the Dalai-Lama, while presiding over a Working Committee Meeting of the TYC held in August 1990, counselled that TYC should initiate an ideological based political party. Various Tibetan NGOs recommended for the formation of such party. A special meeting of all former Executive members of TYC was convened to seek their suggestions. Finally, in the VIII th General Body meeting of TYC held in August 1992, a resolution was passed to initiate a political party by the TYC. It took over four years to launch the party.

The National Democratic Party of Tibet (NDPT) is the first ever democratic political party formed in the history of Tibet. It was founded on september 4th, 1994 with the initiative of the Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC), the largest Tibetan non-governmental organization, with an objective to safeguard and strengthen the democratic process inaugurated by the Dalai-Lama in 1960 and ensure that the Tibetan people's commitment to democracy not only remains firm and resolute but that with every passing year, it grows in wisdom, tolerance and altruism. Besides it was also aimed to provide the Tibetan public with a clear and unequivocal direction in the struggle for the restoration of Tibetan independance.

Our policies at a glance

Promote values to liberty, justice and solidarity whereby all members in a society are free from any kind of oppression, enjoy social justice and practice solidarity with each other
Establish a political and social order in which all have equal freedom in all spheres of life.
The guarantee of a humane livelihood and equal opportunities for all, regardless of class, gender, sexual orientation, age, ethnic identity or belief
Defending human dignity whenever it is disregarded and demanding an end to ignorance, injustice suffering and man-made ecological disasters
Committed to democracy in defending free choice of the people and strive to achieve equal human rights for all
Promote values of peace and non-violence in our society and the world at large
Social equality for women and men, a society without classes, privileges, discrimination and exclusion
Right to decent employment
Promote and provide equal rights and opportunities for the different cultures within the society
Establish a welfare state

If you wish to become of the National Democratic Party of Tibet or require more informations please contact :

Central Executive Committee

National Democratic Party of Tibet

P.O. Mac Leod Ganj - 176219

Himachal Pradesh - India

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last update: February, 4th 2001