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Tibetan Exiles Continue Experiment in Democracy as New Elections Near

Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, president of the Central Tibetan Administration, is interviewed by RFA’s Tibetan Service in Dharamsala, India, June 20, 2020RFA

Tibetans living outside of their China-ruled homeland are now preparing for a new round of elections, the third since 2011, to seat a new political leader, or Sikyong, for their India-based government-in-exile as the current officeholder’s five-year term in office nears its end.

Lobsang Sangay, a Harvard-trained scholar of law, has now served two consecutive terms as Sikyong and will retire as president of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) when his present terms ends in May 2021. 

No one has yet declared their candidacy to replace him in the post, though possible contenders include Gyari Dolma, former deputy speaker of Tibet’s exile parliament and former home minister in Sangay’s cabinet; Drongchung Ngodup, former CTA minister of security; Lobsang Nyandak, former finance minister in the government of Sangay’s predecessor Samdhong Rinpoche; and Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok, current deputy speaker of the exile parliament.

Some in the Tibetan exile community have meanwhile voiced concern over the possible impact of Covid-19 related restrictions on public gatherings on voting held in the many countries in Europe, North America, India, and elsewhere in Asia where Tibetans have made their home after fleeing China’s rule.

“We are hoping and planning that the Tibetan diaspora around the world can proceed for the general election vote to take place on time,” Tibetan exile Chief Election Commissioner Wangdue Tsering Pesur told RFA’s Tibetan Service in a July 20 interview.

“This will need to be done in compliance with the local situation and laws of the land” set up to block the spread of coronavirus, though, Pesur added.

Voting will be held first in preliminary and primary polls, with a previous gap of 90 days between these rounds now reduced to 45 days, and two candidates for a final election for Sikyong selected based on results from the preliminary round, sources say.

In the event of only one candidate for Sikyong emerging in the contest because of other candidates withdrawing in the early rounds, he or she must still gain at least 51 percent of the votes that are cast in order to be declared elected, however.

Regional, religious partisanship

Efforts have now been made to reduce the impact of partisanship based on Tibetan regional loyalties or religious affiliation, with Tibetan NGOs including regional associations and religious sects now barred from endorsing candidates.

“Voters and their candidates and the candidates’ supporters should uphold a sense of Tibetan unity in their campaigning and vetting processes,” said Pema Jungney, speaker of Tibet’s India-based Parliament in Exile, adding, “This should be an integral part of the candidates’ campaigns.”

The numbers of Tibetan exiles registered to vote have climbed in the last 10 years, with 82,818 signed up for the 2011 election, of whom 48,482 actually voted, and 90,877 registered for the election held in 2016, of whom 59,853 turned out to vote. 

The Tibetan diaspora is estimated to include about 150,000 people in 40 countries.

Disputes over Tibet’s status

Divisions meanwhile persist in the Tibetan exile community over how best to advance the rights and freedoms of Tibetans living in China, with some calling for a restoration of the independence lost when Chinese troops marched into Tibet in 1950.

The CTA and Tibet’s spiritual leader the Dalai Lama have instead adopted a policy approach called the Middle Way, which accepts Tibet’s present status as a part of China but urges greater cultural and religious freedoms, including strengthened language rights, for Tibetans living under Beijing’s rule.

Speaking to RFA, Gonpo Dhondup—president of the exile Tibetan Youth Congress, which advocates for Tibet’s independence—said that his own organization struggles for Tibet’s complete independence “based on our moral rights and duties as an NGO functioning under a democratic administration.”

“The CTA may change its official policy [supporting the Middle Way] someday if a majority of Tibetans want it to do so,” Dhondup said.

“Debates and discussions [around this issue] are constantly taking place in our exile community, as would happen in any other democratic country,” Dhondup said.

“There are some people who do challenge the Middle Way policy, and they are then attacked by certain other people for appearing to oppose His Holiness [the Dalai Lama], as if they lacked faith in His Holiness.”

“But I don’t think they lack faith in His Holiness. They just don’t trust the Chinese government,” Dhondup said.


Reported by Ugyen Tenzin and Dorjee Damdul for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Dorjee Damdul. Written in English by Richard Finney.

Copyright © 1998-2020, RFA. Used with the permission of Radio Free Asia, 2025 M St. NW, Suite 300, Washington DC 20036. https://www.rfa.org

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India News Brief

20 September 2020

COVID-19 Cases:5,308,014   Deaths: 85,619

COVID-19 At a Glance 

The new guidelines issued by the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on 29 August

Metro rail will be allowed to operate with effect from 7thSeptember 2020 in a graded manner, by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MOHUA)/ Ministry of Railways (MOR), in consultation with MHA. In this regard, Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will be issued by MOHUA.

Social/ academic/ sports/ entertainment/ cultural/ religious/ political functions and other congregations will be permitted with a ceiling of 101 persons, with effect from 21st September 2020. However, such limited gatherings can be held with mandatory wearing of face masks, social distancing, provision for thermal scanning and hand wash or sanitizer.Open air theatres will be permitted to open with effect from 21stSeptember 2020.

Schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions will continue to remain closed for students and regular class activity up to 30 September.
Online/distance learning shall continue to be permitted and shall be encouraged. However, following will be permitted, in areas outside the Containment Zones only, with effect from 21stSeptember 2020 for which, SOP will be issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW):

Cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres (excluding open air theatre) and similar places remain closed.

According to MHA directive, lockdown shall continue to be implemented strictly in the Containment Zones till 30th September, 2020.

COVID-19: Highlights 

Religious Places Visit: No Touching of Deity, No Sparkling of Holy Water No Prasada in Temples Wearing Mask Thermal Screening is a must 

Shopping Malls Visit: Elderly People With 65 Years of Age and Children Below 10 Years Are Advised to Stay at Home.

Restaurant and food courts in malls to operate at 50 per cent seating capacity with a mandatory distance of six feet between tables. No common prayer mats, physical offerings like prasad, or sprinkling of holy water, in places of worship. Age and health-based restrictions on stepping out of home. Masks to be mandatory, and the Aarogya Setu app 'recommended' for all.

Use of masks, thermal screening, social distancing and sanitisation, the guidelines  require people above 65 years of age, specially  people with comorbidities, pregnant woman, and children below the age of 10 years, to stay at home. Masks are mandatory at all times, including inside restaurants

Standard Operating Procedures issued by the Indian Health Ministry 

  • International air travel, Metro rail services not allowed 

Cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places; and, social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions/ and other large congregations will not allowed..

According to MHA guidelines, in Phase II, schools, colleges, educational/ training/ coaching institutions etc., will be opened after consultations with States and Union Territories.

There shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods. No separate permission or approval or e-permit will be required for such movement

But  states have the freedom to decide on public movement.

How to identify Fake News or Messeges on Social Media 

Beware of Fake News and Fake Messages on Social Media

Always follow websites or social media platforms of traditional media outlets whether newspapers, magazines,Television News Channels or Radio Stations and authentic online only media outlets.They still maintain journalism excellence and stress on reportorial talent.On the other hand, fake news websites run by people with non journalism background and promote their own ideology with fake news and disinformations and obviously conspiracy theories.

But unfortunately mainstream media also manipulates news to establish their story angle.There were various instances when News papers and TV Channels promoted fake news/conspiracy theories in the form of out of context or manipulated pictures/videos and distorted informations.

Always check the URL of any website.Some fake news websites look like the orginal and popular one the same layout,Logo but if you check the URL you may find extra words like if the orginal website's URL is www.xxx.com the duplicate one might be www.xxx.com.co or something like that so first check the URL for authentic informations.

Check whether photos are original or photoshopped.Check Google images for authenticity.You can find help from Google Reverse Images search.

Check the news sources from other websites whether they picked up the story or not.

Whether the website layout is little bit clumsy and obviously grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes and excessive use of Sex related and sensational and hate stories.Because sex and hate sells.

Follow official websites relating to COVID-19

WHO Clarifies the disinformation about the virus:
COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates
Cold Weather and Snow can not kill the new coronavirus
Taking a Hot Bath Does Not Prevent COVID-19
COVID-19 Can not be transmitted through mosquito bites

Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. Spraying such substances can be harmful to clothes or mucous membranes (i.e. eyes, mouth)

According to World Health Organization (WHO): Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water

Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth . If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early

Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover.

If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition

Follow WHO guidelines

www.who.int

When you follow COVID-19 related news and messages from social media then check and recheck it before consuming it.Follow journalism mantra: if your mother says she loves you, check it out.

Most of the messages or informations quote different organizations like WHO, UNICEF, UNDP,Cambridge University  or other well known institutes,organizations or individual to authenticate the messeges.Check official websites of these organizations  if stories are repeated there

Forwarding messages from unknown sources or little known sources, it would be better to ignore it.

Check whether any logo like UNICEF or WHO or other organizations used in the messages which look similar to original logo.

These type of messages are full of Grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes which are quite uncommon in original messages.

Don't rely on viral social media messages such as Coronavirus Infected Indian Currencies of Rs.500 and Rs.2,000 Notes Found, Muslim Man Spit in Food At Indian Restaurant.....Always Check Authentic Sources.

Some fake messages pretend to be real one like unofficial Twitter handle of international media organizations like BBC,CNN,Washinton Post, New York Times-check the official Twitter handles of media outlets.

You can identify fake messages if the message requests you to share it.

Beware of Fake News or Fake Photos/Videos Relating to Communal Hatred

Always check the fact checking sites if you have some doubts about the authenticity of any information or picture.

www.boomlive.in

www.altnews.in

https://check4spam.com

https://smhoaxslayer.com

www.factchecker.in

www.allsides.com

www.factcheck.org

www.newsbusters.org

www.politifact.com

www.snopes.com

www.propublica.org

The Same Method Applies to You Tube Videos Check the Source the credibility of the Source.To Check Fake You Tube Videos Check and Recheck the sources. Does the person have the legal right to the video posted? Did that person capture the video? Whether it has been altered?

But due to advancement of technology we can not really wipe out fake news.According to experts advent of  Artificial Intelligence(AI) some companies small or big one developing  technologies that can  lay digitally created script to anybody's voice  even words,sentences never said by the person.Even they a.re developing a technology which can create fake video footage,images,audios like originals.So be cautious! Rumour-mongers are active everywhere whether in physical world or cyber world.

For any further information relating to fake news and how-to search authentic informations from the internet write to us info@crimeandmoreworld.com or Whats App:+919073399779

COVID-19 Related Conspiracy Theories:
https://fsi.stanford.edu/news/china-covid19

 

 

Our COVID-19 Stories

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