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Tibetan Diaspora to Vote For Next Government-in-Exile Leader on Jan. 3

Dharamsala,India Seat of Tibet’s Exile Government in the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) , is Shown in a 2015 Photo Courtesy:RFA

Tibetans living outside their China-ruled homeland are set to hold a vote on Jan. 3 to seat a new political leader, or Sikyong, for their Dharamsala, 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 five-year terms as Sikyong of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) since 2011 and will leave that post when his present term ends in May 2021.

The Jan. 3 vote for Sikyong and for members of the 17th Tibetan parliament in exile will be followed by a second, and final, round of voting on April 11, the CTA’s Chief Election Commission says.

The Tibetan diaspora is estimated to include about 150,000 people living in 40 countries. Among these, 82,818 registered to vote in the 2011 election, of whom 48,482 voted, and 90,877 registered for the election in 2016, of whom 59,853 turned out to vote.

The number of Tibetan exiles registering to vote has climbed in recent years, but some have voiced concern over the possible impact of COVID-19 related restrictions on public balloting 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.

Formed in 1959, Tibet’s government in exile—now called the Central Tibetan Administration—has executive, judiciary, and legislative branches, with candidates for the office of Sikyong, or president, elected since 2011 by popular vote.

CTA leaders, formerly called Kalon Tripa, were previously appointed by Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

The Tibetan Policy and Support Act 2020, passed in the U.S. Congress on Monday and now waiting to be signed into law by President Donald Trump, commends Tibetan exile communities around the world for adopting through the CTA “a system of self-governance with democratic institutions.”

“[But] the Dalai Lama has said that the CTA will cease to exist once a negotiated settlement [with China] has been achieved that allows Tibetans to freely enjoy their culture, religion, and language in Tibet,” the Act points out.

‘Significant signal to Beijing’

Reached for comment on Monday, current CTA president Sikyong Lobsang Sangay welcomed U.S. acknowledgement of the Central Tibetan Administration and its leaders, calling the move a “significant signal to Beijing,” which had strongly objected to a Nov. 20 visit by Sangay to the White House to meet with administration officials.

Formerly an independent nation, Tibet was invaded and incorporated into China by force nearly 70 years ago, following which the Dalai Lama and thousands of his followers fled into exile in in India and other countries around the world.

Divisions 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.

Nine rounds of talks on greater autonomy in Tibetan areas of China were held between high-level Chinese officials and envoys of the Dalai Lama beginning in 2002, but stalled in 2010 and were never resumed.

Candidates support Middle Way

Speaking in interviews with RFA in November and December, six candidates for the office of Sikyong in this year’s vote affirmed their support for the Middle Way, with one—Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok, now the deputy speaker of Tibet’s exile parliament—saying the collapse of talks with China has left a “gap that must be filled.”

“In order to revive the engagement process with the Chinese government, we must involve individuals and governments that are trusted both by China and Tibet,” Phuntsok said. “For instance, there are many Indians I have met during my years of service who are considered reliable by both the Chinese government and the Tibetan [exile] administration.”

Dongchung Ngodup, another candidate and currently the Dalai Lama’s representative in the Indian capital New Delhi, said that the Dalai Lama’s Middle Way policy seeking greater autonomy for the Tibetan people doesn’t violate guarantees provided to ethnic minority groups by China’s own constitution “and doesn’t threaten China’s national interest.”

Though official talks with China have stalled, “back channel discussions with China have been taking place, and we must work hard to revive the dialogue process,” said Kelsang Dorjee Aukatsang, a former representative of the Dalai Lama to North America also running for the post of Sikyong.

“Therefore we must use the freedoms that we have in the Free World to pressure the Chinese government by exploring connections with all kinds of other movements and campaigns to help further our cause,” he said.

Gyari Dolma, a former CTA Home Minister, former deputy speaker of Tibet’s exile parliament, and first woman to run as a candidate for Sikyong, also voiced her firm commitment to the Middle Way, saying that her Kashag, or cabinet, will “vigorously pursue the revival of the engagement process” if she is elected.

“[But] I anticipate an inevitable rethinking of the Middle Way approach if Beijing continues to dismiss the administration’s efforts to resume Sino-Tibetan dialogue,” she said.

“There will be many ways to communicate with the Chinese government,” said candidate Lobsang Nyandak, a former representative of the Dalai Lama to North America and currently president of the New York-based Tibet Fund, adding that “international experts” and persons representing diverse political ideologies could be asked to join a task force in support.

“We must stick to the Middle Way approach proposed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to peacefully resolve the issue of Tibet and bring about stability and co-existence between the Tibetan and Chinese peoples based on equality and mutual cooperation,” Nyandak said.

Penpa Tsering, a former speaker of Tibet’s exile parliament now running for office as Sikyong, added that to advance the cause of talks, Tibetan exile representatives should now reach out to Chinese officials who have voiced support for resolving the Tibet issue, and to Chinese businessmen with connections to the Chinese government.

“We have to make the best use of the channels that have already been created and be open to creating new avenues of approach in the times to come,” he said.

No alternative policies proposed

None of the six candidates interviewed proposed alternative policies for what they might do if talks with China continue to stall.

Gonpo Dhondup—president of the exile Tibetan Young Congress, which advocates for Tibet’s independence—told RFA in an earlier report that debates and discussions around the issue of Tibet’s status constantly take place in Tibetan exile communities, “as would happen in any other democratic country.”

”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 Kalden Lodoe, Palden Gyal, Dorjee Damdul, and Tashi Wangchuk for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Tenzin Dickyi. 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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How to identify Fake News or Messages 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.

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.

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.

Without evidence or with fake evidence, a conspiracy theory will always remain a conspiracy theory.

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:+916289017966

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COVID-19 Related Conspiracy Theories

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