Casa del Tibet
Central Tibetan Administration (CTA)
In May 1990, the reforms called for by His Holiness saw the realisation of a truly democratic administration in exile for the Tibetan community. The Tibetan Cabinet (Kashag), which till then had been appointed by His Holiness, was dissolved along with the Tenth Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies (Tibetan parliament in exile).
In the same year, exile Tibetans on the Indian sub-continent and in more than 33 other countries elected 46 members to the expanded Eleventh Tibetan Assembly on a one-man one-vote basis. The Assembly, in its turn, elected the new members of the cabinet. In September 2001, a further major step in democratisation was taken when the Tibetan electorate directly elected the Kalon Tripa, the senior-most minister of the Cabinet. The Kalon Tripa in turn appointed his own cabinet who had to be approved by the Tibetan Assembly. In Tibet’s long history, this was the first time that the people elected the political leadership of Tibet. More information: http://tibet.net/his-holiness/
Tibetan Parliament In Exile (TPIE)
The Tibetan Parliament in Exile (TPiE) is the unicameral and highest legislative organ of the Central Tibetan Administration. Established and based in Dharamsala, India. The creation of this democratically elected body has been one of the major changes that His Holiness the Dalai Lama has brought about in his efforts to introduce a democratic system of administration. Today, the Parliament consists of 44 members. Ten members each from U-Tsang, Do-tod and Do-med, the three traditional provinces of Tibet, while the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism and the traditional Bon faith elect two members each. Four members are elected by Tibetans in the west: two from Europe, one from North America and one from Canada. The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile is headed by a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker, who are elected by the members amongst themselves. Any Tibetan who has reached the age of 25 has the right to contest elections to the Parliament.
The elections are held every five years and any Tibetan who has reached the age of 18 is entitled to vote.Sessions of the Parliament are held twice every year, with an interval of six months between the sessions. When the Parliament is not in session, there is a standing committee of eleven members: two members from each province, one member from each religious denomination. The members of the Parliament undertake periodic tours to Tibetan settlements to make an assessment of people’s overall conditions. On their return, they bring to the notice of the administration about all the grievances and matters which need attention.The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile keeps in touch with people also through Local Parliaments established in 38 major Tibetan communities.
More information: http://tibet.net/about-cta/legislature/
Tibetan's Children Villages
Following the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1950 and His Holiness the Dalai Lama's flight to India in 1959, it was quickly apparent that one of the most critical needs of Tibetan refugees was finding a means to care for the many children who had been orphaned or separated from their families during the arduous escape from their homeland. His Holiness promptly recognised that the future of Tibet and its people depended upon the younger generation. With this in mind and out of concern for the miserable conditions under which so many children were suffering, His Holiness proposed that a centre for destitute children be established in Dharamsala.UTCV On 17 May 1960, fifty-one children arrived from the road construction camps in Jammu, ill and malnourished.
Mrs. Tsering Dolma Takla, the elder sister of His Holiness, volunteered to look after them. Initially these children were assigned to members of the Dalai Lama's entourage, but before long the Government of India offered its assistance, renting Conium House to accommodate all the children together. At that time, the centre was under the name "Nursery for Tibetan Refugee Children." Originally, the Nursery for Tibetan Refugee Children provided only basic care for children. When they reached the age of eight, they were sent to other residential schools established by the Government of India. But eventually this arrangement could not be continued as all the residential schools filled to capacity.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama was deeply concerned by the abject poverty and total lack of educational opportunities for the Tibetan refugees in Ladakh. Following His guidance, TCV, for the first time in its history, expanded beyond its confines in Himachal Pradesh State. In 1975, TCV Ladakh was founded, followed by TCV Bylakuppe in 1980. Both of these became full-fledged SOS Villages with their own schools and residential facilities.While TCV busied itself with the new responsibilities, the political situation in Tibet changed unexpectedly. China was forced to follow a lenient policy towards Tibet because of the international condemnation of its human rights record. Tibetans were allowed to visit their long-lost relations on both sides. This simultaneously provided new opportunities for parents to smuggle their children across the border to freedom. Thousands of children from Tibet flooded the main TCV at Dharamsala. To solve the overcrowding problem, TCV turned its poultry farm at Lower Dharamsala into a new residential school. For besides education the children needed the affection of parents they had far away or did not have at all and a sense of belonging to a family and a home. The schools were structured as small villages. In every house lives a group of children with a woman (their home mother), and the children live as brothers and sisters. In 1964 Tsering Dolma Takla died and her task was continued up until today by Jestun Pema, the younger sister of the Dalai Lama. The size of TCVs depends on the specific need of the area where they are located, and they have from 600 to 2500 students.
Education is free and TCVs are mainly financed by external donation. The list of donors is extense and in it some spanish names are found, although only from individuals: there is no spanish institution, either public or private, that helps TCVs. The needs of an education system like the tibetan are many: they need to create their own books, train the teachers and the home mothers, etc. To help the young tibetans integrate in society once they finish their studies there are hostels in different indian cities where they can live since going to university. They can also rely on vocational training and their own job centers.
Another distinctively Tibetan institution that preserves their culture and trains the young are the buddhist monasteries. These are monastic universities where young monks have a tutor who takes care of their education. Education is organized according to different levels and lasts for approximately twenty years. On initative of the Dalai Lama, nowadays the monasteries' curriculum includes science, languages, history and mathematics in addition to the traditional monastic training (philosophy, psychology, logic, epistemology, buddhist ethics, cosmology, etc.)
The Department of Education currently oversees 73 Tibetan schools – excluding the pre-primary sections and private schools – in India and Nepal under different autonomous administrative bodies. There are around 24,000 students and 2,200 staff members in these schools. The autonomous school administrative bodies include: Central Tibetan Schools Administration (28 schools), Tibetan Children’s Villages (18 schools), Tibetan Homes Foundation (3 schools), Sambhota Tibetan Schools Society (12 schools), and Snow Lion Foundation (12 schools).