Political parties; based on different ideologies; is a key requirement of a functional democracy. One major drawback with Tibetan democracy in exile was the lack of proper political parties. Members to the assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies are still elected on the basis of the Three Regions of Tibet. In addition to this, the four major sects of Buddhism and the Pre – Buddhist Bon faith each elect their own representatives.
As step towards party – based democracy for a future Tibet; His Holiness the Dalai Lama; while addressing their Annual Working Committee Meeting in Aug. 1990, urged the Tibetan Youth Congress to take the initiative to form a political party. To implement this important directive, the TYC convened a meeting of all current and former members of the Central Executive Committee. Based on the suggestions and the guidance received at this meeting the TYC then went ahead to make all necessary arrangements-including the preparation of a draft constitution and getting in touch with people who would join the political party.
Finally; during the VIII General Body Meeting (September 7 to 12, 1992) of the Tibetan Youth Congress; although it was keenly aware that it would lose many of its active members and experienced leaders; yet, bearing in mind the larger and long term national interest as well as the directive of His Holiness the Dalai Lama; passed a resolution to launch the political party.
As a result of this resolution the National Democratic Party of Tibet (NDPT) was finally founded on September 2, 1994.
Mission Statement & Elements of the Manifesto
Aims and Objectives: Members of NDPT agree to abide by the following Aims and Objectives:
- To dedicate oneself to the task of serving one’s country and people under the dynamic guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama; Spiritual and Temporal leader of Tibet;
- To help strengthen the democratic process initiated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama;
- To promote and protect national unity and integrity by abandoning any prejudice based on religion, regionalism and status;
- To work for the preservation and promotion of Tibet’s unique traditions and rich cultural heritage, as well as to respect the right of all Tibetans to practice the faith of their choosing;
- To struggle for the restoration of Tibet’s rightful independence; even at the cost of one’s life;
- To help establish true democracy; without any bias based on religion, status and/or region;
- To become informed and educated and to gain necessary experience so that true democracy can be put into practice soon after Tibet regains independence;
- To ensure consistency and continuity of the basic policies; such as the struggle for Tibetan independence, for the sake of national interest, irrespective of any change in the leadership;
- To become a forum for intellectual debate and discussion; both for those who hold similar and varied views and positions; and, at the same time the NDPT considers it equally important to keep alive the issue of Tibet on the international stage.
- To endeavor to establish fruitful relations in the international arena with other governments and parties who hold similar objectives
Major Political Activities:
The NDPT considers it of primary importance to keep alive the freedom struggle among our own people- especially among the younger generation whom His Holiness the Dalai Lama has called ‘the seeds of future Tibet’. In pursuit of this goal the NDPT hosts talks, seminars and other programs in schools and universities to inform and motivate the students.
At the same time we believe it is equally important to keep alive the issue of Tibet on the world stage. We seek to do this through various activities aimed at informing the general public as well as reminding the world leaders about the ongoing tragedy of Tibet and China’s crimes against humanity.
With these two goals in mind; our political activities come under four broad categories:
- To keep in touch with the global print and electronic media with both historical background information as well as any new development on the issue of Tibet;
- To reinforce our own struggle with activities such as street demonstrations, fasting, sit-ins, protest marches etc;
- To enhance the level of direct human interaction-in India and other countries, wherever possible-through group discussions, talks and door-to-door distribution of information on Tibet; and,
- To organize workshops, seminars, talks and film – shows in our own schools and settlements so as to instill the ideals of democracy and to keep alive the flame of the freedom struggle in the hearts and minds of our own people-especially the younger generation.
- Membership: Membership is open to all Tibetans above the age of eighteen who subscribe to the Aims and Objectives of the NDPT. Furthermore; all members must abide by the Constitution of the NDPT and; while striving to fulfill its goals; members must work within the framework of the democratic Constitution of Tibet. All members have the right to elect and to be elected to any office in the party-at the Regional and/or National level-without any restrictions based on gender, religion or region.At the moment (beginning 2007) the NDPT has 2,000 members in 33 Regional Chapters within the Tibetan exile community in India, Nepal and Bhutan.
- Regional Working Committee: All Chapters of the NDPT elect a Regional Working Committee (RWC) of 5 to 10 members. In addition to supervising the functioning of their respective Chapters; it is the task of the Regional Working Committees to keep in contact with other Regional Working Committees and to execute the directives of the Central Executive Committee. Members of their respective Chapter elect members of the RWC for a term of three years.
- The Central Executive Committee: The Central Executive Committee or the CENTREX of the National Democratic Party of Tibet located in MCleod Ganj, Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, India; is the highest office of the NDPT.All members of the NDPT, regardless of location, directly elect members of the CENTREX- ranging from 7 to 15-for the term of four years.
The President, General Secretary and other members of the CENTREX who work full time at the Head Office are the only paid members of NDPT. They do not receive any extra benefits like housing or medical allowance; thus helping to minimize administrative expenditures.
In addition to supervising the functioning of the NDPT and providing guidance to the Regional Working Committees the CENTREX represents the NDPT at all national and international forums.
- National Convention
Held every four years, the National Convention is the highest policy making body of the NDPT. The National Convention consists of all members of the CENTREX and all members of all Regional Working Committees. Only the National Convention has the power to make amendments to the Constitutions of the NDPT.
The NDPT is funded by the membership contributions and voluntary donations from the public. Our main source of income continues to be voluntary contributions made by the public. Donations by both Tibetans and friends from around the world given to the Central Executive Committee currently maintains the NDPT Head Office.
All contributions should be sent to:
Central Executive Committee
National Democratic Party of Tibet
P.O. Mcleod Ganj Dharamsala
176219 (H.P), INDIA
Phone no – 09218936944