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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

EC directs South Zone Office to resume voter registration

August 12, 2010

By Phurbu Thinley
August 10, 2010

Dharamsala, Aug. 10 -- The office of the Tibetan
Election Commission on Tuesday sent a letter to
the South Zone Office in the Indian city of
Bangalore asking the regional office to keep the
voter registration process open until the official deadline of August 18.

The letter was sent in the wake of a report
carried by Phayul that brought to public
attention the untimely wrap up of voter
registration process by the regional office.

The South Zone Office of Bangalore, in the Indian
state of Karnataka, stopped registering potential
Tibetan voters last week after it set its own
scheduled deadline of August 7. This was after
further extending an initially set deadline of August 5.

In the letter, a copy of which was received by
Phayul, the Chief Election Commissioner Mr
Jamphel Chosang has now instructed the regional
office to continue registering voters till August
18, and to ensure that the list of registered
voters reaches the EC office by August 25.

Chief Representative of the South Zone Office, Mr
Tashi Phuntsok, says his office had done so after
issuing a notice well in advance, informing
Tibetans in the city as well as settlements under
its purview about its scheduled deadlines.

Addressing a press conference in Dharamsala on
June 10, the Tibetan Election Commission had
announced that the registration of Tibetan exile
voters would start on June 18 and will close on
August 18, 2010. At the time Mr Chosang did not
specify if the registration deadlines would differ for different regions.

Earlier this week, when contacted by Phayul for
clarification, Mr Chosang said same rules and
deadlines applied for different regions, irrespective of geographies.

However, in the letter, the EC has stopped short
of admitting that the South Zone Office had, by
setting an early deadline, departed from the prescribed official rule.

In the letter, Mr Chosang has in fact commended
the "good work" done by the regional office thus
far. He also said his office had already made
needed "clarifications" that the South Zone
Office had "made no mistake" in handling the voter registration process.

Mr Chosang has further expressed "acknowledgment"
in the letter, saying "lack of sufficient
attention" on the part of Tibetans themselves
were to be blamed for failing to register by the
scheduled deadlines announced by the regional office.
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