KARMA CHOEPHEL, Former speaker and Member of Tibetan Parliament passes away – 30/01/2016

KARMA CHOEPHEL, Former speaker and Member of Tibetan Parliament passes away – 30/01/2016

Former speaker of the Tibetan parliament and one of the longest serving Tibetan legislators, Karma Choephel, has passed away after a prolonged illness at his residence here. He was 67.

Karma Choephel, a member of the current Tibetan Parliament in exile for Kagyu constituency and a two time speaker of the highest lawmaking body of the Tibetan polity, was known for his knowledge of the Tibetan Charter and the rules and regulations of the parliamentary proceedings. He had been on several committees, often as chairman, set up by the Tibetan parliament over the years.

Choephel stood in the election from U-Tsang Province in 1991. After finishing his studies from Central School for Tibetans, Mussoorie, Mr. Karma Choephel, did his B. A. (Hons) from Delhi University. Later he attained Bachelor of Education degree from Bangalore University and then taught at Bylakuppee Central School for Tibetans. During that period he also served as the Secretary of Regional Tibetan Youth Congress (RTYC), Bylakuppee.

Later he served as the Rector of Central School for Tibetans, Shimla, and Central School for Tibetans, Mussoorie. He was elected as a deputy from U-Tsang province to the 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th Assembly of the Tibetan People’s Deputies (as the parliament was called then) and as a Kagyu MP to the 15th and current parliament.

He is survived by his wife, three daughters and a son.

Song for Karma Choephel, by Joe Hamilton

Il ricordo di Jamiang Norbu

Karma Choephel la (front center, holding FREE TIBET bag) at the Rangzen conference in Dharamshala on 27th June 2012, to establish the Tibetan National Congress.
Karma la not only chaired the final session but also contributed tremendously to the discussions.
His many years of service to the Tibetan exile community in education, youth politics and especially as a member and speaker of the Tibetan Parliament will always be remembered.
For many Tibetans, Karma la’s courageous stand in Parliament where he delivered a critical evaluation of the failure of the Middle Way policy
and declared his dedication to the cause of Tibetan independence, will be seen as a highlight to his noteworthy career. He passed away on 30th January, this year.


Il ricordo di  Tenpa Dhargyal Gashi

Some people die on the battlefield
Some people die for lack of food
And someSome people die on the battlefield
Some people die for lack of food
And some people die behind a prison wall
But Chitue Karma Chomphel la
I know he died of a broken heart.He could be many different things
He could be loved and disliked alike
And he could have virtues and vices like all
But Chitue Karma Chomphel la
I know he fought for Rangzen till the end.When times are hard and we are pressed for more
When honest man are inconvenient for our time
And when traitors are praised and restored with great pomp
But Chitue Karma Chomphel la
I know he stood tall and did not back down.

I may not know a lot of things
I may not even know half the things you think I know
And I may not know the ground realities you seek
But there are two things that I must say
Before they bury the honest man in abhorrent silence:

Chitue Karma Chomphel la fought for Rangzen till the end.
Chitue Karma Chomphel la died with a broken heart.

La commemorazione del Tibetan National Congress

 The Tibetan National Congress would like to express its sincere condolences to all members of Karma Choephel-la’s family.

Karma-la’s passing away is a grievous setback to principled politics in the exile Tibetan community, and to the cause of Tibetan freedom and independence
for which he established himself as the leading spokesperson in the Tibetan Parliament.
Future generations of Tibetans will remember him for his many contributions to the advancement of education in exile, his political wisdom and his service to the Tibetan Youth Congress
and the Tibetan exile Parliament where he was one of the longest serving members and the Speaker on two occasions.
Rest in Power, Karma-la! With deep sorrow and respect.

La commemorazione del Tibetan Youth Congress

Obituary: We are saddened to hear the news about former TYC Centrex Executive Chitue Mr. Karma Chophel la who passed away in Dharamshala.
Karma la served for many years at TYC as well as NDPT and at CTA. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and the family. Om Mani Padme Hum.

La commemorazione della Central Tibetan Administration

The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) today, expressed its deep sympathies and condolences at the demise of Mr Karma Chophel, a former Speaker and a serving member of the 15th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile.
He passed away on 29 January 2016 at the age of 67. As a mark of respect to the deceased, a prayer service was organised at Gangkyi auditorium to pray for his noble rebirth.
All the offices of the Central Tibetan Administration were shut from 02:00 PM in an official gesture of mourning.

The eulogy for the late Tibetan Parliamentarian was delivered by Ven Yuthok Karma Gelek, secretary of the Kashag.

Mr Karma Chophel was born in 1949 at Labrang Kosa in the Tradun region of Tibet to parents; Sherab Woeser and Jangchup. After coming to exile in India, he completed his schooling at CST Mussoorie (1960-70). He then acquired a BA degree from Delhi University (1970-73) and B. Ed. from Bangalore University in 1975. Following the completion of his academic pursuits, Mr Chophel served as a teacher at CST Bylakuppe from 1975 to 1980, and later as Rector at the CST schools of Shimla and Mussoorie from 1981 to 1989. A lifelong advocate of Tibetan freedom, he joined the Tibetan Youth Congress from a tender age, going on to serve two consecutive terms in the Central Executive Committee of the Tibetan Youth Congress from 1977 – 1983 and 1986 – 1989, including a brief stint as the president from 1982 – 83.

He was also the first President of the first Tibetan Political Party – the National Democratic Party of Tibet from 1994 – 96 and was re-appointed to the post from 2005 – 06.

In recognition of his service to the public, he was elected to the 11th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, then known as the Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies (ATPD) in 1991 with an overwhelming victory in the parliamentary election. He went on to win the next five consecutive elections of the Tibetan Parliament, becoming one of the most respected and experienced members of the Parliament. Meanwhile, he was also elected as the Chairman of the 13th ATPD from September 2001 to March 2002. He was re-elected as the Speaker of the 14th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile on 31 May 2006, along with Mr Penpa Tsering, and served as the Speaker for the first half of its term. True to his principles, Mr Karma Chophel has served to the best of his abilities in the Tibetan parliament, as well as, in all other responsibilities that were assigned to him during his long and accomplished service to the Tibetan public.

1st photo: Kalons and officials of the Central Tibetan Administration at the prayer service for late Mr Karma Chophel, former Speaker and serving member of the 15th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile. 2nd photo: Staff of the Central Tibetan Administration at the prayer service for late Mr Karma Chophel, former Speaker and serving Tibetan Parliamentarian (01 February 2016).


Kalons and officials of the Central Tibetan Administration at the prayer service for late Mr. Thupten Phuntsok, former Secretary of CTA, 05 August 2015.