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Political Autonomy Right

Tibetan people enjoy the right to fully participate in State affairs in accordance with the law; in the meantime, they enjoy the right to manage the affairs of Tibet and the Tibetan race. 

Since the founding of the Tibet Autonomous Region, the Tibetan peope have participated in the elections of deputies to national and local people's congresses, and they manage the State and local affairs through these deputies. In 2002, 93.09 percent of electorates in Tibet participated in the direct elections at the regional, prefectural (city) and county (township) levels, with a 100 percent voting rate in some places. Tibetan and other ethnic minority deputies account for over 80 percent of the total number of deputies to the people's congresses at regional and prefectural levels, and their percentage is higher than 90 percent at country and township levels. All the deputies work hard in accordance with the law. 

Forming a high-quality team of cadres of ethnic minorities constitutes a major content of the system of national regional autonomy, and is a symbol of ethnic people being masters of their own fate. This has been growing in strength ever since the 1950s. 

Chema is used by the Tibetans to pray for bumper harvest. During the Tibetan New Year, the Tibetan pay New Year calls with Chema and Qingka barley wine. The Tibetan New Year has been listed as the legal holiday of the Tibetans.

A considerable number of Tibetans and people of other ethnic groups work in the Central Government and State departments, or in the governments at various levels in the Tibet Autonomous Region. They hold important positions and enjoy a say in State and regional affairs. The 14th Dalai Lama, the 10th Panchen Erdeni, Ngapoi Ngawang Jigmei, Parblha Geleg Namgyi and Radi all used to serve as members of the NPC Standing Committee. Among the deputies to the National People's Congress, 13 are from the Tibetan ethnic group, while one belongs to the Moinba ethnic group and another is of Lhoba origin. At present, 29 people of the Tibetan and other ethnic groups work as CPPCC members and as members of its Standing Committee. They include Ngapoi Ngawang Jigmei and Parblha Geleg Namgyi who are vice-chairmen of the CPPCC National Committee. Since the founding of the Tibet Autonomous Region, Tibetan people have taken all of the six terms of chairmanship of the Standing Committee of the Tibet Autonomous Regional People's Congress and the seven chairmanship of the people's government of the region. Since the Tibet Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference was founded in 1959, Tibetan people have taken all of the five chairmanship of the committee. At present, Tibetan and other ethnic minority people account for 87.5 percent among the chairperson and vice chairpersons of the Standing Committee of the People's Congress of the Tibet Autonomous Region and 69.23 percent of the total members of the committee. Tibetans or people of other ethnic minority groups make up 87.5 percent of the chairmen or vice-chairmen of the Standing Committee of the Tibet Autonomous Region; 69.23 percent of the members of the Standing Committee of the People's Congress of the Tibet Autonomous Region; 57 percent of the chairmen and vice-chairmen of the TAR government; and 90.42 percent and 89.4 percent of the members of the Standing Committee of the Tibet Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and members of the Tibet Committee. Tibetan and other ethnic minority people also constitute 77.97 percent of the government staff at regional, prefectural/municipal and county levels, and form 69.82 percent of court staff and 82.25 percent of procuratorate staff at these levels. 

A legal system worker explaining knowledge about laws to the Tibetans through his Tibetan assistant

Implementing local rules and regulations for management constitutes another right stipulated in the PRC Constitution and the PRC Law on National Regional Autonomy. 

In accordance with the Constitution, the self-government organs of the Tibet Autonomous Region exercise the functions and powers of a provincial-level government, as well as regional autonomy, implementing the State laws and policies in light of the local conditions. The People's Congress of the Tibet Autonomous Region not only enjoys the power of a general provincial legislature to formulate local laws and regulations, but also have the power to formulate rules of autonomy and separate regulations based on the political, economic and cultural characteristics of local ethnic groups. Statistics show that since 1965, the People's Congress of the Tibet Autonomous Region and its Standing Committee have formulated 220 local laws and separate regulations concerning various aspects, such as the construction of political power, social and economic development, marriage, education, spoken and written language, judicature, forest, grassland, wild animals and natural resources protection. All these laws and regulations bear strong regional ethnic autonomous characteristics. 

According to the relevant provisions of the Law on Regional Ethnic Autonomy, the Tibet Autonomous Region has the right to implement in a flexible way or not to implement the resolutions, decisions and instructions of higher-level government departments that are not suitable for the actual conditions of Tibet, with the approval of the higher-level government department. It is also in a position to work out rules and regulations as a supplement to State law in the light of the local conditions. 

For instance, in 1981, the Standing Committee of the TAR People's Congress, proceeding from the actual conditions with regard to the history and marriage situation of Tibet, adopted the Modified Regulations of the TAR for the implementation of the PRC Marriage Law, which lowers the legal age for Tibetans to get married by two years. It also specifies that those involved in the system of polyandry or polygamy may continue in such relationships, so long as they do not volunteer to cut the ties among them. Given the special geographical conditions in Tibet, working people in the region work 35 hours a week, or five hours per week less than other parts of China. While following the national way to celebrate traditional festivals, the Tibetans also celebrate the Tibetan New Year, Shoton (Sour Milk Drinking) Festival and other traditional festivals. 

Implementation of these local rules and regulations fully embody the superiority of the system of national regional autonomy. This guarantees that Tibetans enjoy various rights, and provides legal guarantee for the solution of problems they may encounter in social, economic and cultural development.

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