The new Tibetan Prime Minister-In-Exile
Lobsang Sangay, at 42-years-old was elected the new Kalon Tripa, or the Tibetan prime minister-in-exile. This is now the third direct elections for the seat as prime minister of the Tibetan people. Sangay, a Harvard University scholar was born in India and succeeds the incumbent, Samdhong Rinpoche, who was chosen twice to the post. Rinpoche had become the first directly elected prime minister to a five-year term in September 2001 after the Dalai Lama called for a directly-elected political leader. Sangay’s five-year term is expected to be full of challenges, as the Tibetan parliament finalizes the transfer of political power from Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama to the newly elected political leader. At 76-years-old, the Dalai Lama has succeeded in introducing changes in the Tibetan Constitution by relinquishing political authority to a democratic process. Although no longer the Head of State, or the Chief Executive of the Gaden Phodrang of the Tibetan Government, the Dalai Lama’s vision for Tibetan’s will be respected by the newly elected prime minister. Including the most important matter for Tibetans, applying the Dalai Lama’s Middle-Way Approach policy in dealing with the Chinese government and its occupation of Tibet.
The Dalai Lama is expected to stay busy and involved in Tibetan matters moving forward; in addition to his religious responsibilities, the Dalai Lama is expected to continue to meet with world leaders to speak on behalf of the Tibetan people and the lack of human rights within China. However, I think a delicate balance of involvement is necessary as the Dalai Lama must help to elevate the position of prime minister by taking a less public role as the face of Tibetan political issues. Despite his best efforts, there is no doubt the Chinese government will continue to demonize the Dalai Lama as a separatist wherever he travels despite his life’s mission to bridge differences between the parties. The Chinese government regularly warns world leaders not to meet with Dalai Lama, or risk political repercussions. A sad state, which requires confident world leaders to look past political threats and see the Dalai Lama as the Nobel Peace Prize laureate that he is. The new Tibetan Prime Minister will no doubt have these and many other political obstacles to overcome in order for his voice to be heard. As China continues to grow stronger as a world super power economically, politically, and militarily, the challenges for Tibetans grow larger. Despite China’s growing influence, I hope that world political and business leaders still hold China accountable for its dreadful human rights record, because there are more important things than the economy and money, one being – human life.
The Tibetan Government in Exile
Established in 1959, the Central Tibetan Administration, or officially the Central Tibetan Administration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, is an organisation based in Dharamsala, India. It operates under the direction of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Prime Minister. In short, its mission is to rehabilitate Tibetan refugees and restore freedom and happiness in Tibet. It aims to develop cultural and political nationalism among Tibetans by establishing and maintaining – social, political, and economic boundaries to promote its sovereignty.
Note: The LIAISON OFFICE OF H.H.THE DALAI LAMA for Japan & East-Asia (in Japanese) http://www.tibethouse.jp/