New Delhi: Lobsang Sangay, the political
successor to the Dalai Lama, will be sworn-in as Prime
Minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile at a public
ceremony in Dharamsala on Monday.
43-year-old Sangay will be administered the oath of
office at a ceremony in the central courtyard of the main
Tibetan temple, opposite to the office of the Dalai Lama.
Sangay succeeds Samdhong Rinpoche as the Kalon Tripa or
the Prime Minister of the Central Tibetan Administration.
The oath will be administered by Ngawang Phelgyal, the
Chief Justice Commissioner, in the presence of the spiritual
leader of Tibetans -- the Dalai Lama.
Sangay will be the first to take charge of the office
after the Dalai Lama announced his decision to devolve his
political authority to the elected leadership. These changes
were ratified by the Tibetan Parliament in May.
Born in Darjeeling and educated in Delhi, Sangay pursued
higher studies in the US and was a senior Fellow at the
Harvard Law School before being elected as the Kalon Tripa in
Besides pursuing law, he also organised conferences and
seminars which were attended by several Chinese scholars
during his 16-year stay in the US.
He believes that it will be hard for the Chinese to
criticise his ascendance to the post as 8/8 (August 8) is
considered as auspicious by them.
In a recent interview, the Tibetan leader pointed out
that the Beijing Olympics were also launched on August 8, 2008
(8/8/8), an auspicious day according to Chinese beliefs.
Asked about reaching out to the Chinese leadership to
find a solution to the Tibet issue, Sangay said he was willing
to meet his Chinese counterpart "anytime, anywhere" but said
there was lack of reciprocity from Beijing.
"I am willing to meet with my Chinese counterpart
anytime, anywhere. The issue has always been the lack of
reciprocity," he said.
On his priorities during his five-year term as Prime
Minister, Sangay said he would strive to restore freedom for
Tibetans and try and ensure the return of the Dalai Lama to
Striking a more realistic note, he said laying a
foundation for a stronger and sustainable Tibetan movement for
the next 50 years would be a priority.
"Keeping the Tibet issue alive and creating awareness at
the international level is very important," he said.
On the domestic front, Sangay`s thrust will be on
improving the education of Tibetans in exile.
"I want Tibetans to improve on Maths, Science and English
language. That would make them get good jobs and help them
emerge as effective leaders of the community," he said.