News / Asia

    Exiled Tibetans Elect Political Successor to Dalai Lama

    In this March 20, 2011 file photo, newly-elected Tibetan prime minister Lobsang Sangay talks to the Associated Press with a Tibetan flag in the background in Dharmsala, India.
    In this March 20, 2011 file photo, newly-elected Tibetan prime minister Lobsang Sangay talks to the Associated Press with a Tibetan flag in the background in Dharmsala, India.

    Multimedia

    Audio
    • Listen to an interview about Lobsang Sangay, political successor to the Dalai Lama

    Tibet is officially under Chinese control. But the region's Buddhists have long considered the Dalai Lama as their leader.

    Now, the 75-year-old exiled spiritual leader is stepping down from politics.

    The Dalai Lama
    The Dalai Lama
    And Wednesday, the Tibetan government-in-exile announced who will take his place. Lobsang Sangay, a scholar at the prestigious Harvard Law School in the United States, has been elected kalon tripa, or prime minister, of the Tibetan government-in-exile. Sangay won 55 percent of all votes cast by tens of thousands of Tibetans around the world in recent elections, beating out two other candidates.

    The 42-year-old Sangay has served as leader of the Tibetan Youth Congress, which demands Tibet's complete independence from Chinese rule.

    Mary Beth Markey, the president of the International Campaign to Save Tibet, knows Sangay personally. She tells VOA's Sarah Williams about the exiled government's newest political leader.

    Who is Lobsang Sangay?

    "I'm very pleased to know Lobsang Sangay. He has testified before the United States Congress in the past on the issue of Tibet, and I principally know him from his visits to Washington as an expert on international law and how it applies to the Tibetan people. He has a doctorate of law and masters of law from Harvard University in the United States and he is an articulate representative of Tibetan issues and has been in Washington on occasion."

    Has he ever lived in Tibet?

    "No, he hasn't lived in Tibet. He was born in a Tibetan refugee community in Darjeeling, India, and grew up in India like many Tibetans of his generation in their 40's. I guess he's not really had much opportunity because of that to really spend time in Tibet. He has tried to visit Tibet. It's normal, unfortunately, though not appropriate, but the Chinese do withhold visas from many Tibetans who wish to return to Tibet and I believe that was the case for Lobsang."

    Do you know how he will in the future deal with China on the Tibetan issue?

    "No, I don't. The role of the has been predominantly an administrative role within the Tibetan exile government, or I should say at the top of the exile government, and has been more prominent in recent years on the international stage.

    Listen to the entire interview on Lobsang Sangay

    Certainly as the Dalai Lama had a very close relationship with the current kalon tripa, Professor Samdhong Rinpoche, and raised his visibility and ceded a great deal of authority to him. That process as we all know has been accelerated or is being accelerated, according to the Dalai Lama's desire to completely devolve his political authority in the government in exile.

    I imagine Lobsang Sangay, who is somebody who is well traveled, who has lived in the West, will spend much more time as an international advocate for Tibet than previous kalon tripas have. And in that capacity, I'm sure he will articulate the policy of the Tibetan government in exile towards China. And he has been able in academia to reach out very deliberately to Chinese academics. This has been a diplomatic track that I think is important. It has been fruitful in that the exchanges have been frank and seem to be genuine, something that you don't often get at the very highest level with the Chinese."

    You May Like

    Multimedia Obama Calls on Americans to Help the Families of Its War Dead

    In last Memorial Day of his presidency, Obama lays wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery

    The Strife of the Party: Will Trump Permanently Alter Republicans?

    While billionaire mogul's no-holds-barred style, high-energy delivery are what rocketed him to nomination, they also have created rift between party elites and his supporters

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora