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Lobsang Sangay inaugurated as Kalon Tripa PDF Print E-mail
[8 August] Dr Lobsang Sangay has taken the oath of office as Kalon Tripa in an official ceremony today in Dharamsala. The inauguration took place in the presence of the Dalai Lama, the outgoing Kalon Tripa Prof Samdhong Rinpoche, delegates from a dozen countries and thousands of Tibetans and supporters.

Kalon Tripa Lobsang SangayIn his inaugural speech as Kalon Tripa, Dr Lobsang Sangay said, "I pledge to strengthen and sustain our movement until freedom is restored in Tibet, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama returns to our homeland. Dr Sangay also promised to work "to fulfill the vision of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to create a truly secular democratic society."

On the subject of freedom for Tibet, Dr Sangay said, "Let me be very clear: our struggle is not against the Chinese people, nor is it against China as a country. Our struggle is against hard-line policies of the Chinese regime in Tibet. Our struggle is against those who would deny freedom, justice, dignity, and the very identity of Tibetan people. Chinese authorities and our Chinese friends alike must realise that grievances of Tibetan people are many and genuine."

Inauguration ceremonyHe condemned Tibet's occupation by China, saying, "After sixty years of misrule, Tibet is no socialist paradise that Chinese officials promised. There is no 'socialism' in Tibet, but rather colonialism. Tibet is not the 'paradise' that it could be: today, it is a tragedy because of the Chinese occupation."

The new Kalon Tripa confirmed that the Tibetan exiled administration will continue to seek genuine autonomy for Tibet via peaceful means. "We remain The Dalai Lama and Kalon Tripafirmly committed to non-violence... we will continue the Middle-Way policy, which seeks genuine autonomy for Tibet within the People's Republic of China... We believe in a peaceful resolution for Tibet, which means a peaceful process and peaceful dialogue." He added that his administration was willing to negotiate with the Chinese government anytime, anywhere.

Dr Sangay concluded with a message to Tibetans in Tibet, For my brothers and sisters in Tibet, I say to you with confidence today: we will meet soon... Together, we will ensure the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet, reunite our people, and restore freedom in Tibet.

The Dalai LamaThe Dalai Lama congratulated Dr Sangay on his appointment, saying, "Today is a proud day for all the Tibetan people who had participated in the democratic elections. My most cherished aspiration has been fulfilled." The Dalai Lama added, "I feel proud to be able to implement what I firmly believe... Moreover, I will get more opportunity to speak strongly since I have implemented what I confidently and consistently emphasise the separation of religion and politics.

The outgoing Kalon Tripa Prof Samdhong Rinpoche also added his congratulations to Dr Sangay and noted that, "The democratic system we practice here in exile is an example not only to people under occupation but also to others around the world. This will also be a valuable gift to the Tibetans inside Tibet when the time comes for all of us to be reunited in Tibet."

Further reading:
The full inaugural speech of Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay
Further quotes on the inauguration from the Dalai Lama (via
Statement of the outgoing Kalon Tripa Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche (via Lhasa Post)
Tibet Society welcomes inauguration of first secular Kalon Tripa

Media reports: BBC I Phayul (8 Aug) I Independent I Telegraph (profile of Lobsang Sangay)

MSN's Today programme (USA)
Lobsang Sangay interviewed by Ann Curry (4 mins). Broadcast 8 August.

[9 August] A public ceremony to congratulate the newly-inuagurated Kalon Tripa was held on 9 August in Dharamsala. The ceremony was attended by foreign dignatories as well as local schoolchildren and Tibetans. During the ceremony Dr Sangay raised the Tibetan flag for the first time as Kalon Tripa.

Dr Sangay received messages of congratulations from a number of foreign officials and parliamentarians, including former President of Poland and Nobel Laureate Lech Walesa, US Senator Joseph Liebermann, and Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet and British MP Fabian Hamilton.
Letter from All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet (PDF) I Phayul report (9 Aug)

(Images on this page courtesy of Bhuchung D Sonam.)

Tibet Society, the worlds first Tibet support group, was founded in 1959. Funded by its members, it has been working for over 50 years to seek justice for Tibet through parliamentary lobbying, campaigns and actions. Help keep Tibet alive by joining Tibet Society today. (Annual membership 24; Overseas 36; Life 500).

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