fredag 28. mai 2021

New Head of Tibetan Exile Government Vows to ‘Reach Out’ to Recalcitrant China

Tibetan exile political leader Penpa Tsering was sworn in Thursday as Sikyong, or head of Tibet’s India-based government-in-exile, the Central Tibetan Administration, vowing to uphold the Dalai Lama’s “Middle Way” in helping his people cope with harsh Chinese rule. Tsering, former speaker of Tibet’s exile parliament in Dharamsala, won a closely fought April 11 election held in Tibetan communities worldwide over Kelsang Dorjee Aukatsang, with the turnout the highest in the history of Tibetan elections held in exile.

In his inaugural address, at a ceremony held with a small audience because of Indian’s coronavirus restrictions, he hailed the high turnout of 77 percent of registered voters as “a victorious step forward in the democratic polity” and thanked the Dalai Lama for contributing to democratization. “I reiterate my commitment to direct all my energies in carrying out the responsibility of finding a lasting solution for the Sino-Tibet conflict and looking after the welfare of the Tibetan people,” he said.

Divisions persist in the Tibetan exile community -- about 150,000 people living in 40 countries, mainly Indian, Nepal, North America, and in Europe -- over how best to advance the rights of the 6.3 million Tibetans living in China, with some calling for a restoration of the independence lost when Chinese troops marched into Tibet in 1950.