Tuesday, August 9, 2011

New Tibetan exile leader vows to take on Chinese 'colonialism'

Lobsang Sangay, sworn in as the Tibetan prime minister in exile, assumes political duties ceded by the Dalai Lama. The Harvard-educated leader has taken a more confrontational approach toward Beijing.

Speaking for the first time as Kalon Tripa, Dr Lobsang Sangay said that he accepts his new role with “deep humility.”

“I am here not as a result of my personal achievement but as a result of the hard work and sacrifices made by elder generations in Tibet and in exile … 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 said to a thunderous applause from the crowd.
Reminding the Tibetan people that His Holiness the Dalai Lama devolved his political power not only to the Kalon Tripa but to all Tibetans, the 43-year old former youth leader urged the younger generation of Tibetans “to stand tall and march forward to freedom”.

“Let us not forget: during our lifetime, our freedom struggle will meet the fate of justice or defeat,” Dr Sangay said.

Reaching out to “Chinese friends” with a “firm commitment to non violence” and Middle-Way policy, Dr Sangay said that his administration was “willing to negotiate with the Chinese government anytime, anywhere.”

Extending his gratitude to “the people and the government of India for offering the Tibetan people refuge”, Dr Sangay appealed to the Indian government to “treat Tibet as one of the core issues between India and China.”

Speaking directly to Tibetans in Tibet, Dr Sangay promised of a swift reunion.

“For my brothers and sisters in Tibet, I say to you with confidence today: we will meet soon.”

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