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Tibetan exiles felicitate new PM in Dharamsala

Dharamsala , Wed, 10 Aug 2011 ANI

Dharamsala, Aug.10 (ANI): Tibetans residing in India and admirers of Tibet from across the world have welcomed their new Prime Minister-in-exile, Lobsang Sangay as he takes charge at Dharamsala.


They said they have hopes that his leadership would usher a change for all Tibetans.


Sangay was felicitated at a public function held at the main Buddhist shrine, Tsuglagkhang in Dharamsala. The Central Tibetan Administration organized the reception.


On the occasion, Tibetans dressed in colourful drapes and costumes presented an exuberant display of folk musical performances.


Dignitaries from Mongolia, Taiwan and Italy were among the guests from abroad.


Briefing the media persons, Thubten Samphel, a spokesperson of Tibetan government in-exile, said that foreign dignitaries have promised to extend full support to Tibetan cause.


"The foreign dignitaries are from all over the world and they include Chinese scholars who reside in America those who fled China after the suppression of the upsurge of pro-democracy movement in China in 1989," he said.


"They have said that Tibetan people are not alone in their struggle for democracy. The Tibetan people have the full support of Chinese people who support and want freedom and democracy in China," added Samphel.


A law scholar of Harvard, Sangay was elected as the new Kalon Tripa (Tibetan Prime Minister-in-exile) on April 27.


Sangay polled 27,051 votes, and replaced incumbent Samdhong Rinpoche.


Sonam Tenzing, a Tibetan artiste said: "I cannot stop smiling when I am thinking about him (Sangay) because he is young and he brings in this fresh energy and we all are very excited, we are looking forward to his leadership."


"I mean, for us, it is the fact that this young leader heads this exiled government which we hope as a youth organization you know, we hope that this leadership; this exiled government, will be the government in the free Tibet," added Tenzing.


Born in a refugee settlement in India in 1968, Sangay won a scholarship to Harvard where he earned a doctorate in law.


As a senior research fellow at the university, he had pro-actively interacted with Chinese scholars and twice organized meetings between them and the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.


Earlier on Monday, Sangay was sworn in as the democratically elected Prime Minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile, marking a new beginning as he took over the political leadership of the movement from the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.


The Dalai Lama had decided to relinquish the four-century old tradition of political guidance in favour of a popularly elected leader by the Tibetan Diaspora.


China has ruled Tibet with an iron fist since 1950.


Sangay's elevation as the political torchbearer of the Tibetan movement signals a paradigm shift with the next generation of Tibetan exiles, born and brought up outside the motherland, taking on the baton. (ANI)



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