Tibet to take middle path on China

Priority will be education, says new Tibetan prime minister

Monday’s event, described by the Dalai Lama as the “most important day in the last 2,000 years,” assumes significance given that Sangay takes over the reins at a time when the Dalai Lama has relinquished his political authority deciding to remain just the spiritual head.

The 43-year-old Harvard scholar, who spent his whole life outside of Tibet, sent out a strong message to China saying this election should show hardliners in the Chinese government that “Tibetan leadership is far from fizzling out.” Reflecting upon his approach in dealing with China, Sangay emphasised on a middle-way approach, a policy that seeks true autonomy for the Tibetan people under Chinese rule.

“Tibetans have become second class citizens in their own homeland. After 60 years of misrule, Tibet is no Socialist Paradise that Chinese officials promised. Today, it is a tragedy because of the Chinese occupation,” he said.

The prime minister, however, maintained that Tibetans were committed to non-violence and were willing for a dialogue with China. Sangay said he had great hope from the youth, and urged the younger generation of Tibetans “to stand tall and march forward to freedom.”

Born in Darjeeling, Sangay, who got 55 per cent of votes, attended Delhi University and went on to study law in the United States at Harvard University. “I have never been to Tibet. Its sad that the Chinese did not allow me. I was in Beijing, just a three-hour flight away from Lhasa, yet was not allowed to go there,” he said.

Sangay said he would make education his first priority.  “We will professionalise the Tibetan Administration through technology, establish sister settlements between Tibetans in India and the West, introduce a Tibet Policy Institute to envision and execute policy on Tibet, and introduce the Tibet Corps, an organisation that will strive to use the skills of Tibetans in Tibet and worldwide for the Tibetan cause,” he said in his message.

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