DHARAMSALA, 2 Sept: Kelsang Dorjee Aukatsang (Kaydor) on Wednesday announced that he will run for the 2021 Sikyong(President) election of the Tibetan-government-in-exile, officially known as Central Tibetan Administration(CTA).
“Let us move forward as one nation, one people, one struggle; think big; innovate and harness our collective energy and resources to regain Tibetan freedom, rights and dignity,” read a statement on Kaydor’s campaign website as he declared his bid for the CTA’s top job.
Kaydor, who has been the Special Advisor to Sikyong, Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to North America, and Chief Resilience Officer of the CTA and the Director of the Social and Resource Development Fund (SARD) has justified his candidacy by stating that through his service for the “Tibetan freedom struggle and community for over 23 years,” he has “gained a deep understanding of the issues facing the Tibetan movement and people, our needs and opportunities as well as the grave responsibilities of the office of the Sikyong.”
Kaydor’s manifesto surrounds around five priority areas such as to elevate Tibet, modernise the CTA, Transform education, sustain Tibetan culture and language and to enhance economic resilience.
His ‘elevate Tibet’ manifesto envisions “amplifying the voices of Tibetans in Tibet and strengthening the Tibetan freedom struggle,” as CTA’s primary objective under his Presidentship.
Kaydor endorses “a digital transformation and governance plan to transform CTA both internally and how it manages and pushes out programs, services to community members and external audiences, and decentralises some of the decision makings.”
His education policy focuses on “achieving quality modern education within a uniquely Tibetan environment while also strengthening the Basic Education Policy and integrating the concept of secular ethics as espoused by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.”
To sustain Tibetan culture and language, he plans to revamp the Department of Religion and Culture and allocate more funds for arts and culture.
And to enhance the economic resilience under his Presidentship, he said that “CTA will enter into public-private partnerships to promote the development and economic self-reliance of Tibetans.”
Highlighting the importance of the role of Tibetan youth within the CTA and in the Tibetan freedom struggle, he has promised to appoint a youth as one of the Kalons(minister) apart from setting up a “new youth division” led by a youth leader within the CTA’s Department of Home.
Kelsang Dorjee Aukatsang became the sixth candidate to throw his ring into the 2021 Sikyong election. Other candidates running for 2021 Sikyong are Former CTA Kalon Gyari Dolma and Lobsang Nyandak, TPIE’s Deputy Speaker Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok, Tashi Wangdue and Ragya Tenzin.
Though the Tibetan Election Commission declared open 2021 Sikyong and members of the 17th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile on 5 August and expressed its commitment to conduct elections “as per the stipulated time period, despite the current challenges precipitated by the COVID-19 crisis,” it is yet to set the poll dates.