DHARAMSALA, 26 May: The political head of the Tibetan people, Central Tibetan Administration’s (CTA) President Dr Lobsang Sangay who is completing his second tenure of the office today thanked the Dalai Lama, Tibetans, both inside and outside Tibet and said that serving the Tibetan people as Sikyong has been “the greatest honor of my life.”
“I thank my fellow Tibetans, both inside and outside Tibet, for your unwavering support and prayers. Serving you as the Sikyong has been the greatest honor of my life. You gave me the opportunity to fulfill my late father’s last words, which were to be of service to our root guru, His Holiness the Great 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, and to work for the cause of our occupied nation.”
President Sangay who was flanked by his entire cabinet(Kashag) members also thanked old and new friends of Tibet for standing with them in their struggle.
He expressed his profound gratitude to his holiness the Dalai Lama and added that “no part of the journey that took a child from a tiny refugee community in Darjeeling and led him eventually to assume the title of the first-ever Sikyong would have been remotely possible without the efforts, wisdom, and great vision of His Holiness.”
Lobsang Sangay who was elected to the Sikyong office initially in 2011 and later reelected in 2016 served as the political leader of the Tibetan people for the last 10 years has said that “to fulfill my mandate as Sikyong, I formulated new strategies to elevate CTA’s profile and to express our willingness to restore dialogues with China to obtain genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people based on the Middle Way Approach.”
He added that he gave “priority to substance and relationship-building while making concerted efforts to upgrade protocol and level of meetings whenever I could.”
And that after meeting various foreign government officials in small coffee shops, private offices, and other public locations, he said, “finally, during the last months of my term, I was able to visit the US State Department and the White House as the Sikyong of the CTA, and as the legitimate representative of the Tibetan people.”
“These developments, along with the passage of the Tibetan Policy and Support Act of 2020 by the US Congress, mark a new turn in the relationship between the US and the CTA,” he said snd adde that “I hope our relations with other countries take a similar turn.”
He further announced that he is committed to ensuring the smooth transition of power to President-elect Penpa Tsering.
“It is the responsibility of every Tibetan to support him in his global advocacy efforts for Tibet and the Tibetan people.”
“I wish the incoming Sikyong and his Kashag all the best.
Sikyong further expressed his deepest gratitude to India and its people for their generosity and continued support for the Tibetan people.
“The story of the Tibetan freedom struggle is incomplete without acknowledging India, our closest friend.”
He also thanked and applauded courageous and principled individuals, elected officials, organizations, and the Tibet Supports Groups who continue to advocate for the legitimate cause of Tibet.
After passing the baton to President-elect Penpa Tsering, Sangay says “I look forward to spending more time with my family, especially with my daughter, and learning how to beat her at our new favourite online game.”
However, he added that “My role as the Sikyong ends today, but my “resolve to fight for the Tibetan cause will continue and will remain strong forever. I was born a freedom fighter and I will die a freedom fighter.”